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. Cindy says:

    I came across your blog from Quilter’s Blog and when I saw the title, Selvages, I had to immediately jump on over to read. I am a newbie to Karen’s wonderful world of selvages. This is TOO coincidental, Karen just recently gave me permission to use her name on my blog. So now, with your blog and Karen’s I feel honored to have a chance to win some selvages.

    I would like thank Karen for taking the time out of her busy schedule to email me back.

  2. Tara says:

    I’ve only been quilting for about 3 weeks, but have already started saving my selvages. It will take me a year to have enough to make anything, unless I win!

  3. Selina says:

    I would love to win this! Have wanted to make something with selvedge for a while, but usually only use vintage fabrics which never seem to have selvedge!

  4. jan says:

    What a wonderful way to present the Selvedges, I would absolutely love to win one of these, I have been collecting them for ever and day, my daughter too collects them as and when she cuts her fabrics. This is superb though, I cannot begin to imagine how many are wrapped around that ball. Please enter me and I am now off to place this on my Blog as per the rules. Thankyou for doing this. Janet in UK

  5. Michelle says:

    I love the concept on no waste and using the selvedges is such a great idea. Camille Roskelly’s mother made her the cutest, framed little picture with the selvedges from their fabric line and I thought it was soooo cute. I just love creative people.

  6. Diane says:

    What a great way to spread the Selvage story. I’ve just recently started cutting selvages from my fabric and looking forward to experimenting.

  7. Kiera-Oona says:

    At first, I was initially going to make crochet’d rugs out of the various selvedges that I have already collected. The alternate was just to hold onto them to see if I can find more of my favorite fabrics when they come around again, seeing as how a good portion of them are specialty fabrics, like glow in the dark, or seasonal. After seeing the Selvedge Blog, Im getting all sorts of other ideas to make quilts to remember what I made with the fabrics the first time, and use them as a sort of cart along to quilt stores to see if i can still find my fave fabrics.

  8. Sherri says:

    I love selvedges and have been collecting them for nearly 6 months…how I wish I would have started earlier! I just posted about your fun giveaway on my blog…please count me in!

  9. MJinMichigan says:

    I would love to win your selvages but I don’t have a blog. If this doesn’t disqualify me, plese put my name in the drawing. It would be wonderful to have so many selvages to add to my small collection.

  10. Shari says:

    Selvages are all the rage now, huh? Well, I have been using them in my crazy quilting for years. I would love to get my hands on that ball, lol. Please enter me in your give away and then draw my name as a winner. I will post this on my blog.

  11. Judi says:

    So, I guess when you accidentally have the selvage edge in a block it’s okay? That’s happened to me a couple of times. I love the selvage idea. Thanks for the giveaway.

  12. Heather says:

    Wow, what a lovely gesture. Thank you for offering some of your stash to a few lucky winners. I have just begun collecting my selvages, but I do plan to make a throw quilt with them. Thanks for considering my entry as well!

  13. ~D Spack~ says:

    My daughter is feverishly collecting selvages, I give ALL of mine to her, and yes I’d love to win yours, I might even share them with her. I’ve made bookmarks with selvages. Fun! Thanks. Here’s hoping to win from Idaho!

  14. Sharon says:

    I would love to win that beautiful ball of selvedges! I moved 2 years ago and I think I threw out all the ones I had collected. 🙁 I’m saving again, but it’s slow going. Please enter me in the drawing. I’ve got my fingers and my toes crossed in hopes that I win!

  15. Sanpelaio says:

    It would be fantastica to win one of these. Here in Spain….. bufff very difficult to find fabrics like yours to make a selvages ball…..
    Thank you for the gifts.

  16. pattynubs says:

    Years ago I made a quilt with authentic African fabrics and some of them had the coolest printing in the salvages, so I did find a way to let them show. Maybe I was on to something and didn’t know it. I don;t have a blog, but I learn so much from reading many of them. I am going to start saving more of my selvages. Oh, no! One more thing on my to do list!

  17. Not only the selvages but the lovely things that wrap the jelly rolls and other moda fabrics, I save those as well. I don’t have enough to use yet, but I’m slowly building a stash which my husband is starting to question.

    Barbara (Canada)

  18. SandyQuilts says:

    Oh selvages …. I love all the projects. Just last night I saw a whole chair uphosltered in selvages …. what a site to see. I want to make a zinger quilt and tote. More importantly I work with my GC to sew … using selvages will teach them to never throw anything away … we can make something together. Thanks. Throw me into the pot, please.

  19. Anya says:

    I’m currently in the middle of my selvage obsession. I’ve made several projects and have more in mind, so I could always use more selvages! Thanks for the chance.

  20. jenny says:

    I’ve loved looking at other peoples creations made from selvages and they look great wrapped up in that ball! It would be pretty hard to unravel it but I think I could manage! I’m off to blog about it now 🙂

  21. Christine says:

    Your blog is great – I’m glad I found it!

    I’ve JUST started my selvage collection and I’d love to add more so quickly!

    owenjulesmommy at gmail dot com

  22. tisme says:

    I am going to post about this on my blog!! I would love to win those and turn them into something great. So please include me in your contest.Tammy