Fussy Cut Clamshell Charm Quilt


There is a new video on YouTube with detailed info for fussy cutting hexagons for Patchwork of the Crosses. It includes all of our best tips.

What is a charm quilt? Monkey says his picture is in the dictionary to define “charm,” but a “charm quilt” is something different.

When I searched for an online definition, I found a good article about charm quilts by Laurette Carroll on fabric.net, including this:

“The accepted description today, of a Charm quilt, is that of a quilt made with no two patches cut from the same fabric. These quilts usually contain hundreds of different fabrics, and are the greatest find to a textile lover and collector. . .” The whole article is interesting.

Inklingo is the best way to make a Clamshell charm quilt, using small scraps of fabric.


One 3-inch Clamshell can be printed on a scrap about 4 x 4 inches, but Inkjet printers require a minimum of 3 x 5, so cut the freezer paper 4 x 5, and cut the fabric smaller.

Ordinary paper

1. Print on a 4 x 5 inch scrap of ordinary paper first, to see where the Clamshell is printed.


Freezer paper and fabric scrap


2. Position the scrap of fabric on the freezer paper accordingly.

As long as the fabric covers the area for the charm, it does not have to go all the way to the edges of the freezer paper, or be cut with straight edges. Press with a hot, dry iron on the paper side and the fabric side, so you get a good, temporary bond between the plastic side of the freezer paper and the right side of the fabric, so you can print on the wrong side.

3. Set the size in the print dialog box to 4  x 5.
(See the guide to printing your first custom page size.)

4. Print.  (Click for a larger view.)

5. Peel off the freezer paper and use it again and again!

Even printing one Clamshell at a time, you can prepare all of your shapes faster with Inklingo than with templates. Of course, if you need several Clamshells from the same fabric, you can print larger sheets.

New to Inklingo? There is a free step-by-step guide for printing on fabric on the web site.


Make a window template by printing a Clamshell on a scrap of paper 4 x 5 (below), and use it to decide how to position the freezer paper. How cool is that?

Monkey says frogs might eat clams. We’re not sure about it. . .

. . . so, Monkey prefers to print butterflies, which don’t.

FUSSY NOTES Be sure to check positioning with the printed side of your window template facing down, because you will be printing on the wrong side of the fabric. (You may need to think about that for a sec.) All edges are on the bias, but try to have straight grain running from the point to the middle of the curve, through the center, on most of the Clamshells in your quilt, if you can.

There is a short video about fussy cutting too.


Yesterday Sue asked a question about cutting Clamshell shapes with a rotary cutter, and I replied to her comment in the previous message.

If you have a 28 mm cutter, you will probably prefer to rotary cut instead of using scissors. Cutting Clamshells is easy when you have a precise line marked on the fabric—no measuring, no templates!

Use scissors or a rotary cutter, and sew the Clamshells by hand or by machine. Inklingo gives you great choices.

We think you will love sewing Clamshells with the stitching lines, matching marks, and crosshairs printed on the fabric with Inklingo.  We want you to be as happy as a clam at high tide.

Thank you for visiting.

Linda & Monkey

PS If you haven’t tried Inklingo yet, download the free shape collection with diamonds, triangles, and squares, and start having fun.

8 thoughts on “Fussy Cut Clamshell Charm Quilt”

  1. Thank you for this explanation of custom pages. I have some 5″ charm squares I want to use for my clamshells, and now I know how. Also, Monkey, your charming pose is just the cutest!

  2. I had never thought about making a Charm Quilt with Clamshells. Thanks for this Linda! I love scraps! I think this would be easy to do. But…

    …I will need Monkey's help in saying “Fussy Cut Clamshell Charm Quilt” 5 times fast!

  3. I just finished making a window template as I want mirror image clamshells and the window template is the best way to figure out how to accomplish that!!


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