I spent part of my childhood on Prince Edward Island, where I was born. My fondest memories of that place are all about food. My dad used to stop at the wharf on the way home from work to buy lobster fresh from the lobstermen. Delicious!

Sometimes we went out to catch our own food. My dad always knew where to go to find the smelts when they were swimming thick enough to scoop them up with a net (illegal, of course, so I’m sure we fished for them the proper way.) I wasn’t a big fan of the smelts, although my cat adored them. My favourite hunt-your-own dinner? Clams!

We would go out with small shovels and a bucket in the morning, after the tide went out. You could tell where the clams were hiding. There were little holes in the wet sand for them to breathe. Carefully, the shovel would go down into to the sand, and up would pop the little clams in their shells! We would rinse them in the ocean, put them in the buckets and head for home. The clams would go in the laundry sink with fresh water, to bathe the day away until we boiled the poor creatures for supper. I could eat ridiculous amounts of them, especially with my mom’s yummy lemon butter to dip them in. Dad and I always made sure that none of them went uneaten.

Maybe those memories are what make the clamshell quilt pattern so appealing to me. Recently, Jossie at Cybele’s Patch started a Clamshell Club, where she and other bloggers can connect to share their progress making clamshell quilts. I wasn’t going to join, because I thought it would be too annoying to try to cut out the curved shapes and sew them properly. I prefer to hand piece these types of designs, and that would have meant marking both a cutting line and a sewing line on my fabric. I would need a template that would allow me to do that accurately, and I didn’t have one.

Then something great happened. Linda Franz released the clamshell pattern for Inklingo! Inklingo, if you haven’t heard of it, allows you to print a template from a PDF document directly to your fabric. There’s a link to her blog on my sidebar, and she explains what it does much better than I could. I have no excuses, now. I’ve joined Jossie’s Clamshell Club, and I have printed and cut out a few of these:

Happy as a clam. A clam that didn’t end up in the dinner pot.