FMQ samples – part 11 – tutorial BAPTIST FANS / CLAMSHELL flourishes

Hello everyone!

A special welcome to all the new followers! It was quite a suprise to see about 50 quilters signing up this last weekend to receive my blogpost by email. I was wondering how you new followers have found my blog. Was it through Quiltersblogs? Please do tell!

This blogpost is the 11th already in the FMQ series I have set myself to do. I am aiming for 100 different samples in 100 days. The first picture in this blogpost will be sample 36 in 34 days, so I am over a third of my goal.

Okay, you came here so see quilting pictures and some tutorials, right?!

So here we go! I have got some more baptist fans for you to try out.

(Edit 18 May 2017: I was made aware that this is actually not a baptist fan but a clamshell pattern. I will use the correct name in the following blogposts) 

Adding flourishes to a baptist fan (clamshell) can be done several ways. The easiest way is to stitch out the baptist fans first and then go back in to add your flourishes. This will take more time than stitching the fans and flourishes in one go. It will also entail travelling over the already stitched lines. BUT, if it works for you, just go ahead. There is no wrong or right way.

If you prefer to speed up the quilting proces or you feel up to a challenge, give these next techniques explained in the tutorial a try. The easiest stitch path is to work in rows as you would already do with the basic Baptist Fan pattern.

In this next sample you will see that on the inside of each baptist fan (clamshell) there is a set of flourishes. I will call these flourishes ‘feathers’ for the ease of this explanation.


As I work my way from left to right on the first pass, I will stitch the feathers before I finish the baptist fan (clamshell). I can’t start with the arc of the baptist fan (clamshell) as that would take me to the other side while I need to be on the left for the feathers. So if you start left and your feathers also start on the left, first stitch the feathers and end with the arc of the baptist fan (clamshell) .


On your way back (from right to left), you will stitch the arc first so you have traveled to the left and then you will stitch the feathers.

SOOOO depending on where you are going and depending where your feathers start, you either stitch the feathers first or the arc of the baptist fan (clamshell) .

The second tutorial for today is of a flourish in a baptist fan  (clamshell) stitched  up from the bottom of your quilt. You travel vertically from baptist fan to baptist fan (clamshell) from the bottom to the top. Actually you can put anything inside that baptist fan arc (clamshell) . Have fun with it!



As always in this series of blogposts, I aim to give you a tutorial or two and I add in one or two other photos of samples I did.

Some quilter pinned a gorgeous photo of an Art Deco marble floor in black and white (link). I have turned it into a Baptist Fan filler pattern (clamshell) . I first stitched out the baptist fan and worked my way from left to right along the bottom of the fans. Thinking about it now, I could have done it easier… Like this: Start on the left, fill a fan. Then go up one row the reach the next fan. After that is one filled go down one row and fill the next one.  Keep going.

I was able to keep the vertical lines at an even distance by using the freemotion quilting foot as a reference. I made sure that one particular piece of the foot was always over the already quilted line. It worked really well.


You may have seen quilting examples (or even drawings) of people filling in shapes in a vortex-like way. (If you know what this type of drawing is called, please let me know, I can’t seem to find it.) I have tried the vortex out within a half of a baptist fan (clamshell). This is what it would look like.


Crazy, huh?!

Do you have any suggestions for flourishes that I could add to clamshells?




22 thoughts on “FMQ samples – part 11 – tutorial BAPTIST FANS / CLAMSHELL flourishes

  1. I can’t remember where I found you (was it from the new bloggers hop?), but I certainly am glad I did! Your designs are absolutely lovely!!!

    • Thank you very much Lynn for commenting. I didn’t participate in the bloghop as I have been quilting for a while. Maybe you found me through Sew Thankful Sunday by The Crafty Quilter. She wrote about the FMQ series last Sunday, I understand
      Anyway, it is great to have you as a follower! Have a lovely weekend,

  2. How about palm leaves: start at the centre of the top of the arc, then come down and back up across the shape to form long pointed leaves, like the top of a palm tree. Or ripples fanning out across the fan, from tight at the base to wider at the top of the fan. A clamshell is one of my favourite filler shapes, and there’s so much you can do with them!

  3. I got your information from The Crafty Quilter blog:Sew Thankful Sunday, May 2017 by Julie Cefalu

    She will make recommendations of good links she has found.

  4. A Ginkgo leaf shape might look nice. I think you showed up in my Bloglovin’ feed as a suggestion in “Most Popular in diy-crafts”. Since I was already doing a clam shell quilting design, I took a look at your blog. Wow! Love your ideas for fillers!

    • Hello Sharon,
      Wow, you found me though Bloglovin’s suggestions! I didn’t know I was on that list.
      There will be some more clamshell design and tutorials in the near future. The next blogpost will have some orange peels and a clamshell too.
      Have a lovely weekend!

    • Hi Delores,
      How wonderful! Thank you for that lovely comment. I am always curious to know how people find my blog. I hope you will feel inspired by all the gorgeous quilty projects out there.

  5. I found you thanks to Pinterest. I am building a sketch book of patterns to practice for the quilts I make for customers. Your information is so organized and really tells a person how to make patterns! That is a lot of work. Thank you!

    • Hello Stephanie!
      Thank you for letting me know you found me through Pinterest. That is such a such a source of inspiration, right?! I spend many hours just looking at the colors, fabrics and patterns of quilts.
      I am happy to know that you have found the tutorials helpful.
      Please enjoy!

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