Friday, March 27, 2009

The Selvedge Apprentice

This is a story of a quilter who admires from afar...another seamstress...a queen. The Selvedge Queen as I call her. She calls herself the creative selvedge freak woman. She's probably closer to accurate. She creates with abandon....fabulous, almost miraculous projects from her house filled with selvedges. I imagine her in her sewing room surrounded by waist deep piles of selvedges, barely able to move from her cutting mat to the sewing machine. I drop by often to marvel at her skill, her creativity and her wild and uproarious sense of humor. Thanks to her I'm often grinning from ear to ear with my morning coffee. You may know her as Jodie, the woman behind RicRac. I've done a few little things with selvedges. Thanks to Jodie I started saving those little snippets of color and text. Little by little my bucket filled. I wondered what I might make from that bucket of jewels?

When I found out about my gallery show this summer I knew I wanted to make something special for the show. Then Ashley, one of my Block Party virtual quilting bee friends asked us to make spiderweb blocks for her turn. I was pretty apprehensive about it...you know, paper piecing. Ick! But, I did it and I really enjoyed this one. No lines to follow. I like that. So, what about a spiderweb quilt with selvedges? Maybe that was the project I was looking for. So, I made one section, then another and now I have this.


I used the templates from Bonnie at Quiltville and adapted her directions to make it work for selvedges. The center kites are a kona cotton called iced frappe. It's a very light aqua...icy is a good description. I think I like it as the centers. I'm varying how much fabric is visible on the selvedges. I like to show the fabric...I want the quilt to be colorful and interesting.

I've learned that selvedges can be deceiving. What looks like it could wrap around the world, as soon as you start trimming and sewing disappears in a blink of an eye. We shall see how big I can make this baby.

Jodie, I bow to your selvedge greatness.

Signed,
your humble apprentice



I was also able to put my circle experiments into a quilt top. I'm not totally satisfied with it, but I do think it's funky and bold and might make a nice baby quilt. I think quilting might make this come alive. I learned a bunch about piecing circles, though and I hope to put that to good use in another quilt for the show.

Project Improv
Arriving this week:
cacilie - switzerland 3 blocks
jackie b - 1 block (so many goodies, i'm spoiled! chocolate, a go cup coffee sleeve (beautiful) the sweetest origami mobile and even cash to help with postage. thanks my friend!)
lisa t - mi 3 blocks (thanks for swapping fabric with me...yours is on the way!)
debbie w - va 2 blocks, backing fabric (thanks for the sachets...they're in use already!)
gail n - mi 3 blocks and fabric (thanks! your fabric will combine nicely with debbie's to make a back!)
ayumi - ca 1 block and my first piece of japanese fabric...thanks so much!
paige - il 1 block
allie - ut 3 blocks
marie - wa 5 MORE blocks (thanks so much!!)
shelly - tx 1 block and 2 spools of thread. (they match boxes on my scrap quilt...gues where they are going?)
deb k - mi 2 blocks and money for postage

thanks so much folks. your generosity is heart warming.

project improv quilt tops are on the sewing agenda for the weekend. we're supposed to get the mother of all spring snow storms....as long as i don't lose power, it could be a VERY productive weekend. Let's hope so!

Oh, there's a flickr badge in my sidebar that takes you to the set in my flickr photostream with all the Project Improv quilt tops. A quick way to see all the tops that are completed so far.

71 comments:

Sarah said...

I ADORE IT! I was apprehensive about the spider web quilt too, but it was so fun to do that paper piecing! This turned out perfect...very cool idea!

Meagan said...

Jacquie: That circles quilt is just awesome. Every time you push yourself, it just gets better and better. You're a great inspiration to a first-time quilter :)

QuiltedSimple said...

Both of these are just awesome! Love them - they will be great when finished
Kris

Diva Quilts said...

What a great idea! I've been thinking about doing that spiderweb quilt with my red scraps (and a white background), but, inspired by Jodie, I've been saving my selvedges and been wondering what to do with them. Upholstered chairs and dresses seem too ambitious, I thought about doing a basket (like at Moda bake shop) with them, but realized it would get dusty very fast; this is perfect! I can make the blocks as I collect and just have it be an ongoing project.

I also LOVE your circles quilt! So beautiful!

Ellen said...

Your quilts are BEAUTIFUL!

Two Dogs and a Quilt said...

Your selvedge web is to die for! Wonderful!

kangaroo said...

i'm not even sure how to verbalize how cool i think that selvedge quilt is.

~Michelle~ said...

Uh-oh - I think you're going to start a new trend for these trendy spiderwebs ;)

MichelleB said...

I love the selvage spider webs! What a great idea. I love the circle quilt too. It looks wonderful.

shellysquilts said...

