Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The fun stuff

What is this mess, er mass? of worms? spaghetti? No, it's selvages. Selvages? Yes, you know the edge of fabric where the manufacturer's name is and sometimes other information like the designer or color samples from the printing process. Selvages are often cut of and discarded. I've been saving them for some time -- since I saw a quilt made entirely of selvages at a Quilt National. I often didn't remember to save them but I do have a goodly pile, you see.

I have been sewing them into squares as you see here. They will be arranged in a sort of basket weave design. I'm having a wonderful time. This is a project I've been planning since early June when I bought Karen Griska's book about sewing with selvages. The thing is I'm not JUST making a selvage quilt. No! It's more complex than that.

Earlier in the year I purchased Sharon Pederson's book about her double sided quilt technique and I'm combining the two. A lot of brilliant quilters speak at our guild and some have books. Only occasionally does something hit me as "for me". Both these did and I quickly saw the possibilities. This will be a reversible quilt with an arrangement of 6 inch squares on one side, mostly a turquoise fabric but also some fascinating European prints that have come into my hands in the last few months via swaps.

There will be further pictures in the future because at this point I don't imagine anyone could get very turned on by the mess of selvages and the few blocks showing only one side.

Here's what I love about this: I'm recycling stuff that would be thrown away otherwise which is what most sewers do with selvages. I lay one strip on the raw edge and sew very close to the edge, as I sew I am quilting the block for there is batting between. When it's put together there'll be no more quilting to do. These are straight lines, very easy to sew. The lines of quilting will be random with the various widths of the selvage and that's both fine and far easier than worrying about even quilting lines. I really enjoy the words on the selvage, the names of people, of patterns, of manufacturers and I enjoy the randomness of their pattern and their colors. Finally I'm enjoying the anticipation of arranging the final squares so I have a brightly colored pattern on one side of the quilt and this subdued white/with print side. Everything about this pleases me. It's simplicity as contrasted with the difficulty and time consuming orange/navy star in the previous post. I need variety in what I do and this is a nice kind of difference. I'm having fun. More about it later.


Tess said...

What a brilliant idea. I do a lot of mixed-media collage and I'm thinking I could use them there as well - with appropriate words showing.

Selvage Quilter said...

Hi June,

I wrote about you on my blog this morning. See www.selvageblog.blogspot.com. (I wanted to send you an email but I don't see an email address here.) Be sure to email me a photo of your finished reversible selvage quilt. I am anxious to see how you put the blocks together.


I would love to see what you create with selvages! Keep us posted.


Quiltdivajulie said...

What a wonderful idea - but, like Karen, I'm curious how you'll assemble your quilted blocks.

I think I'll try the 'reversible' approach for my next selvage Priority Quilt (www.AlzQuilts.org)!

Selvage Quilter said...

Hi June,

Was the quilter in Perth named Sam Farman? Her selvage postcards are on the selvage blog, among the July posts.

Of course I realize there are more than a few quilters in Perth! But I can't help asking:)

I am so excited to hear from quilters who are enjoying using their selvages - especially from places far from our NYC.