At our monthly Quilt Guild meeting last Thursday they were all but begging for more quilt submissions for our bi-annual public show coming up in July. While driving home it hit me; "these people need to see a selvage quilt!" I've a feeling most haven't seen one. So I scoured Karen's blog for inspiration (of which there is plenty! Thanks again for being such a good sharer, Karen!) and decided to make a blue version of her Red Zinger. I started last night and, necessity being the mother of invention; had to come up with a way to make progress without a sewing machine (mine is at the doctor's office). Following are a couple of time-saving tips mixed in with Karen's original instructions. I'll just post the whole step by step here so you don't have to keep clicking over to Karen's post for the rest of the story. I'm sure there is a zen-like pleasure in sitting and sewing one strip at a time, but I needed to git'rdone, and maybe you do, too. :-)
First of all, with some basic paper folding (think Origami 101) I devised a template and cut it out of cardstock, then used it to pencil the lines on each block.
Then (here comes the BIG time-saver) I applied iron-on adhesive strips. I had bought some by the yard (in the bolts of interfacing section) and just cut it in half-inch strips and tore off as needed.
For anyone who's unfamiliar with such a product, after pressing the strips on your fabric you peel off the white paper and are left with a shiny adhesive layer
All of this is being done at a waist-high counter or other flat surface. At this point you're working in a station with a lot going on. Stuff you'd have to keep getting up for if you were trying to sit at the sewing machine. For one, you are constantly ironing.
For example, the selvage on the left needs a quick press to be flat enough to lie on your block and the one on the right has too much white space along the edge for me so I pressed (hemmed/folded) it up at the first row of poked holes.
You are also standing and working at the station so that you can trim strips as necessary
This strip had too much print left on it for where I wanted to use it.
You also will have the space to pick and sort at your station. Here you see I am using them from the basket, then tossing them on the table so I won't pick the same one right back out again. As the basket empties, I'll just pile the bunch on the table back in and start over.
No pre-planning required with this process. You're just picking from the basket and designing as you go, trimming the width of a strip when necessary, then pressing down each group of strips as you go.
The above block is pressed and ready to flip over for a trim. The adhesive strips you have pressed the selvages to will hold it all together until you sew them down.
Flip it back over and it looks like this.
The entire process above took less than 10 minutes.
NOW you take it to the machine and just zip up and down the finished/bound edge of each strip.
In keeping with the assembly-line process, I would wait for the sewing part til I had several blocks pressed and ready. Then sit and sew several at a time. I'm glad I woke up this morning remembering I had this Hello Kitty machine. Works just fine for straight stitching!
In 45 minutes I had one 14 inch block done
And I only have eight more to go for a quilt set 3x3, so I'm no longer worried about meeting the July deadline. :-)
If you decide to give this a go, don't forget to send pics to Karen. She's great at spreading the selvage love!