Well, I'm back after a lovely 4 days on retreat, and as you might have guessed, while I was there I finished the Selvedge Star quilt I've been working on for ... well, seems like FOREVER. I've hung it on the wall in the upstairs hallway so I see it every time I go upstairs -- please excuse the wacky picture, there's no angle up there where I can get a straight-on look at it. But it makes me so happy to see it there. One of the aspects of using these selvedges that I like best is that when I look closely at the quilt, I see bits of fabric that I used so long ago. So it's a sewing memory quilt of sorts.
This really was fun to make, even if it did take me a long time to collect the selvedges, make the selvedge fabric, and then create a design that made me happy.
If you are thinking of saving your selvedges to make something fun, I have a few tips for you:
1. When you cut or tear the selvedge from fabric, keep at least 1/2 inch (and ideally an inch) of the print up to the selvedge. You'll want a bit of color to separate the white selvedge parts, because it's the colored parts that create the stripey effect. You can see what I mean below. If you just tear or cut off the white edge, you won't have room to do anything with it.
2. If your friends offer to save selvedges for you, by all means say YES!! And then tell them #1! Oh, and tell them you only want the side that has the writing. I had friends save the opposite edges for me too -- solid color strips that I couldn't really use.
3. I found it worked best for me to create "selvedge fabric" on a fabric foundation. I started with muslin pieces about 14 inches square, and then sewed selvedges to the base fabric, one overlapping the prior raw edge, until the square was filled. If you know before you start what you are going to do with your selvedges and what size of pieces you will need, you can adjust accordingly. Me, I jumped in sewing before I had any plan, and the 14 inch squares worked out just fine.
4. Once you have some selvedge fabric, you can use it just like any other fabric. You can plan with it as if you have striped fabric. I would not recommend using it for binding or for handquilting on it, because all the layers make for rather thick fabric.
5. There are a lot of great ideas for using selvedges out there! You can check out my Pinterest board where I collected selvedge ideas to get you started.
If you do decide to make something with selvedges, do let me know! I'd love to see what you come up with!