Sunday, February 14, 2010

Selvage Quilts

QUILTS from the SELVAGE EDGE by Karen Griska

Okay... time has come to share my review from this book and reveal my finished project. My main reason for its inspiration is that is takes something that we used to discard from our fabric (the selvage edges) and with this technique we can create beautiful projects!

I am not sure where I discovered it, but when my mouse clicked onto Karen's selvage blog, I was truly inspired. I ordered the book before Christmas and it arrived about 3-4 weeks later. Then it was time to make the decision on which project I would choose to make...

Book, Selvages

Here is how it unfolded:

First, I paged through the book from back to front, and then read it completely from front to back. Deciding on a project, can sometimes be the hardest part of the process. But, of course, to make any of the quilts in the book, it was recommended to have a one-gallon plastic storage bag full of selvages. This I did not have. So, what do I do... wait until I have enough or just jump in and have some fun.

I'd say, "why wait" for anything fun? Do it now!! Therefore, since I didn't have enough selvages, for a project from the book, this time, it shouldn't stop me from making a selvage quilt. Right?

So, I took out my small ziploc bag of selvages that I had and followed the basics in the book. Oh, such FUN, indeed. Since I did not have many selvages, I decided to see what developed!!  A small quilt project is a great way to experiment and try out a new technique. Here I go...

My inspiration came from the quilt called, "Glass Tumbling Blocks". It has two borders and one is done with selvages. So, this was where I began. I figured I had enough for a border and so I made some long strips and some squares. At that point I didn't know what I'd put in the center or anything else about what I'd make. However, the idea soon came to me and this is why I made the following blocks.

My long block

Block cut into strips

At first glance, the long block with all its messy ends didn't look very interesting. However, it transformed before my eyes, after I trimmed the sides and cut it into the four strips that I wanted. I also had a narrow strip leftover. Then, I also made four small squares, as shown below.

Small squares

Instead of using the selvages in an inner border, as the quilt project showed, I decided to use it for the main border and used the remaining narrow selvage strip for the flower stems. The circles (flower centers) were left over from another project I had made several years back. The polka dot fabric I received from my mother's fabric stash that were bought many, many years ago. The bird and leaves came from the scraps that resulted from the cutout flowers. The small circles, green with blue center (in the background) are from the fabric used in the narrow inner border and quilt outer corners. I used black embroidery stitches to sew on the black lines.

I named the quilt, "Garden's Edge". It was such a fun quilt to create and will enjoy making more selvage blocks, in the future.

Those squares became flowers!

The selvage blocks turned into this design!


My suggestion: If you don't have enough selvages for any of the projects, just try out some of the selvage blocks following the instructions under "The Basics" section. That way you get a feel for how the technique works, make blocks as you can until you have enough blocks to make a complete quilt.

After all, as I figured, once I've completed my 2010 quilt challenge, I will have plenty of selvages to revisit this book and make one then. The selvages that I collected from my fabric scraps drawer were done after I had finished my project. So, my supply is starting to grow!!


Close-up of the flowers

My Selvage Quilt: "Garden's Edge"
(Finished size: 25" x 25")

I have been a fan of "green" living and contributing to creating a more beautiful world for all to live for quite a few years now. For me, it is uplifting to know that I can play a small part in this way by following the 3R's of reduce, reuse and recycle. I believe we can all be responsible and caring citizens of the place we call home.

Now, I realize we all do this in a multiple of ways and when I discovered a new way to use fabric scraps, well, that was just plain fantastic. I do love shopping at fabric and quilt shops but if one already has a whole cabinet full of beautiful fabrics, one should start using them. Anyways, that is my personal goal this year and I am enjoying the process, thus far.

I certainly look forward to creating more selvage quilts. This is my first quilt made from selvages. I did make six mini Christmas stockings in 2009, as I awaited my copy of the book with anticipation. To view the stockings, go to this blog and type into the blog search box, "Christmas stockings" to see those projects.

Next week...
My next book choice and then a reveal the following week. If you wish to see what books are being featured you can also check out my website for more details.

Happy stitching!!


Selvage Quilter said...

Oh Darlee! What a fabulous quilt! Isn't it fun to start a quilt with just a bit of an idea, and then go off into unexpected territory? It's so exciting to see what you come up with, much better than knowing the whole story up front. I just love your quilt.

Flora said...

That is so neat! Wow! I love the details.

Quilt Rat said...

Congrats on a FABULOUS first selvage project. It is such a fun lively piece, awesome!!!!

Kathy said...

I love the flowers!!!! It is a beautiful quilt and thanks for sharing!!

Barb said...

I've been saving up my selvages but haven't done anything with them yet. I have to say, yours is one of the prettiest selvage projects I've ever seen. Was it hard working with the selvage pieces? Are they very thick? I really need to just "jump in" and try it.

Melinda said...

I really like your selvage project. I love working with selvages and enjoy seeing what others have done.

Sharyn said...

Lovely project, great blog theme! thanks for sharing!

Darlee Byron said...

Thanks for all the great comments!! Yes, I love discovering new quilting techniques and creating new designs. And, the best way to learn them is to jump in and give them a try!!

Jennifer said...

I'm a little late posting but I really like that quilt! Very cool :D!

shirley said...

you made a great first selvage quilt. i have made at least a dozen queen size selvage selvage jackets, vests, hats, bags, bathmat, potholder and much more. it is certainly addicting.

Darlee Byron said...

Thanks ladies. I enjoy receiving your comments, and this technique is addicting!