Selvage Obsession + Giveaway

One of the most innovative ideas out there right now has quilters creating with selvages. You read that correctly—people are cutting the printed selvages from their fabrics, saving them up and putting them into all kinds of sewing projects.

My first intro to the idea was from Karen Griska’s book entitled Quilts From the Selvage Edge. It’s full of fabulous projects made with selvages. Karen’s blog is wonderfully inspirational, with readers contributing photos of their own selvage sewing. (By the way, look for a fabulous quilt from Karen in an issue next year.)

There’s a bag pattern by Amy Butler that I love, I’ve probably made it at least a dozen times.

selvagebag Selvage Obsession + Giveaway

I recently made a selvage version for my daughter Holly for her birthday. (By the way, Holly is a writer with a great blog.)

Earlier this year, Karen made a color option for our “green” Jan/Feb issue, which was four blocks from a quilt by Mark Lipinski of Quilter’s Home fame. 

karens Selvage Obsession + Giveaway

I’d like to give this piece (the four blocks shown) and a copy of Karen’s book Quilts From the Selvage Edge to a reader who submits a comment about how she has used selvages in a project. We’ll draw for a winner on Wednesday, July 1 and post the results at that time.

About Diane Harris

I'm an editor for Quiltmaker magazine in Golden, Colorado, USA. For six years, I wrote pattern instructions, product reviews and how-to articles. Then I spent four years as QM's Interactive Editor, working to generate much of our online content. Now I'm back to patterns and how-tos, which is a great fit for me. I still love writing about quilt-related topics for Quilty Pleasures, and I always have my finger on the pulse of the quilting world. I teach a variety of quilt classes and give guild programs, too. Reach me by email:
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92 Responses to Selvage Obsession + Giveaway

  1. I like the helpful info you provide in your posts. I will bookmark your blog and check again here often. I’m quite sure I’ll learn many new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

  2. Diane Smith says:

    I have only used the selvage when I did have quite enough to finish a project and then only used it in the seam area. BUT after seeing this bag, I don’t think I’ll ever throw away a selvage again!!

  3. Judy Douglas says:

    I absolutely LOVE your bag!!! And, I LOVE your ideas!!!! Have been collecting selvages for several years now. Have been waiting for a book of how to use them!!! It has finally arrived!!! Can’t wait to use Karen’s book when I win it!!! Or, buy it which ever the case may be!!!!

  4. Sheri says:

    At present, I am using “used up” dryer sheets as my foundation and covering them with selvages. My plans for these are not yet finalized….I may make a strippy quilt with them, or use the dryer strips as a border around a quilt.

  5. Judy says:

    I know a guild member who made a selvage bag. It’s darlin’! I’ve been saving selvages for about a year and have not decided what project to use them with…maybe the book could help me decide!

  6. Mary Jean says:


    I am quite obsessed with he selvage edge projects. My most recent creation is a birthday hat which I made to enter my local quilt shop’s challenge to celebrate their 10th birthday! It turned out very cute!! Will attempt to post a picture when it is returned after the quilt shop tour!!

    Thanks to all for inspirational ideas!
    Mary Jean

  7. Crystelle says:

    Hi there, Diane,

    I love this purse so much, I had to post it on my blog.

    Hope that’s OK with you!

    You can view it right here.
    Have a great sewing weekend!

  8. jean person says:

    I have just become intrigued with selvage projects . I am in the process of collecting selvages and just beginning to make some blocks. I love the love of including the bright fabrics with the selvage fabrics. I have lots of ideas but no project completed yet. I hope it will be worthy when completed. Jean

  9. Pingback: I’m in a Magazine! « Cpgdesigns’s Blog

  10. Kerry says:

    I have made one thing so far with selvages – a potholder. I would love to win these blocks and the book.

  11. Lynne in NY says:

    I made a purse with an interior pocket for a cell phone. When I use the same fabric for the pocket as used for the rest of the lining, it can be difficult to quickly see where to insert the phone. I used a selvage as if it was piping on the edge to demarcate where to slip in my cell phone.

