Thursday, April 3, 2014

Get Creative With Selvages

Only have a few selvages? No reason to wait till you have a whole basket full to have some fun. Get started with something small like this little name tag.
This was actually an old name tag that I repurposed with selvages. I just top stiched some selvages in a chevron pattern onto the muslin base and used selvage to bind it. Use any sweet pin you might have in your jewelry box to fasten it on.
 A potholder or rug mug is a great way to get started sewing with your saved selvages.
To make this one, I began with a 4 inch red square centered on top of an 8 inch muslin square. Lay this on top of a piece of Insul-bright or quilt batting. Begin stitching down selvages on either side of the middle square, simply stitching on the bound edge and then laying the next selvage over the raw edge of the one above it. When you get the first two sides finished, rotate and do the same thing on the other two sides, which will take longer selvage strips. Since you are stitching through all of the layers, it will be quilted as you go. 
 If your selvage strips are at least 1.5 inches wide, you can also use them for the binding just as you would bind any quilt. Here's the back of my pot holder. You can see the colorful fabric as the binding. I also did a little extra quilting to hold my backing onto the pieced front before I bound it. (Add as many layers of batting as you want to pad the holder.)
 On the front, you can see that I machine stitched the selvage binding down, folding under the corners.
 Making a pin cushion is another simple selvage project that only takes a few selvages. This one was made for me by my blogging friend, Cindy of Live a Colorful Life. She pieced together selvages to create a one of a kind personal touch just for me. Isn't it wonderful! As you can see, she used piping around the edges much like you would to make a pillow.
 The sky is the limit on quilt block patterns that can be used with selvages. Just create "fabric" with the selvages and then piece your new cloth into a a quilt or smaller project like this pillow top. Here is a tutorial for making this particular X-block pillow, if you are interested.
 Create fabric with your selvages to make any zipper bag or purse. Here's one that I made using a free make-up bag tutorial by Noodlehead.
I made the back of the bag with a solid piece of fabric, but it could be made of selvages also.
Zipper bags are wonderful for storing and carrying just about anything. You can't have too many!
You will have to collect quite a few selvages to make a quilt, of course. But, once your friends start hearing that you are using selvages, they will start gifting them, I'm sure! You can find the tutorial for my selvage quilt here.Yes, I'm still working on it. (Some of you know that my hubby thought that my selvages were trash and threw them all away, so I had to start going through my stash and cutting off more! I finally can laugh about it now!)
 I'd love to make a spiderweb quilt using selvages for the strips. I better finish this one first, I guess...but just imagine the strips as selvage and you get the idea of what it would look like!
 Friday I will finish up my week of selvage posts with a super easy no-sew project along with some other very quick to sew ideas.
Have I tempted you to start collecting yet? Be careful, you might even start buying fabric just because you like it's selvage!

P.S. I'm linking up with Live A Colorful Life for Really Random Thursday. Check it out!


  1. Your spiderweb quilt is looking fabulous!

  2. Great inspiration! I've been collecting selvedges since I began quilting but haven't decided what to do with them yet! By the time I do I might have enough for a whole quilt!

  3. I can't tell you how much fabric I have brought strictly because of the selvage! And yes, you are right--when quilters find out you collect, they start donating. What great projects you have here! One of these days, I will actually make a complete quilt.

  4. I love sewing with selvages. I have a quilt I need to hand quilt that has some selvage blocks in it.
    Of course I have a big zip lock bag stuffed full of more to sew too!
    Sew on ~ ~ ~

  5. Loved all the ideas for using selvages. And the pictures were wonderful. Now I'm feeling itchy to make something myself!!

  6. You have such fabulous suggestions for using selvages, and I particularly like the first of the two quilts you have going. That black zig-zaggy print is the perfect design to give dramatic zing to the selvages. But really, all these things - name tag, pillow, pouches - are just great. Glad you had more fabric in your stash so you could cut more selvages.

  7. There was a lot of good inspiration in that post! The little pincushion with your name on was very sweet.

  8. So many cute things, I'm sure you gave lots of selvage collectors some great ideas.

  9. Your selvage projects are glorious! Time to break out my collection, thanks so much for your inspiration.

  10. ohhh . . . I love how the spiderweb is coming along. I taught the block last week at our guild meeting. I'm so glad you gave all these good suggestions for selvages. Maybe I'll make myself a name tag.

  11. I need to dig into my pile and before my husband follows your husband's lead! Ha! But thanks for the great ideas!

  12. I love all of these! That cushion cover is dreamy.

  13. I have been collecting, but I obviously have a way to go yet before I match your collection.
    How did your friend manage to personalise the pincushion with your name (and mine)? So cute and so clever.