Selvages – Tell a Story

The saying…. every quilt tells a story has been true since the beginning of the needle & thread. The selvage also tells a story. (some say selvage some say selveldge – potatoe or potato or papa if you are in Spain, right Joanna?)

wikipedia defines selvage as: In a woven fabric, the selvage (or selvedge) is the uncut edge of the fabric which is on the right- and left-hand edges as it comes out of the loom. As such it is ‘finished’ and will not fray because the weft threads double back on themselves. The term also refers to the unfinished but structurally sound edges of flat knitted textiles.
Very often fabric near the selvage is not usable as it may have a different weave pattern, or may lack pile or prints that are present on the rest of the fabric requiring that the selvage fabric be cut off or hidden in a hem. Not usable…. if they could only see how selvages are being used.

The selvage is so full of information. It shows how many screens it takes to print that fabric. It tells the order of placement for each screen.
(have you checked out the selvages on some of the chain fabrics?…not very many dots there)

I like to sew a piece of the selvage on the back as I am adding the binding. I then whip stitch it down to the back of the quilt. What does this do? Mainly it just helps me remember what collection was used in the particular quilt. I don’t use this as the label but it does document the quilt for historians down the road.
So imagine how intrigued I was when I discovered Karen Griska’s book, Quilts from the Selvage Edge. Her blog is a must read. I invited her to make a project for the moda bake shop using the scrapbags. Have you heard of the Moda Bake Shop?

A couple of years ago, the theme of the Moda booth for Quilt Market was Selvages! Small world! So I started saving some of the moda selvages. After visiting with Karen, we thought we would both do a giveaway. I have come to grips with the fact that I am never going to make anything from the selvages I have saved. So I am going to give them away here. Just post a comment and talk about it on your blog. I will draw 3 winners Saturday the 14th. Karen is giving away the pillow she made for the bake shop. Go to her blog for details to win the pillow.

Karen said it was okay to include selvages of any width or length, so I did. It seems as if I have been wrapping that ball for days. I think the winner will be pleased. Images may appear larger, so I photographed the “Selvage Ball” alongside some of balls that were laying around my house. (the basketball is a kids size) 2 of the winners will receive their selvages in a gift bag. I don’t think I can get any more balls made. Can’t wait to see all the selvage projects out there.


  1. MAMACRAFTY says:

    I have been saving selvedges for years. Iam so addicted! I would love to win this ball and would jump and down for joy!~! I make humbug bags, wallets, cosmetic cases and I am about to do a tote! So I need more selvedges please.

  2. Jeanne says:

    I’ve been intrigued with the selvedge projects since I first saw the dress made from them. I love the little zipper bags, potholders, postcards and more. The selvedge ball would be very much loved here.

  3. tammiemarie says:

    What a great giveaway! I’ve been thinking about saving them but I don’t go through enough fabric to get anywhere fast. If I win, I promise to create something neat with it! and post about it at my blog.

  4. Cathy says:

    I thought of the selvages as waste until I happened on Karen’t blog. Now I’m tying to come up with something creative to make with them. A package of selvages would help!

  5. Aleisha says:

    I love the way selvages look and I’ve always hating throwing them away. Now I’m glad I found a reason to keep them. I’m in the process of trying to find the perfect project to use them on. I would love to have addition to my growing collection!

    Thank you for being willing to share your selvages and host this giveaway!


  6. Kyra says:

    I have never thought to use the selvage, but WOW, would LOVE to try it out. Everything looks so unique! Will be blogging about this. Thanks for the chance to win!

  7. Shari says:

    I wonder why I didn’t think of this? I throw away my selvages – now I will be asking all my quilting friends to save me theirs. What a wonderful idea to keep them – which means that I can now save every little scrap of fabric.


  8. Sonya says:

    I am a sad case – hooked on selvedge, with never enough to do the grand projects I have in mind. Local craft shops and friends know that I only ever want fabric with the selvedge attached – I am usually greeted with “Yes, yes, you can have the bit with the selvedge on – I’ll cut the other piece off for the shop” (such lovely, understanding people).
    So very generous of you to offer this gift to blogworld – good wishes to you.

  9. Anna~ says:

    I want make check book covers for myself and my sisters. I’m amazed at what I thought looked like garbage someone came up with the idea to use them. I now will be saving my selvedges.

    As the others have expressed…it would be fun to win. Feeling lucky!

  10. WOW…I just started looking at some selvedge projects…and am amazed! Now I am collecting selvedges…I have 1 in a shoebox so far !!! LOL…sure would like to give that lonely selvedge some company ! Anita in Florida

  11. Quiltsmiles says:

    LOve the idea of using selvages., An dto think I had been using them for garden tie ups for years…..I wonder how many quilty things I could have made? OPh well, better late than never! Please count me in the giveaway. A selvage ball could be so much fun to play with.

  12. Alia says:

    OMG!! I just found this! I’m so glad that I am not late! I am sick with the amount of selvedges that I have thrown out in the past! Man! I have kept my little bits and pieces for years and years….Well, it is not too late to start now! I found you because I want to know how to cut the selvedge off in the first place! I have never heard of it before. I live in the Middle East and it is hard to find fabrics here but we are getting more than 14 years ago when I arrived and it seems we get the ‘reject’ pile from America! It’s all good. We have a dynamic group of quilters here from all over the world and I can’t wait to make a selvedge something to show at our monthly meeting! The thing is, I DON’T have any!!! Yet!!?? heehee…

    Go to my fairly new blog at: and leave me a note!

    PS. I was in a quilting funk for about a year and have finally gotten out of it since Lynne Edwards came and taught some classes! Am new to the blogging quilters world too. I’m loving mi vida!!

  13. There once was a youngish quilter mummy who had a lovely pile of selvedges happening…she would delight in fondling them and imagining what project she could create with them…UNTIL
    husband THOUGHT he was helping by “throwing out all those sewing scraps sitting in the basket” in the sewing room/study…
    hence followed ranting and raving by the mummy quilter…threatening said husband with rotary cutter if he laid hands on ANYTHING that looked like fabric/ sewing paraphanelia ever again.!
    So.. mummy quilter would love to replenish the empty basket with your yummy selvedges….
    ( PS. Husband can now identify a selvedge from a mile away…he won’t dare do that again ! )

  14. Carol Sc says:

    I don’t have a blog either — but, I do keep the selvages on my fabric, to help me identify it, in case I need to find/buy more. I also give the selvages to a quilting friend — she has a selvage quilt “in the works” — or, so she tells me.

  15. shelley says:

    I’m getting my name in the “hat” at the last minute, but oh what a great prize if my name is chosen!Mmmm, whatever will I make? So many great ideas are popping up everywhere!

  16. Rachel says:

    I hope it’s not to late to enter. I have been collecting selvedges as well (very, very small collection so far). I love to just look at them.

  17. disa says:

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