  12. Kathleen says:

    I began collecting selvages off and on with no purpose in mind–until I found the wonderfully fun selvage blog. Just recently I made a selvage Cat Mat based on Gail Mitchell’s great design; my cat loves it and so do I because I tried a new technique and learned by doing.
    I would so enjoy winning the selvage block and book (I haven’t had a new book in a very long time…). They would “feed” my enthusiasm for this new-to-me technique and get me going the right way. Thanks very much, Kathleen

  13. Mary on Lake Pulaski says:

    I’ve been collecting selvages for quilt some time, but so far my creations are limited to pot holders. I would expand that with Karen’s great book and some starter blocks!

  14. Ellen says:

    Collecting the selvedges has been something that I’ve been doing for a while……only thing is that I’ve been doing it to gather ties for tying up our tomato plants. BUT NO MORE. ;-)
    What a great, simple, innovative way to use these puppies. Pick me, pick me!

  15. Gailm says:

    Pick me, pick me. I’d love to win. I love using selvages. My cat mat is featured on Karen’s sidebar….

  16. Norma in Baton Rouge says:

    I have several plastic bags full of selvages collected from friends. My goal is to complete a few Christmas gifts for them; there are so many ideas out there right now. My friends save the selvages, but kid me that I’ll never use them. I’m going to show them!

  17. J says:

    I save all the selvedges from cutting at my shop for those obsessed with them. I’m feeling the urge to jump right in and make something myself!!

  18. Liz Boswell says:

    wonderful giveaway! I have a tiny tiny stash of selvages that I have been collecting ever since I found the selvage blog. wouldnt mind adding the book to it *grin* I have made some key fobs and started on a coin purse with my selvages. I hope to post pics soon on my blog. (mauh) Liz

  19. Pat Philbrick says:

    Just read about using selvage edges. Cool idea! I am thinking about using it as part of our quilt challenge for the coming year. I know our creative group of quilters will have some great projects.

  20. Arleen says:

    I have used selvages to make “collage” type wall pictures for my grandchildren in their special interests – soccer, zoo animals, space.
    You have some terrific ideas!!!!! Great job.

  21. Etty Robinson says:

    I’m a late starter and I’ve only just begun to save my selvages. I’ve been looking at the blog and I’m inspired to make something too. Quilting is the best world to be in. Thank you for sharin,g as all quilters do.
    Etty, from Betar Illit, Israel

  22. Karen CA says:

    I have never done anything with selvedges, but I keep running across different things that I might have to try making a project with one, maybe starting with a pincushion or something … Karen CA

  23. Susan M. says:

    I’ve thought about using selvages in projects. I’ve even tried to con my local quilt stores into giving/selling me some selvages. What I really need is a good book that would give me some inspiration to stop just thinking about it and starting sewing! Know of any good books on the subject? :) ~

  24. Nadine says:

    Oh wow! What an exciting block you created! I love selvedges, and have quite the stash now…it’s hard to part with them, but when I do, it’s for something really exciting. I’ve made a selvedge pincushion, various little bags and ornaments, and I’m getting ready to enter a 12×12 block in our county fair using 3 fat quarters (must use their fat quarters), but two of them had the selvedge attached, and I am using those as part of the block! Wonder if anyone else in our little county will think of that?

  25. Kim says:

    I’ve used the words on the selvedges in little fabric books that I make for my granddaughter….but now I’ll have to save up a bunch to make that great looking bag!
    Nice job!
    Happy Sewing

  26. Karen C says:

    Selvedges, once used always hooked !!! I love seeing what you’ve done with them. The bag has turned out fantastically, wish i was your daughter!!!

  27. Lois says:

    All these selvedge projects are great. I haven’t made anything, since I already have a list of projects to do and to finish a mile long. I’m saving all my selveges for a friend who was saving them before we found the cool selvedge blogs. I’ve even saved some for her from decorator fabric. Some of the color blocks are even triangles on the decorator fabrics. It’s great to make something out of nothing!

