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Clamshell Quilting with a Walking Foot

 I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something new yesterday...clamshell quilting with my walking foot!  I've been wanting to try this ever since I read about it in Jacquie Gering's book, WALK.  If you're interested in machine quilting with your home sewing machine and you haven't read this book, go order it from Amazon now!  It seriously is so inspiring!  I've been quilting with my walking foot for almost ten years now, but I've mostly only quilted using straight vertical or horizontal lines.  Until I read Jacquie's book, I honestly had no idea how many different quilting designs are possible with a walking foot.  There are so many great ideas in this book! 

I'm not going to lie, this clamshell quilting wasn't exactly easy, but I did get the hang of it after several rows.  It definitely took some practice to know when and how to turn the quilt to result in curved lines with the walking foot.  I spent a whole day quilting, and still only got about half of this quilt done (and it's a small wall hanging)...it's definitely time consuming!  But I really like the texture it gives the quilt.  You actually quilt the lines on a diagonal starting at the top left hand corner of the quilt and moving downwards.  Then once you've quilted all the lines in one direction, you rotate the quilt and do the same thing from the adjacent side.  As the lines intersect, it will form the clamshell design.  You keep rotating your quilt until all of the lines are quilted. 

I used a 3.5 inch plastic template for the clamshells.  In the book, Jacquie also talks about making your own template, but I thought a stencil would be easier.  I used a blue water soluble pen to mark lines, which took a bit of time but it wasn't hard.  I was worried about the pen marks coming out when I was finished, but so far they have removed easily with a wet rag.  
The only thing I somewhat regret is quilting over the black applique cat...since I used a cream colored thread, the quilting really stands out on the cat.  But otherwise, I'm happy with it!  I'm excited to try some more quilting designs from this book.  It's kind of scary trying a new design for the first time on a quilt top you spent a lot of time on.  But I completely agree with something Jacquie says in her book: "Learn with each quilt you make. Don't wait until you are perfect to try."  Each quilt you make should be approached as a learning experience, and perfection is not the goal.  I think this is the most important advice I could give any new quilter.  And honestly, you typically learn the most through your mistakes.  So, get yourself an ergonomic seam ripper and every time you have to reach for it, instead of spewing swear words, try thanking your quilt for giving you the opportunity to learn and grow.  😆 It sounds silly, but a mindset shift really does make a huge difference. 
I hope to finish quilting up this top this weekend!  With the bitter cold temps we've been having, all I want to do lately is stay in where it's warm and sew.  You'd think I'd be getting all kinds of WIPs done, but somehow my project list just keeps growing. 🤷‍♀️


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