J, I'm happy to see my block arrived at your door. I luv the spider web! Very Cute! Happy sewing this weekend.

p.s. When you sew with that silk thread, make sure you use silk in the bobbin also.

Eileen said...

I have always been in awe of Jodie's talent/obbsession. But your spider webs are fabulous! Right up there with her!
I can never seem to get to the selvedge. I hate just cutting it off.. especially if there is only one line of dots with a name, and still more fabric to use. How will I remember what it was??

beewitchinstitchin said...

I love both of these creations. You are right...Jodie is definitely The Selvage Queen. I'm still saving but soon, I hope, there will be enough to start my own little selvage project...Kathy

liz taylor said...

Wow, I LOVE your spiderweb quilt! What a great use for those skinny pieces fo selvedge.

Katie Jean said...

wow Jacquie that is just amazing!! I think the selvedges are just plain perfect for the spiderweb quilts. I can't wait to see it finished!

Stephanie said...

You chose the perfect solid to go with your selvedges. Love it. What a fun job to sit around and decide on fabric color names and paint colors. I have a hard time just naming a quilt!

em's scrapbag said...

The spiderweb is fabulous. I love it. You are so talented. Your show is going to amazing!

Lisa said...

The selvedges are awesome! I love that it's both funky and non-wasteful.

Kerri said...

oh, my!! i LOVE your selvedge spiderwebs!!! i think it is by far my favorite of spiderweb quilts now!! so creative too, and i love how you left some of the fabric on it too!! i don't think i'll throw away another selvedge piece again. :)

Michaela said...

They are absolutely beautiful... Will you keep us updated on your show? Where and when?

KateKwiltz said...

Both of those are great! I love how you keep pushing yourself to try new stuff -- very inspiring!

P.S. Box of backing fabric should arrive Monday.

Lynn said...

jacquie, that is AMAZING. I think I need to copy your idea... I NEED a selvedge spiderweb quilt hanging in my craftroom somewhere!

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

Wow, just amazing, the talent you have!!

Beth said...

Everything in this post is just AMAZING!

Jackie said...

Your spiderweb selvage quilt is jut amazing! You are pure crafty genius!! I also think that Jodie is very inspirational, but you, my dear, are equally inspirational. The circles quilt is wonderful. I think you should name it "Round and Round We Go".

Kristin L said...

The selvedges work PERFECTLY for the spiderweb blocks!! Ever since I made my string lone star and string zig zag quilts I've been thinking spiderweb. Yours is the coolest I've ever seen! Everything will now pale in comparison. ;-)

sarahmurray said...

This quilt is AMAZING! It makes me so sad to think of all of the wasted selveges I've tossed over the years... This is such a special quilt, and I love the light aqua. x

Alissa said...

Those spiderwebs are amazing!! I made four normal ones and have been at a dead stop with them since... I'm impressed with your commitment to a whole quilt of them!! So so beautiful!

MightyMom said...

oh I LOVE the selvedgedspiders!! how perfect is that???!!

pieced circles?? yikes and yowzers!

Jodie said...

Oh Dear, Maybe just one little "I can't believe that" happy tear just squeezed out.
Your spiderwebs are beyond anything I could possible imagine -This is a work of art in the making. I wish all these miles didn't seperate us - Coud you imagine what we would get up to in our sewing rooms , waist deep in selvedge together???
sceigl

Jodie said...

oops, I just realised I added the word verification in the post- what a knucklehead!!!

Cheryl A said...

I lose the circles... surprise, surprise... great use of fabric!

Chookyblue...... said...

wow apprentice you have done well........just read jodies post and it would be quite scary and amazing what you 2 together could get up to........just playing with selvedge.......

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Your selvedge blocks are gorgeous - it is going to be an awesome quilt!

luminousquilts said...

Totally fantastic! Amazing! Wonderful! Love it!

sarah said...

Seriously fabulous! I've been cutting the selvages now too, thanks to Jodie's blog.

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Absolutely love your selvage spider webs. It is going to be wonderful.

Tif said...

ms. jody is amazing! the collected selvage pieces alone is amazing in itself!

your spiderweb is just awesome :)

Anina said...

Oh my! That spiderweb quilt is going to be awesome!

Thimbleanna said...

Those selvedge blocks are awesome Jacquie. I think Jodie has corrupted us all!

Amber said...

They are both amazing Jacquie! Ever since I saw Jodie's dress I have been saving my selvedges.....I need to come up with a fun way to use mine too.

I am Arizona; a person, not a place. said...

I love selvage projects! RicRac is a great blog...I subscribe to it, too, and admire her work. Your selvage spider quilt is awesome. I love it!

Kristen said...

Your circles look great!!!

Karen said...

Wow Wee!!! Awsome!!! I LOVE them;) The circles are great, too;)

Shari said...

spider selvages and colourful circles...

very impressive

cheers!

