Avalon Clamshell Pillow Tutorial

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I seem to be on a pillow kick lately, but I’m sure you have noticed that. They are so easy and fun to make.

Fast and Easy Clam Shell Pillow tutorial ConnieKresin.com
Clamshell Pillow

This is a fast and easy Avalon Clamshell Pillow tutorial that I think you will like.

I used a charm pack of Avalon by Joanna Figueroa, Fig Tree & Co. for Moda that I have been hanging on to and decided I had better use it.

Fast and Easy Clam Shell Pillow tutorial ConnieKresin.com
Using the Accuquilt die to cut fabric

I used my AccuQuilt  GO! Baby and the 4-inch clamshell die. You can use any of the AccuQuilt GO! die cutters with this die.

I really enjoy raw applique and fast projects so…..I didn’t use the die the way it is actually meant to be used.

Fast and Easy Clam Shell Pillow tutorial ConnieKresin.com
Notches on applique pieces

After I cut my clamshells out I trimmed off the notches on top.

Fast and Easy Clam Shell Pillow tutorial ConnieKresin.com
Add clamshell blocks to fabric

I cut a piece of muslin approximately 15 inches square and then start laying the clamshells in a row at the top. I put a little dab of glue on the back to hold them in place.

After I did a couple rows I then stitched along the top edge with my free motion quilting foot on my sewing machine.

Fast and Easy Clam Shell Pillow tutorial ConnieKresin.com
Glue blocks down

Some of the clamshells started moving on me so I found it was much easier to just glue one row at a time and then stitch. You can see how I overlapped the pieces.

Fast and Easy Clam Shell Pillow tutorial ConnieKresin.com
add batting and quilt

I placed a piece of batting behind the muslin.

Most of the time I also put a backing on my pillow tops but didn’t do it on this one. I went ahead and free-motion quilted each clamshell.

Fast and Easy Clam Shell Pillow tutorial ConnieKresin.com
Square up quilt piece

When I was finished I squared up my piece.

Fast and Easy Clam Shell Pillow tutorial ConnieKresin.com
Add a zipper

I just happened to have some fabric that matched pretty well and a zipper!!

Fast and Easy Clam Shell Pillow tutorial ConnieKresin.com
Scraps from clamshells

I thought you might enjoy seeing the scraps from the 5 inch charm squares.

I was able to cut 2 – 1½-inch squares from each leftover piece.

I even have a little project almost done using them but I’ll have to wait to show that to you.

The 4-inch Clamshell die will work with all of the AccuQuilt GO! cutting machines.

Would you like to make a bigger pillow or a quilt? There is also an 8-inch clamshell die. It is compatible with the GO!, GO! Big and Studio cutter.

Looking for more AccuQuilt tutorials – go here.

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Connie with her dogs

About Connie

Hi, I’m Connie Kresin Campbell, the quilter, writer, and photographer behind Freemotion By the River. I enjoy inspiring others with my quilt tutorials and patterns. You’ll also see my sweet adopted dogs from time to time.

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Fast and Easy Clam Shell Pillow tutorial ConnieKresin.com
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  1. Hello Connie; Your Clamshell Pillow is so pretty! I had to go and see if we have the clam shell die cutter and we do! I think this is one pattern my Mother would like on a pillow for her couch or the spare bedroom. So, thank you so much for sharing your tutorial and your lovely finished pillow! It truly is inspirational! Have a great day!

  2. Gosh – I would make a pillow just like you. Very nice way the way you used it, but I think I would do the sewing – those notches make it so easy to match things up. Thanks for the chance. I already follow you!

  3. I love the clamshell and the way you used the die is so much easier! I plan to use your instructions to make a bag. Love your blog, and follow every chance I get!

  4. I've wanted to make a clamshell with 30's prints for a long time. Prob a lap quilt. I was surprised that you cut off the notches and appliqued– I'd wondered how easy it would be to piece the clamshells together– guess the method you used is much easier…..

  5. I love your pillow and would probably start out making a pillow before heading into a full quilt with these clam shells. They look a little tricky….but oh so cute!

  6. It cracked me up, when you said you didn't use the die exactly as it was designed. That's creativity working for sure. I'm seeing and hearing about more and more quilters using glue. How ingenious! I have an Accuquilt GO and no clam shell die. Thanks for the giveaway. Nice pillow and tutorial.

  7. I'm not real keen on curves, so I'd keep it small and make a pillow or small wallhanging, maybe even smaller and just a couple potholders. I can also see a strip of them on the side of a tote or placemats.

  8. I would love to win this die. This is a pattern I have been wanting to try. Thank you for the chance to win. Take care and God bless, Cory

  9. I am a follower via email. Love all of your fabrics. I own an Accuquilt Go and would love this die. Thanks for the chance to win.


  10. I love my Baby Go and this pillow top is a great inspiration to try the clamshell! Thank you for the giveaway. I do enjoy your blog.

  11. You are absolutely one of the most creative quilters I know! How beautiful is this pillow???? I LOVE IT! It must have something to do with the river???? I love accuquilt dies because they make cutting so much easier, especially for irregular shapes such as these!

  12. Love your Pillow!!! Would love to have this Die!!! I would make a Pillow….well probably two or three! lol But I would make a Throw too, to go with my new Pillows! 🙂

  13. I really like the idea of the pillow and then hopefully make a lap quilt to go with the pillow. thanks for the giveaway.

  14. I've never tried clam shells before. I really like your pillow. Perhaps I would give that a try first. Nothing to big to start with. Thanks for the lovely giveaway.

  15. Love your pillow! I would do the same~ and maybe a little end table topper to match. Thanks for the fun!

  16. I would like to make a pillow or the center block for a baby quilt. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com

  17. I would use the 4" clamshell die to make a scrappy quilt.
    Thanks for the giveaway,
    Jacqueline in Pitt Meadows

  18. I've been wanting to try a make a clam shell quilt. I have a AccuQuilt GO but I like the smaller size clam shell.

  19. What a cute pillow! I love the idea of appliqueing the clamshells instead of the sewing those crazy curves.

  20. Your pillow is lovely! I would love to try the clamshell pattern. Thanks for the chance to win a die!

  21. I would never attempt to make this pattern without a die to cut the shapes. I think this would make a great accent for a tote bag. Thanks.

  22. I would make a pillow for my daughter, she just bought a new couch. Love my Go! cutter.

  23. Well, I would start out by making the same thing you did, because you rock!
    Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  24. Thanks for the chance to win! Love the clam shell pillow. would love it as well as the die for my GO! You just keep making so many wonderful things and inspiring me. Thanks, Lyn

  25. I love the pillow! I would love to make a clam shell quilt. Moda has a beautiful version as a free to use pattern on their site that I have been drooling over and I want to make something similar to that–I think the die would make it much easier! Thanks for the chance to win a fun die!

  26. The pillow is a great idea for the clamshells. Can you imagine a full lap quilt made from them? I love ideas for charm packs, and this is excellent!

  27. Connie!!!! I have been wanting to use my clamshell die cut so much and you have inspired me to make a PILLOW! I now have a NEW project to do…LOL! Thank you so much for sharing and linking up!

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