  28. Cynde Clark says:

    I love your bag, so amazing. Karen’s sight got me hooked along with an Etsy seller, withhugsnstitches. She has the most amazing while in selvages. I just covered a vanity chair cushion for my sewing studio, and I love it. Save Save Save so I can make something else

  29. Susan Fiore says:

    Karen’s site has me hooked! Now I have all my quilting friends saving selvedges for me, and nary a week passes without a manila envelope full arriving in the mail. I’m making a crocheted rug for the kitchen, pin cushions (as thank-you’s to the people who’ve given me selvedges) and fabric postcards.

  30. Christina says:

    I am collecting selvedges to make a selvedge quilt. It was going to be for my baby (who is now 6 months old), but by the time I have enough selvedges, it might be for the next baby!

  31. Doreen says:

    I only have a tiny amount saved. When I get a few more of different kinds, I would like to make one of those little chicken pin cushions.

  32. Akiko says:

    I love the bag you made, it’s so beautiful.
    Karen and her blog gives me a lot of inspiration and keep me going!!

  33. Margie says:

    I thought I left you a message this morning, but guess not. Am just starting to save the selvages. Made a tote bag with a small section done with selvages. Have another idea but it will take a lot of them so will need to wait for a while. I love that bag!!!

  34. Jeanne says:

    I’m still in the saving stage with my selvages, but I hope to use them in a tote bag and little zipper bag.

  35. Bonnita says:

    That bag is really cool! I would love to win the book!

  36. liz says:

    I am also in the collecting phase, but it’s getting closer to the critical mass. I haven’t selected my first project yet since I keep finding great new ideas every day! I am leaning towards a purse or a vest.

  37. Valerie says:

    Have been collecting selvages for some time. i first started using them to make mitred patchwork cards and recently have made some pincushions

  38. Annemiek says:

    I recently “found” Karen and the selvages. Up till now I only made a pincushion, but I’m cutting off every selvage now, to built a collection! Btw: the bag is awesome!!

  39. lindas says:

    What a cool block!! i’d love to win it — it would be the start of that selvege piece I’ve been meaning to make. LOL

    :) Linda

  40. Angela Neff says:

    So far I have collected selvages and have been drooling over other’s creations. I plan to making flying geese with them as I think that is the coolest, though that purse rocks too!

  41. Katy says:

    Such a great little bag! I just started collecting selvages and would love to make a quilt someday with them! Thanks for doing this gieaway!

  42. Laura B says:

    I’m fascinated with selvages and color windows! I’m still collecting them and hope to have enough to make a colorful Summer vest soon. :-)

  43. I love selvages! I collect them, and beg them from my friends. I haven’t had the heart to break up my collection yet, but this purse looks awesome! I especially like the selvedges you showed that used animals instead of the circles!!! Great idea for other mfrs. to use. I would LOVE winning this book!

  44. lktrahan says:

    I work in a Wal- Mart that still has a fabric department I will look at salvages in a new light! (Cooper City Florida)

  45. Mary in Montreal says:

    I suffer from Selvager Mania. Have made several items but my greatest one yet is a herringbone lap quilt, made special to drape over an antique rocker that belonged to my husbands grandmother.

  46. Patty says:

    I have just begun saving the salvages and when I get enough I want to make a purse. I love the one pictured.

  47. b timm says:

    have been collecting, so far most of my friends think I’m odd , which means I have got a lot of donations! I read the selvage blog daily

  48. Beverly says:

    I don’t have a Blog, but I read some quilt Blogs every day and I always go to Karen’s first. I cut off all the selvages from my Christmas related yardage and fat quarters and have made 4 blocks using green and Christmas red fabric as background with selvage corners. Hope to end up with a small Christmas quilt in the future.

  49. I just love selvages. On my blogs I posted about my steno notebook cover I made using selvages. It’s time for another selvage project.

  50. Rachel says:

    Oooohhh, I made some really cute little birds for my mom with selvages. She really liked them. I have a whole collection of more to do something with.

  51. Danielle says:

    I have been saving my selvages, and I am waiting for the right project. Would love the book as inspiration! Thanks for the giveaway.

