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Clamshell Pillow

Project #14860

An antique design comes to life with a most modern appeal! For a contrast of colors and an economical use of fabric, this home décor project delivers the dynamic details.

Fabric Requirements:

YardageFabricCutting Instructions
1 3/4 ydWhite printCut (2) 18" x 27 1/2" for pillow back (cut this first)
Cut (46) Clamshells
3/4 ydPink printCut (19) Clamshells
Cut (2) 2" x 24 1/2" Strips
Cut (2) 2" x 27 1/2" Strips
1/2 ydGray printCut (19) Clamshells
30" x 30"MuslinBacking for pillow front
30" x 30"Batting
127" Square pillow form


  • Finished Size: 27" x 27"
  • All seam allowances are 1/4" unless noted.
  • When cutting Clamshells from yardage, alternate the direction of the die to get the most Clamshells with the least amount of waste.

Piecing the Project:

  1. On the wrong side, mark each of the Clamshells with a dot at the center of each piece. Also mark the seam intersections at each corner. This will make the piecing easier.
  2. Using a design wall and the photo of the pillow, lay out the pillow center.
  3. Start with the two Clamshells in the upper left-hand corner and piece one side as shown in Diagram 1.
  4. Piece from the center dot on A to the seam intersection. DO NOT sew to the edges of the pieces.
  5. Keep adding alternate up and down Clamshells until row is complete. See Diagram 2.
  6. After completing step 5 add the next row of Clamshells.
  7. Continue adding alternate rows of Clamshells until you have sewn all the rows of Clamshells on the design wall.
  8. Press the entire pillow top.
  9. Square off the pillow center by cutting 1/4" away from Clamshells around the outside edge. The piece will measure 24 1/2" x 24 1/2".
  10. Sew the 2" x 24 1/2" pink Strips to opposite sides. Press.
  11. Sew the 2" x 27 1/2" pink Strips to the remaining sides. Press.


  1. Layer the 30" x 30" muslin backing, batting and pillow top. Quilt by hand or machine, as desired. Trim away excess batting and backing.
  2. Take the two 27 1/2" x 18" pieces of fabric for the pillow back and put a double 1/4" hem on one of the 27 1/2" sides.
  3. Place the pillow top on the table, right-side-up. Lay one of the two backs, right-side-down, lining up the raw edges with the raw edges of the pillow top.
  4. Lay the second back, right-side-down, on the side of the top that is not covered. The backs will overlap, which will allow you to insert the pillow form. Pin the backs and top together.
  5. Stitch a 1/4" seam around the outside edge of the pillow. Zigzag the raw edges for added strength.
  6. Turn the pillow right-side-out.
  7. Insert the pillow form.

  • Diagram 1

  • Diagram 2

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