This week I've made a lap top case using selvedges and I thought I'd share with you how I create selvedge fabric.
When I buy a piece of fabric I remove the selvedges along both edges by folding the fabric in the correct direction to cut them off as full length strips. I cut the selvedges at 7/8" but it's up to you how wide you cut them you may want to cut them wider and see more of the original fabric design. I line the selvedge edge up with a 1" line on the cutting mat and then 1/8" line of my ruler on the next 1" line - lining the ruler over the larger amount of fabric helps hold the fabric in place so it doesn't move while I'm cutting though you do risk making a wrong cut into your selvedge.
To make selvedge fabric first I take a piece of batting or backing fabric - whatever suits the outcome of your project best - and cut it at least an inch wider and longer than the finished size of selvedge fabric that I need.
Next I spray it all over with basting spray such as 505 (temporary/repositionable) fabric spray adhesive - using a repositionable adhesive means you can change the strips around until you're happy with the look.
Now comes the fun part - lay your selvedges row by row onto the now sticky backing fabric. Start at the bottom edge of the 'fabric' placing the frayed/finished edge bottom-most. Overlay the next selvedge over the cut raw edge - slightly overlapping it. You may want to vary the amount you overlap the selvedges by so you can see more/less of the colour/design/text. You can use more than one selvedge along a particular row - using up shorter lengths of selvedge - just lay them side by side and leave the side edges raw, any fraying will be minimal and adds to the look of the finished fabric (as in the top row being placed in the photo above)
Once the backing batting/fabric is completely covered with selvedges you are ready to sew the selvedges in place. (If you are creating a Quilt As You Go (QAYG) block then at this stage you can spray baste your backing fabric to the made fabric.) The spray baste should hold the selvedge strips firmly in place while you complete this stage.
I sew/quilt over the length of the selvedges using my 1/4" foot as a width guide. I choose one very straight edged selvedge as a marker for my first row of stitches and then use this as a loose guide for my next rows 1/4" apart - I'm not looking for a perfect straight line finish here. Placing the stitch lines so close together firmly fastens down all the selvedge edges and creates the fabric.
There's other methods of attaching selvedges that leave the finished edge of each selvedge strip loose from the background fabric but this I like that my method ensures each strip is well attached and often I use a contrasting thread so the stitching becomes part of the finished design also.
Here's a finished QAYG selvedge block that I made last year as part of my Something NEW Sampler Quilt.
This block contains selvedges from all the fabrics used in making the quilt.
This is how the back of the fabric will look - in this case your seeing the backing fabric of the QAYG block but if you've just used a backing fabric or batting then you'll see that instead.
Once you've finished your 'made' selvedge fabric then you can trim the edges/cut the fabric to size and use in your chosen project. And that's all there is to makeing selvedge fabric!!!
This time I used it to make a laptop case
Crazy about that Kaffe Fassett blue Millefiore lining
I love selvedge fabric - it's so individual and scrappy looking, there's always something to look at and read!
I've wondered about crocheting/knitting with my selvedges too - have you tried it? I've crocheted/knitted with lots of materials in the past - one of my favourites is plastic carrier bags - great for making waterproof garden table place/drink mats and chair covers but that's a whole other post!
Do you save your selvedges? If you do then share what you've made and if you've used a different method to make selvedge fabric tell us about that too.