  52. Terri says:

    I’m still in the process of collecting selvages which seems pretty strange considering all the fabrics I have in my stash. I just can’t force myself to cut them off until I’m actually using each fabric. :) Anyway, I’m saving up for enough to make a good-sized tote bag to use in the summer to carry all my “stuff” from place to place.

  53. Ruth B says:

    I love selvage quilting and I bought a Moda scrap bag which has gorgeous selvages by April Cornell. I am going to make the selvage pillow that was featured at the Moda Bake Shop. I love the idea of making a bag with selvages too. That is cute! I have never seen the selvage book anywhere but I would be thrilled to win it and get more selvage ideas and projects!

  54. Laura says:

    I haven’t made anything with selvages yet–I’ve just collected them for a friend who has used them. I’d like to make small projects like cosmetic bags or pencil cases or potholders to start.

  55. Jean says:

    I love Karen’s generous use of her blog to show off the selvage projects. I was inspired by that to start saving them and have made a bag so far. I am still collecting and planning a new project to use them.

  56. Jan says:

    Very intriguing! Talk about eco-friendly. Love the projects – all sorts of things pop into my mind. Now to start saving selvages.

  57. kwiltmakr says:

    I love the bag you made and I check Karens blog all the time. I am saving my selvages to make something.

  58. Pat says:

    What a wonderful give away! I have just started saving selvages but haven’t made anything yet! Karens’ book would be great as an inspiration :)

  59. Brenda says:

    Hi: I follow Karen’s blog and I’ve been inspired to save selvages too! I’ve made several tea cozies, a cosmetic bag, and some basket blocks which were incorporated into a fundraising quilt. thanks for the chance to win.

  60. Deb C says:

    I never thought to use my selvedges until I came across Karen’s blog. Now I am sure not to waste them. I would love to make the Amy Butler bag with them. Thanks, Karen, for pointing me over to enter for this giveaway.

  61. Jocelyn says:

    I recently made a little selvage dress for a doll form I found. And a selvage sleeve for my new phone. You can see them on my blog ( the post I wrote June 17th. Please stop by and take a look :-) It was really fun! Thanks for the giveaway. The book would be awesome to feed the creative juices.

  62. Joy Vale says:

    Just love the bag. I have always saved my selvages – but for using in my garden to tie up plants and vegies!!!!! I will now have to use something else – maybe shoe laces??? Because now I will be using my selvages for other things, like that bag….

  63. Shelley C says:

    I recently made a valence for my sewing room out of salvages! I need to collect a few more to make one for the other window…anyone want to help??? I need aquas and greens. I painted the room a sea blue and want to accent with off white and greens to give me a ‘beachy’ feel. I just love those color combinations! I’m not finished outfitting the room yet, but I’m loving it!

  64. Dru says:

    I’m saving selvages right now. Can’t wait to win the book to be really inspired to make something wonderful!

  65. Dayna says:

    Selvages can be used for so many things these days. Make a silverware pocket with them on a plain placemat, pockets on kids clothes to make them unique (or striped selvage hems to make them longer when they grow) Borders on quilts, headers on pillowcases, little gift bags. Need to check my selvage stash (it’s REAL low right now) maybe the cuff on a Christmas stocking or a selvage stocking with a fur cuff is in the future????

  66. I’m hooked on selvages and read Karen’s blog everyday for inspiration for my own projects. I hope I win!

  67. roberta says:

    the bag is really cool. I’m collecting selvages and when i have enough i’ll make something special out of them.
    Roberta from Italy

  68. I’m crocheting selvages together to make a bed for my dog. He will love the texture. Thanks for the opportunity to win this great book and blocks! Two of my favorite things!

  69. Anita Amodeo says:

    I just started collecting selvedges…after coming across Karen’s blog a couple months ago…soooo many ideas, her book must be fabulous! Thanks for the opportunity to enter this giveaway.

  70. patty says:

    I have a pile of selvages builting up for a project I have in mind. It will be a quilt and it will be fab!

  71. sandy says:

    I’ve started collecting selvages too. I love all the ideas people dream up. I’d love to win.

    Now I need to add quiltmaker blog to my so I can keep up on your news. Thanks.

