Friday, 14 October 2011

Selvedge tutorial

I have been having fun with selvedges recently!  After having amassed quite a collection of them and for not knowing what to make out of them, I had a little play...


First I made some half diamond shapes - they look like Christmas trees - this may well turn into a seasonal project... I also wanted to experiment with circles, which I love! 
I used the Accucut Go circle die which the postman delivered today - yay!
Here's the result - cool or what?
And to think I kept the Accucut go stored away for over a year after having used it for just one project.  It will have to work harder now!


Here's a simple tutorial for these projects.
Material requirements:
An assortment of selvedges 18” x 1”
(I cut my selvedges to 1" wide, so they don't have to be trimmed later)
Quilters muslin (quilters calico in the UK)  approx. 20”x 6”
Fusible webbing (I use Bondaweb) 20”x 6”
Background fabric for project
Quilting thread 
Cut a 20" x 6” piece from the quilter’s calico.

Choose pleasing selvedge designs/colours - as with anything, coordinated and/or complimentary colours work best.
Trim the selvedges to 1” wide and 18” long.  I use a lot of fat quarters, hence there are loads of 18” long selvedges in my stash. This seems to be a good length to work with - the longer the strip, the wonkier the stitching becomes!
Starting from the bottom edge, pin the first strip to the calico and then pin the second strip above it by overlapping the first strip by 1/4" – in most cases this should show a little strip of colour as well.


Start stitching the second (the first one gets attached at the same time) selvedge onto the calico.
Stitch very close to the edge in a nice straight line.  
Press the selvedges down every now and then.


Auqa love...stop when the piece is 6” wide.
Trim any loose calico pieces off the back – simply just cut them off.

Press the fusible webbing onto the back of the block.
Once the piece has cooled down, remove the paper.  
The piece is now ready to be cut to whatever shapes you want to work with.


For Christmas trees, trim off a piece at the end on a 45 degree angle and keep on alternating the direction and cutting on a 45 degree angle as many pieces as you can.  The end pieces can be trimmed off to smaller trees as well, so wastage is minimal.


Arrange the shapes in a pleasing order on the background fabric.
Fuse in place and stitch once or twice neatly around the shapes to secure them in place.
Alternatively quilt as desired.
You might have noticed that there is a gap (like a tunnel) in between the calico and the selvedges - this section of the selvedges won't be fused in place, but they will only be secured in place by the stitching.
With time some fraying will occur on the edges, but that just adds to the character.

However, if you are not so keen on the frayed look, then forget the calico and stitch the selvedges together without it.  
Press fusible webbing to the back of the selvedge strips block. 
Cut the required shapes.
Lay out in a pleasing order on your background fabric and press in place - this will secure the selvedges straight onto the background fabric.
Stitch around the edges or add a piece of wadding and quilt as desired.
Enjoy your selvedge projects!