Today, I’m excited to be part of the blog hop for an exciting new book, Riel Nason‘s Modern Selvage Quilting. As many regular readers know by now, I’m a little obsessed with selvages. I think it may be the art historian in me, but I love the idea of the selvage of a quilting fabric as an artifact containing all of the information about that fabric in a condensed, efficient format. For most of the backs of my quilts, I try to incorporate the selvages of the fabrics I used on the front of the quilt, a feature that I get asked about every time I give a trunk show.
It should come as no surprise, then, that I’ve been saving selvages almost since I started quilting. I’ve had this vague idea that I would one day make them into a scrap quilt that would be a record of all of the projects I’ve made. Until now, though, I’ve been at a loss for exactly how to do so. When I learned that Stash Books was coming out with a whole book on using selvages, I was immediately interested. I bought the book as soon as it came out and read it cover to cover. Then I emailed Riel to tell her how much I loved her book, and she kindly invited me to be part of this blog hop.
When I say that I really read this book, I’m not exaggerating. Riel is an award-winning novelist, and her introduction and writing style demonstrate her facility with language. Her book is written in an engaging, easy-to-read style and peppered with interesting anecdotes about her history as a quilter. She even includes a trivia section at the close giving fun facts about the making of the quilts in the book. Having written a couple of quilting books, I can also appreciate the challenges that must have come with writing about a technique that relies so heavily on variable resources–writing the materials requirements for selvage projects couldn’t have been an easy task.
Because it takes a while to accumulate a large collection of selvages, I appreciate that the book includes a variety of projects that will allow anyone to use their stash, no matter how small or large. From projects such as the diminutive Make Every Scrap Count pincushion to the showstopping Split Selvage Strings cover quilt, the book showcases a range of possibilities for using the selvages you have. There are also projects such as the Latticework pillows that demonstrate how to stretch your supply by supplementing them with additional fabric yardage.
Each project in the book is labeled with a construction technique (or multiple techniques) for sewing the selvages together to create a fabric panel. These techniques are detailed in clear instructions at the beginning of the book. For my selvage project, I chose to use the Overlap Method to make half-square triangle blocks. So far, I have made six blocks, each showcasing the selvages from a different quilt project, and making each block has been a fun experience in remembering the project that used those fabrics. The blocks come together quickly and are fun to make, so I’ve been using them as my reward for finishing larger and more time-consuming projects. I have to confess that I’ve even considered cutting into my stash of unused fabrics to acquire more selvages for making blocks.
If you’re like me and have been saving your selvages while searching for the perfect inspiration for using them , this is a book you won’t want to miss. And if you have never considered saving those little fabric artifacts, this book might inspire you to start! Stash Books has generously offered up a copy of Modern Selvage Quilting for a lucky reader of this post. To enter, simply leave a comment below about what type of project you dream of creating from your selvages. I’ll leave comments open until May 22 and draw and announce a winner on May 23. Winners in the US will receive a paper copy of the book, while international winners will receive an electronic copy. And, for additional perspectives on the book and chances to win, make sure to visit the other stops on the blog hop, listed below!