Wednesday, September 30, 2009

waste not, want not

I've been saving selvages for months now and with the donations of my quilting group, I finally had enough to get to work on this:
The pattern is from Quilting on the Selvage Edge by Karen Griska, though I scaled the pattern down to make it more of a wall hanging size. I think my finished dimensions are around 30X30. The interior blocks are 4" finished and the black inner border is 1" finished.
I auditioned fabric after fabric for the back and wasn't happy with any of them. It finally occured to me that I could use the longer selvages for that and enjoy that part as much as the front. (I do confess to needing more than I had on hand which led to grabbing fabric out of the stash that still had selvages intact. They aren't intact anymore.)

I was going to use black for a hanging sleeve before I decided to just go for it and use selvages everywhere I could.
The sleeve-

And even for the label -
(Thanks to Karen for help protecting my privacy.)

The top was a blast to piece. A few notes if you're interested in making one:
I used muslin squares as a foundation for the blocks as explained in the book along with my edgestitching foot and moving the needle over to lay down one selvage after another. Next time, I'll keep my needle as close to center as possible because I had problems with the foot catching the tiny edges when I was free motion quilting. A woman in my quilting group also suggested a small zigzag which is something to consider for future selvage projects.
Make sure you overlap the strips well. I had a few pull loose and had to hand applique them back down after the quilt was assembled. Not the end of the world, but a bit of a pain.
The blocks do get thick. Just press the best you can when you join them.
Because the blocks were thick, I didn't use a foundation when joining the strips for the backing, but I did choose to use a regular cotton batting rather than flannel for the interior of the quilt.
I also ripped most of the selvages off the fabric. (Yes, I'm a ripper, stop gasping. It's from my days of working at Laura Ashley when we'd rip the fabric to the lengths people wanted to buy.) And yes, it does distort the fabric a little. It all goes back into place with the iron. That didn't cause me any trouble.
My muslin was not washed ahead of time which I think helped it all get very crinkly after laundering. I love that look.
I usually quilt with a 70sharp needle. The next selvage quilt will be done with an 80sharp. I didn't break it, but I did have skipped stitches while free motion quilting and it always seemed to happen when I hit an area thick with many layers and seams. I think a larger needle would have helped. Slowing down in those areas helped as well.
Long story short - my machine quilting on this one is not my best work, but I'm so happy with how it turned out in the end that I don't really care. Plus, I know how to make the next one go more smoothly.
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Anonymous said...


Tuli said...

Wendy, this is gorgeous! I don't think I'd have the patience to do anything like this.

(Did you see the selvage frock?

blackbird said...

I LOVE it.

Selvage Quilter said...

Wendy, what a beautiful quilt! And using selvages on the back and in the sleeve and on the label is a great idea. Thanks for mentioning my book. Is it okay if I show your quilt on the Selvage blog?

Anonymous said...

Amazing! Love it. Where are you putting it up?


Anonymous said...

Maybe you don't know, but I am in LOVE with quilts.
Breathtaking and Priceless.

Poppy Buxom said...

I've seen this in real life, and it truly is amazing. The color combinations in each block are fabulous, ad Wendy did her best to use the bubbles (the little color samples) which is a wonderful touch.

Rebekah said...

Wow! This quilt is stunning!

Now I'm feeling a little guilty for throwing away my selvages.

wii zubehor said...

This looks really nice work even if you are not considering it your best I am sure your best will sure come soon.

bubbachenille said...

Congratulations, this is really great...1st Prize

Anne-Mette said...

This quilt looks great! I really wish I could start making one today, but I have to get some more selfages ;-).
Greetings from Denmark,

Fiesta said...

Wendy you did a great job. Wonderful inspiration!

cozy quilter said...

I love this quilt! I have been saving my selvages for a selvage project. I have been designing something in my head and hope to work on it in the new year. Too much to do before then to start a new project. I have never seen selvages used for the back too. Looks great!

Michele said...

Neato! Your quilt is fantastic! I'm saving selvages too.

Melinda said...

Great selvage quilt - aren't they fun to make. I think I am doing a table runner next.

Barb said...

this is fantastic!
I love it-
thanks for sharing it and your tips

Amy said...

I left a comment on the Selvage Blog too but I wanted to make sure you heard from me---I love it! It looks great. I love the basket weave pattern. I am new to selvage projects and just completed my first but I want to start a quilt with them next. How fun! That quilt you made would look great hung above a sewing machine in your sewing space.

melanie said...

wow, this is really lovely! This one really inspires me to go start sorting my selvedges!

Sara said...

I've been saving my selvages for a while now (even went back through when I was reorganizing my stash and cut off selvages). Yet, I am afraid to start a project b/c I am not sure I'll have enough to finish it. I love your wall hanging! Thanks for including your 'lessons learned'.
Well done!

Di's Quilting and Craft said...

Beautifully done and thanks for the great hint about the small zig zag stitch. Will try that on my next selvedge project.

jen duncan said...

WOW! I love it. Super work.

Nadia said...

Fabulous! I've got some selvedges that I saved just so I remembered the fabric and colours I'd bought - I might try this when I've accumulated enough!