  72. Emily says:

    I`m in the process …….collecting all these wonderful selvages. Hope to make a tea cozy with them, This is an addiction! Love it

  73. Debbie says:

    I’m still collecting selvages and can’t wait until I have enough to make a whole project! That flying geese block looks like a great way to use all the short pieces.

  74. Anya says:

    Well, I’ve used selvages for a bag, for a wallhanging, for a tissue holder, for hotpads, for coasters, for Christmas ornaments, and for lots of fabric postcards. Thanks for the chance to win. Karen is a great inspiration!

  75. Susan says:

    Your bag turned out great!!! I’ve made several selvage projects, but my favorite was a large tote bag…Karen even featured it on her blog!

  76. Mam says:

    My first selvage project was a pocket size tissue holder. In the works I have a quilt for my daughter and a bag for my grand-daughter. Thanks for a great giveaway

  77. Viv says:

    I’m saving selvedges for my first selvedge project at the moment.

  78. Momo says:

    Hi! I just used my selvages to dress up an old jacket. Now it is really stylish and unique! Thank you for all your good ideas!

    Greetings from Germany

  79. Sarah says:

    I love that bag you have made, so colourful. I think I should start using more of the fabric with my selvages. I have made sewing cases and a crochet hook roll with selvages so far. I am now seriously collecting them as I cut my fabrics. I love how you can make something so unique with them.

  80. Natima says:

    I have been saving all my selvages to make something, but that day have not arrived yet. If I win Karen’s selvage book I will start using my selvages. Wish me luck!

  81. Margie says:

    Have just recently become interested in saving selvages, and have used a few on a tote bag. Have a few ideas floating around in the head, but will need a lot more selvages before I can think about starting any of them, and now I need to add that pretty bag to my list.

  82. Lynn says:

    I haven’t used selvages in a project yet, but I’ve wanted to ever since I came across Karen’s site. Thank you for the reminder about her fun book. If I don’t win this, I’ll be buying a copy this month as a birthday present to myself!

  83. melanie says:

    I love my selvedge stash, but I’ve yet to make something with them. I’m thinking that when I do I’ll probably make two of whatever I make – one for me and one for my daughter. She has her own selvedge stash, so hopefully when she makes something with hers she’ll do the same :)

  84. Lotta says:

    Nice bag! I’m saving my selvages but haven’t made anything with them yet so I would really love to win the book for even more inspiration.
    Lotta in Sweden

  85. Mary Ellen says:

    I’m not that ‘creative’ – I ‘recycle’ by using cut selvage edges for ties & ribbons for plants & packages. I have a friend from my guild that I save the selvage ‘words’ – she makes children’s books with them!

  86. Nancy says:

    That selvage bag is so cool!! I haven’t used any of my selvages yet as I just started collecting them. Would love the book for inspiration…

  87. Juul :o) says:

    Years ago I’ve used selvages to make Christmascards, all cards where send though.
    Now with the new hype, I’ll see lot’s of new idea’s online, and I would love to win the book.
    :o )

  88. LouAnn says:

    You now have me totally intrigued by selvages. I will add selvages to my scrap boxes and see what I can create. #1 Do you just save the color selvage or both sides? #2 How wide is the selvage strip cut?

  89. jacquie says:

    i’m obsessed with selvages…right now i’m in the process of making a spiderweb quilt using selvages, but i’ve made bookmarks and potholders and other little things using my selvages…this is my first big project.

  90. Martha says:

    I love selvages. I’m looking at my floor full of them right now. I just finished a selvage purse and love carrying it. I went in the fabric store the other day and some folks there had never heard about using selvages. I can’t wait to show it at show ‘n tell at myquilt guild meeting.

  91. Kat S. says:

    I don’t ever actually intend to use selvages in my work, sometimes I am just too lazy to make sure they are cut off! Love the bag!!!

  92. Karen Griska says:

    What a pretty selvage bag you made! I’m sure your daughter will love it.
    I’ll feature your giveaway on the Selvage Blog on June 30.
    Selvage quilting is so much fun.

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