My local quilting store, well- local as far as twenty-eight miles away, but close enough- Nuts and Boltz Needlework is a quaint, small, shop that not only has great choices in fabrics and supplies, but has classes for those such as myself that need to learn the trick of “quilting.” Remember my project with my scrub tops? You saw my sewing machine tote and too-tote for my sewing tools that I made for these classes. Sadly, last weekend it snowed too much that the class was cancelled until March. it’s okay, I have time.
Now for the heart of this posting- while at the shop last time I came across a book that gave me even more crafting ideas and projects to plan for the future.
Save the Selvages
Creating treasures from the Selvages of fabrics- a new kind of quilting; many people consider selvages to be garbage, cutting them off and throwing them away without a second thought. I know I did; but, after checking many of my left over fabrics I saved from my scrub tops... I still have the selvages on them- yippee. With this new insight I suddenly have noticed how pretty some of the selvages on fabrics are?
A selvage is the finished edge of fabric, and it is tightly woven which means it does not fray. It runs the entire length of the fabric bolt. Selvages are very handy! Information is usually printed right along that edge. This can include the fabric designer, the company, and the name of the print or line; great if you need to order more yardages online. This makes it easy to identify the fabric. Sometimes the selvage also features a line of circles that include all of the colors in that fabric to help you choose coordinating colors- something which I use quite often.
So why is there even a selvage edge on your fabric?
It’s actually a by-product of the manufacturing process. Take a closer look at a piece of woven cotton printed fabric, and you will see threads running along the fabric in two directions; the warp threads run the length of the fabric, and the weft threads along the width. The selvage edge of the fabric is where the weft thread loops back at the end of each row during the manufacturing process.
A few tips I have found in my research for collecting and sewing with Selvages:
- Before you start cutting into your fabric for your next project, cut your selvages off so that they are at least 1-2 inches wide. That way not only will you see your selvage, but also a bit of that pretty fabric.
- Store them in a clear container in a visible place. A tall Mason jar on the shelf will remind you to save and sew with them!
- Before sewing with your selvages, be sure to starch and press them well. They can be pretty wavy, but a good press should take care of it.
- A fabric foundation base works perfectly when sewing selvages together. This allows the woven edge to remain fully exposed while keeping the selvage strips from distorting. Muslin works great for this, but you can also use whatever quilting cotton scraps that you may have lying around. Just be sure that the foundation fabric doesn’t show through the selvage strips.
A couple of great websites I found that you may be interested in. Of course look to Pinterest, it has oodles and oodles of ideas and how-to suggestions. Have fun and remember to Save those Selvages!
my favorite: Sew Mama~ Sewing with Selvages: Making Your Own Selvage Fabric
The Sewing Loft~ 25 things to make with Selvages
Treadlequilts~ the Tread Catcher and more ideas
Pinterest board~ Karen Malio-Selvages-things-to-make
and we gotta have those books...
okay my friendly crafters! If you are a sewing buff and buy or have lots of fabrics I highly recommend to start saving those Selvages.. why not? even if you don’t think it is something you would want to do- you might one day.... and then there is always that happy blogger who is saving them, maybe she would love to acquire your Selvages....ME! hehe- have fun, and I will post my project- complete with “how I did it” when I can get enough saved for my first project... a Tread Holder. If you have some and don’t want them; I’ll take them off your hands.