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.
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.