Monday, August 25, 2008

About sewing selvages

Stephanie asks if I left a "tag" on the selvages so I could sew them down. The answer is sometimes. I began cutting selvages four or five years ago with the idea of using them some day but didn't actually consider how I would use them. Not until I heard Karen Griska speak, saw her work and her book was I impelled to finally get on with it. I recommend clicking Karen's link to the right of this column and looking at her work. You'll find how to get her book which has instructions and ideas.

But for myself, a confession. I am a "hold your nose and do a cannonball into the pool" type of sewer. So I just started sewing the selvages however wide or narrow, overlapping the finished side against the cut side as I went along. Mostly this was fine, but as I work with the piece I see there are places that pull apart because I did not overlap properly and I have to go back and resew. Which is okay in this case because the thread on the dark side disappears, mostly, as the quilting. This is, I admit, not optimal but the quilt is just for me and I don't mind.

Now there are many more sensible and thoughtful people who think of qusetions like Stephanie's. That's why there are quilting teachers and books -- to answer those quetions in advance and give you a leg up so you don't have to go back and fix your mistakes. So, yes, I think you should leave at least a quarter inch tab and I'll try to do that in the future. I do learn from mistakes. In fact, I'm becoming, slowly, a better quilter having definitely learned to measure and cut carefully and to square up blocks before putting them together.

But we humans have different temperaments. My cardiologist is a type A who pays attention to every detail and I feel secure because of that. I know a type A cook who must measure and time everything on the stove and I have to run out of the kitchen -- and beleive me, my pinch of this, dollop of that method produces excellent results.

1 comment :

Quilting Dispatcher said...

I had heard of making quilts from clothing labels & ties, but nothing like selvages, beautiful work!