Saving the Selvages

When I was little, my Mother gave each one of the three Johnson daughters a special word which would help us with a character flaw. My special word was “patience,” a word meant to teach me that I couldn’t always have things as fast as I wanted, when I wanted. (Hum. I believe in previous blogs I’ve mused that some things never change. Well, here we go again. I still fight with wanting things to happen fast and wanting immediate results.)

Now, why am I talking about patience?  Because in my quilt-world-business, I see women who have enormous amounts of patience. Buckets  full, boatloads full, oceans of patience. Patience coupled with persistence.  Women who can work for decades on a single, breathtaking quilt. Women who can spend night after night, year after year,  hand-stitching beautiful quilted designs. Women who can sew the tiniest scraps together to make an incredible piece of art. Women who have more patience than I could ever hope to have.

Not long ago, a customer in the retreat had a gorgeous selvage project she was working on, and the vision of that was still hanging around in my head. So recently, I cut the selvage off a piece of fabric and dangled it in front of me considering, “Do I have the patience to save these tiny strips of fabric and make a bigger project?”

In years past, I would have undoubtedly screamed “NO!,” but maybe maturity is making me more patient hold because I  held on to that tiny string of fabric with the thought that maybe -just maybe – I would do a selvage project some day. (Seems strange considering that I have plenty of bigger pieces of fabric, but the world is a wacky place sometimes……)

  • I could save that selvage for future color combos, either in sewing or home decorating applications.
  •  I could applique assorted selvage strips in varying lengths on a quilt top, creating an art quilt exploding with a wild geometry of shooting lines and tilting planes .
  • I could sew them all together for possible future projects as in the pictures included here.

I’m not sure what I’ll do with my single selvage, whether I’ll add to the collection or just give up the fantasy that I would ever have the patience to put so many tiny strips together, but if you’re one of the lucky people who simply need inspiration and not patience, take a look at these cool projects!


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