Marit said...

I am a big fan of spiderweb quilts. Yours is fantastic, what a lucky combination!!! Love the colorchoice for the kites, too. Thank you for sharing, this is very tempting to try out...

Stephanie D. said...

I haven't made any spiderweb blocks, but I've been saving selvages since seeing some of Karen Griska's work last fall--even SKIRTS made from selvages from one of her readers. I asked for the book for Christmas, and when I didn't get it, ordered it on 12/26.

Last week, we were cutting fabrics at the quilt bee and I asked for selvages. Most of the ladies in my group had no idea what I was talking about and just kept cutting any old way, but one is going to save hers for me, and another asked me for the blogsite, so she may make one, too. New techniques and art quilts are a little slow to be taken up by some North Carolinians!

I will have to send one of the gals your blog address so she can see how CUTE sewing with selvages can be!

Sew Bee It said...

Well, I managed to get fabric, just not in time to get blocks to you. Oh well... Maybe next time, eh?

Anyway, that selvedge spiderweb is really adorable!

And how are the projects for your show going? You making new stuff, or are you showing stuff you've already made? Am I asking questions you've answered and I've just missed them? Do I talk too much? Just curious:)

Nichole said...

how wide are your strips of salvages?

Victoria said...

I dig the circles and your selvedge spider-web quilt knocks my socks off!!! Fabulous work, as always!

Sandy said...

I love that so much! Thanks for sharing.

Artfulife said...

I heart this sooooo much! So beautiful.

Calamity Jane's Cottage, Bonnie said...

Jacquie, all I can say is you amaze me.
Keep Stitchen'
Bonnie

Nile e Richard said...

Olá amiga.
Seus trabalhos são maravilhosos.
Bom domingo para voce.bjtos.Nile.

nettie said...

love the selvage spiderweb quilt. i might just have to copy you on that one. gorgeous.

sewtakeahike said...

You're giving me hope Jacquie! Your quilt is turning out fabulous! I just started saving my selvedge pieces and hope to do something with them when I've collected enough. Actually, I'm a compulsive selvedge user for this and that (like wrapping gifts) and I need to STOP that and just keep collecting them. It's so tempting though, like getting a cookie from the cookie jar...

Trisha said...

I loved those spiderweb blocks already but making them out of selvedges makes them even cuter! Jacquie, you are truly cutting edge!

Janis said...

Fabulous, beautiful spider webs! It's such a unique idea. I have begun saving the selvedges too but I'm having a problem actually making myself use them. Not what I learned from my grandma . . . I bet you know that feeling! :)

upstateLisa said...

Jacquie! I looooove the selvedge webs! they are so awesome!

kat said...

your selvedge spider webs are awesome!!!! what a great idea! can't wait to see it complete.

Nonerz said...

Wow...that is pretty amazing with all those selvedges!

I mailed off 2 blocks to you on Saturday...wish I had time to make more! I literally kissed each one before I mailed it off...I didn't expect to get so attached to them! =) I hope you like them...they were my 1st log cabins.

syko kajsa said...

I LOVE the selvedge quilt so much! I wish it was covering my bed! That icy blue goes so well with the texts and codes!

I hope the Spring sun has reached you! It is finally melting here!

jackie said...

I am definitely putting a visit to your exhibit on my calender this summer!! Love both the selvedge spider webs and the circle quilt!

Ashley said...

So beautiful, both of them! I love the use of the selvedges with a spiderweb quilt, and I just love your choice of the light blue as the kites. The circles are so fun (and pretty perfect, I might add!) It looks like it would make a very cute baby quilt!

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

I'm just in awe of the spider web quilt. It is so amazing. And Jacquie. I'm very proud of your project improv. What a success.

Amy @ Park City Girl said...

Love your selvage spiderwebs! I'm excited for you and your show -- so many different things to think about while creating!

Rebekah said...

your spiderweb selvedge quilt blocks are amazing! So creative of you to put the selvedge pieces together with this block

Cami said...

I really love the circle quilt. It reminds me of a giant strip of selvedge! What size are your circles on that one and the squares as well?...if you want to share!

Philigry said...

they are all so great. i love the spiderweb one! i am making one too, using the tutorial from quiltville, i like it a lot.

amandajean said...

i am in love with your spiderweb selvage quilt. it's genius! you are a mighty fine selvage apprentice!!! :)

Kindra said...

Jacquie both of these projects are absolutely gorgeous! I love the boldness of the circles.

Thanks for commenting on my quilt inspired by your wonky log cabin tutorial. Flannel is definitely not my first choice (it's the frugal choice) but it's really soft and cuddly. Just how a baby blanket should be :)

Rose said...

That is such a neat idea for "scraps" that I would otherwise throw away! I have seen other selvage projects, and will maybe start saving them from now on!