Thursday, August 22, 2013


I love selvages!!! Just ask my friends and they’ll tell you that I pester them constantly to save them for me. In case some of you do not know what selvages are exactly, let me explain…

The selvage is found along the two long woven edges of the fabric. The selvage is thicker than the fabric because it is folded over itself to prevent raveling during the manufacturing and printing process of making the fabric. Some, but not all, selvages have printing on them (that’s the part I like). This printing can include the manufacturer’s name, their Web site address, maybe the name of the artist who designed the fabric, a copyright symbol, etc. The color dots represent the dye colors used in the fabric during the printing process. You could take the selvage with you to the fabric store to match colors using the dots.

One of the best resources that I’ve found is a book written by Karen Griska called Quilts from the Selvage Edge published by the American Quilt Society, Paducah, Kentucky. The book is very informative, user friendly, and Karen gives examples of some beautiful selvage quilts.

My first attempt at using selvages in a quilt resulted in this wall hanging . . .

I decided to add fabric pinwheels and buttons to embellish it.  The grandchildren love it and so do I.

I also made a throw pillow . . .

Quick, easy, and cute!!

Next is a pincushion and you know we girls need our pincushions...

With the tiny binding along the edges, it turned out quite cute and really functional.

I began making fabric bowls (I also LOVE Peltex) and decided to try one using some of my selvages.  Here is how it turned out . . .

I also enjoy making little purses and decided that one needed to be made using selvages.  It is one of my favorites...

Love it!  I guess you can tell we are DAWG fans and really "bleed red and black".

I've also made hot pads, potholders, boxes, post cards, etc.  Anything I could think of that would highlight these jewels of the fabric.

Selvages are fun to use and upcycling is a way to use them up.  I like to look at them and recall some of the other quilts and projects I made with the fabric it came from. 

Try using some of your selvages in these projects, the ones in Karen's book, or just use your imagination and you will be pleased with the outcome.

But always in whatever you do just relax, enjoy the process, and have

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

ABCs – Fun with Dakota

As you probably know, I have a 6 month old Great Granddaughter whose name is Dakota.  She is simply beautiful (you know I am not the least bit prejudiced) and sweet!!  Now that she is beginning to sit up, I thought she would have a good time playing with ABCs made out of fabric ofcourse.

This was a really simple and quick project with supplies that you probably have on hand in your studios.

You will need scrap piece of batting, scraps of fabric, thread to match, scissors, fine point permanent black Sharpie® and letter stencils (I found 6” plastic stencils at Hobby Lobby).

First, trace your letters onto the front side of your fabric...I used black as I planned on using black thread to sew around each letter.  Then make your quilt sandwich:  Back fabric right side down, batting, and front right side up.  Take to your sewing machine and sew with a smaller stitch width than normal (my default is 2.5 and I set the machine at 2.0) onto your traced markings.  Cut out close to the stitching making sure you do not cut into your stitching.  When you have finished all your letters, place them in a pillowcase or lingerie bag and wash.  This is why you should have them in a bag …

I washed mine on low level setting for water, heavy wash, and added some towels using my regular detergent and softener.  When washed, just throw the bag in the dryer.

Now the tedious part:   When dried you will have to trim each letter of the strings (this takes a little while) and then press (I use steam) them flat.  If you do not want the frayed look, you can trim around each letter with pinking shears which would give a neater look.

You are DONE!  Well, you might want to make a bag to keep them in.  I think I will do that for my next blog entry.

Did you notice that there was ALABAMA and FLORIDA fabrics???  Being from Georgia it was awfully hard to sew these fabrics in my house, but my grandson LOVES Alabama and his wife is from Florida so I had to do these fabrics for them.  I did, however, use GEORGIA fabric for the G and purposely did it upside down since I new that the poor little thing was going crazy being bagged up with Elephants and Gators.  And also because my grandson starting calling me Gingaw when he was a baby and it stuck.

While I was sewing, I thought that Dakota might enjoy a little quilt to place I SPY with when you gets a little older.  For the time being, she can just use it to snuggle with.  This quilt was simple and quick also.

I pulled out my fabric drawers and gathered up some fabrics that I thought would be interesting.  I then cut them into 3½” squares and sewed them together making 12 squares per row and 15 rows.  This quilt measures 30” wide by 38” long.  Of course size it the way you like by adding more squares to make it larger and by removing some to make it smaller.  I wanted to make it happy so I added red and white polka dot backing and binding.   I love piecing squares and especially using up my stash.
Not sure if you can see Elvis, but I wanted Dakota to know who the KING of Rock 'n Roll is and will always be!
I think the red makes it a HAPPY little quilt!

The most important thing that I do is have FUN!!  I hope you will have some fun, too!

“Life gives you a chance to love, to work,

to play, and to look up at the stars.”

--Henry Van Dyke