Sunday, March 14, 2010

Is It Selvage or Selvedge? *

Two or three years ago, I started saving selvages instead of throwing them away. Just kept them in a plastic box, with no real plans for them.

Then, recently, I learned about a challenge for a selvage quilt, at a delightful fabric store in Burnsville, NC.  The shop is called "Needle Me This", in case you want to find out more about the challenge and the shows. 

There is a quilt show in early August in Burnsville and nearby Asheville, NC. The only problem with that is that it is the same weekend as the big annual festival in Berea, KY. So I hope to somehow get to both.

I thought this was a perfect opportunity to take the selvages I had cut, and try to make a little quilt for the challenge. I have, over the years, seen two or three very striking selvage quilts, but I had no idea just how many hundreds had been made. When I looked on line to see what had been done, there were literally hundreds, and many of them are very good.

The blue batik piece is just my background piece to attach the selvages to. I thought if there are some spots peeking through, they will complement the blues of the water.

No surprise that selvage quilts tend to be linear, and you see lots of log cabin squares, and other variations of strip piecing. But I also saw some wonderful garments, lots of purses and bags, many toys, and other applications.

A few months ago, I saw a picture online of a really stunning selvage quilt of a heron or crane. I wish I could find that picture again, but so far, I can't locate it. Can't remember the man's name who created it, either.

In any case, I am starting my quilt today, and have sorted my selvages into colors. Fortunately, I have lots of blues, because I will start with water, and go from there. 

When I first started cutting selvages, I just cut the white part, and didn't leave any of the print part on it. But yesterday, when I was looking at selvage blogs (Yes, there are blogs about selvages, and even a book on selvage quilts,) I read that the conventional wisdom is to cut 1.5 inches. That looks a little wide to me, so when I went through my stash yesterday, and cut a few more pieces to work  with, I just cut a little wider than the white part, just to keep some color.

 * I have always spelled it "selvedge", but  I learned that "selvage" is the American spelling, and "selvedge" is the British spelling.

So stay tuned, to see how mine turns out.

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