Thursday, April 10, 2014

Clam Bake

We celebrated Evan's birthday this week with dinner at Mozza Pizzeria in Newport Beach.  I had an ulterior motive...I wanted to do a photo session at the beach with my clam shell quilt as well as celebrate our dear son's 34th birthday.

The future Mr and Mrs Evan Stanley
While Evan, Lauren and Mr. Romance walked onto the pier, I snapped the seagull and pelican enjoying the sunshine.
seagull and pelican

They were so careful to gently lower the quilt over the railing as I shouted directions from the shore. The wind was blowing quite a bit so I didn't get the shots I had hoped for but I think I still got some really good photos of the quilt.
quilt on a pier
Trying to get the quilt without the tourists was a difficult task, especially because it is Spring Break and the beach was quite crowded.
denyse schmidt fabric clam shell quilt
I like that even from afar you can see the beautiful job Natalia Bonner did quilting this beauty.
clam shell quilt
I made it very clear to Paul that the quilt has a direction and the points of the clam shells should be pointing downward when he was holding it. Too bad I didn't pay attention when he was shooting me holding the quilt. The grimace on my face is because 
1. The sun was very bright.
2. The quilt is very heavy.
denyse schmidt fabric clam shell quilt

This might be my favorite shot of the quilt which I am now calling Clam Bake.
denyse schmidt fabric clam shell quilt
The quilt is so large and heavy. It was a bear to manuever when binding it. It was also quite stiff from being densely quilted and I was worried it would not be very cuddly. It would not fit in my machine at home,  I had to take it to the Laundro-Mat. I was so glad when I pulled it out of the dryer and it had softened just like my friends assured me it would.  And now that it has been in the sand at the beach I will have to wash it again.

Miele washer

denyse schmidt fabric clam shell quilt

I just had to try editing this photo with the Waterlogue app. I think all the colors look so pretty as a water color piece of art.
waterlogue app

About This Quilt:
I have always been a fan of Martha Stewart and her talents. I watched her network morning show regularly until her show went to a cable channel. I don't know if she still has a show on TV or not. But anyway...that is where I first heard of Denyse Schmidt and fell in love with her quilt designs and fabrics. Fast forward to about 3 years ago when I became a major fabric collector/hoarder and I started buying different lines of Denyse's fabrics. I have used bits and pieces of them in different projects but for the most part I was saving them for something special.
When I first met Latifah she was sewing the binding on her Neon and Neutral Clam Shell quilt and I was instantly smitten and knew I had to make a clam shell quilt of my own. Latifah has a free pattern on Craftsy using templates and also a YouTube video to show you how to sew the curves. These things are all very helpful. I only used the templates for the top row and chose to just square up my quilt after piecing all the rows instead of using her templates for the sides and bottom rows. I was a confident curve sewist before I started this quilt but her idea to sew every other clam shell in a row and then go back and fill in the blanks really makes sewing these rows a breeze.
This last Christmas I received the clam die for the Accuquilt and my plan was launched. I cut almost 400 clam shells from nearly 150 different Denyse Schmidt fabrics. I did not use them all in this quilt, so there is still another clam shell project in my future. There is Katie Jump Rope, Flea Market Fancy, Shelburne Falls, Chicopee, Florence, and lots of DS Quilts fabric from Joann's in this quilt.
It took me about a month to piece it and then I pondered the backing. I knew I wanted either a flannel or corduroy and when the Paisley corduroy from Chicopee went on sale on I snatched up 10 yards.
I really wanted it to be quilted by someone I knew would put a lot of thought into the quilt design and Natalia Bonner was the perfect person to ask. She used five different free motion quilt designs, filling each clam shell and trying not to have two of the same designs next to each other. She did a fabulous job and I am so glad I asked her to quilt this one for me.
The binding is also a DS Quilts fabric from Joann's. I really like the orange with all the other fabrics and think it frames it perfectly.
This quilt will live on our bed. Now I need to make some pillow cases to compliment it.
Quilt Stats:
Name: Clam Bake
Fabrics: a range of Denyse Schmidt fabrics
Backing: Chicopee Paisley Corduroy
Binding: DS Quilts Orange Circles
Pieced with Aurifil 50 wt. thread
Batting: Quilter's Dream Poly Batting
Quilted by: Natalia Bonner
Size: 99" x 98"
As a side note, this quilt weighs 9 pounds! This quilt has been "Over-Instagrammed" and has made several appearances on my blog but I have to say, it is my favorite quilt that I have ever date, and I am so glad it is finished. 


Kate S. said...

So beautiful, Di!! Congrats on a big finish!

Tamie said...

Such a pretty quilt. I have a few designers that I keep collecting waitng for the perfect pattern to come up. Glad to know that I'm not the only one.

Debbie said...

absolutely amazing! It's just beautiful, Di!

ipatchandquilt said...

What a stunner! The quilt is absolutely fabuliscious!!!
esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo com
ipatchandquilt dot wordpress dot com

Run Quilt Knit Write said...

It's gorgeous Di! (Just like its maker!!)

Live a Colorful Life said...

So beautiful. The best part was reading the story behind it!

Dianne Neale said...

It's a stunner Di. Well done!

Susan Snooks said...

An absolute winner Di! I love it! I think the clams go better the other way (as in the sweet photo of you!) Do you think that's because I live on the bottom of the world?! ;-))

Mrs Flying Blind... said...

Totally stunning - I love it.
I wish I had the patience to stitch something so large!
Enjoy xxx

FabricDiva54 said...

Your quilt is stunning. Thank you for sharing the pattern information. I have a collection of Amy Butler dating back to her Ginger Bliss line which have always been "too special" to use. You have inspired me to try this quilt. Thank you.

suemac said...

Beautiful quilt. You can not go wrong with DS fabrics.

heart of charnwood said...

It is absolutely beautiful, and wonderful for you to keep after putting in so much work!

Cindy said...

Gorgeous quilt Di! Love that you used DS favorite as well.

DeborahGun said...

it is absolutely beautiful. So much work but so worth it!

Steph Blair said...

Beautiful use of the fabrics. My favourite clam shell quilt and favourite use of denise schmit fabric too. Love it.

myBearpaw said...

What a beautiful quilt! All my favourite things - Denyse Schmidt, clamshells and incredible quilting! Really stunning Di, well done. And I love the photos too!

Katie @SwimBikeQuilt said...

The perfect name for an exquisite quilt! And the photos are so fun.

Lisa C said...

I really am jealous of how you can save up fabrics for so long. You've been saving those fabrics for longer than I've been quilting. Great job. And very handsome and pretty assistants!

Katy Cameron said...

The quilt is great, but I actually love the photo outtakes more than the final ones, it looks like they were having loads of fun :o)

barbara woods said...

It's beautiful!

Unknown said...

Awesome photos Di! I especially love the waterlogue version. So pretty. This is such a rad quilt

Annabella said...

Well a clamshell quilt has been on my list ever since I made my starter block for Stitch Tease . This is gorgeous and drapes so beautifullt and love the photoshoot.

dutchcomfort said...

A beautiful quilt and series of photos! Congrats on an amazing finish!

Sarah @ FairyFace Designs said...

Somehow I missed this when it was in progress so I've gone from seeing it at the start to now a finished quilt and it is every bit and more stunning than it promised to be back then. I absolutely love it. Fabulous job.

Tsoniki said...

That is so beautiful! I love the quilting too.

Nilya said...

How could I miss this - It´s a Beauty and makes me wishing to start right now my very own clam Shell quilt

Jessica said...

LOVE your quilt!
I am trying to make a clam shell quilt for a twin bed. Do you know where i can figure out how many clams I will need and yardage?