Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Flower for You!

Take a look at this amazing flower! This is growing at the New York Botanical Garden. When we savor such beauty, our capacity for creativity is increased, don't you think?
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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Some Fabrics are Perfect in Selvage Quilts

Some fabrics seem like they were designed specifically for selvage quilts. Take a look at this fabric with the ruler pattern parallel to the selvage. Even the printing on the selvage is nice and clear. I love that old "pica" font too.
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Friday, November 28, 2008

Selvage Book Cover by Linda Robertus

Linda Robertus has made a charming selvage cover for her 2009 calendar. As you recall, Linda is a talented quilter and blogger from the Netherlands, living in Brisbane. See more of her creative projects in her blog:

If this was my calendar, I would be constantly tempted to quilt!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Wishes to You

I wish I could write like Robert Frost. I would invite you to stand here with me on 42nd Street in NYC and see how majestic the moon looks as it travels across the sky about to balance on the needle of the Chrysler Building. I would also say something thoughtful, like the Psalmist: "I lift my eyes to the hills (the skyline). Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord."

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Selvage Potholders

If you are taking a break from your Thanksgiving dinner preparations, I thought you'd enjoy seeing these selvage pot-holders. They are quick and easy to make, perfect as little gifts for your quilting friends.

Start with a 9-inch square of muslin, and attach selvages. See for step-by step photos of this process. Then sandwich with backing and 3 layers of Warm and Natural quilt batting. I machine-quilted mine a little bit. Bind just like a quilt. Add a crocheted loop if you like.
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Julie Sefton's Elegant Gift

Julie Sefton used selvages from the beautiful backing of this quilt to make a 4 x 6 card insert. The card will be a special keepsake for the recipient of this quilt. Inside the card she'll add a haiku written about the quilt, the name of the quilt ("Bittersweet"), and "Gifted Christmas 2008." What an elegant idea!

Make a cup of tea or coffee and take a look at Julie's blog: There is so much to see at this "thinking quilter's" blog. She even quotes my favorite doctor, Dr. Seuss. "Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You."

Monday, November 24, 2008

Wire Dress Inspires Creativity

Posted by PicasaI thought of you, "Would-be Occupants of the Onion Chair" when I saw this wire dress in the window of an art gallery in Provincetown, MA. (That's at the tip of Cape Cod, east of Boston, for you gals in Australia. It's an artsy/tourist/Portugese fishing/gay/beach resort/hippie town. My husband and I spent a weekend there last summer.)
It is so inspirational to soak in all the creativity in a place like that! I come home with more quilt ideas than I could ever use in a lifetime:)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

More Selvage Ornaments from Elena McDowell

Here are two more versions of Elena McDowell's selvage ornaments. She is so creative, it blows my socks off! Don't you just love these cheerful ornaments. There's still time to whip up some of these for your tree or to use as gift tags or to give as little gifts to your quilting buddies. Check out her etsy listings and her website to see more of her creations. (See "labels" below.)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fandango Quilt Imitates Selvage Quilts!

UPDATE: Finally, here is the pattern for the Fandango quilt.
I just finished this fan quilt and noticed that it looks a lot like a selvage quilt. First I cut a ton of one-inch strips from my 1940-1970's era stash. Then (without using a foundation) I sewed the strips together starting with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, then gradually increasing to a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Doing this with each added strip produces the fan effect. After piecing, press flat then using a square template, trim. The border is made of small fans. I love this busy quilt.
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Friday, November 21, 2008

Australian Postcards by Linda Robertus

Linda Robertus (from the Netherlands, living in Australia) featured her Australian fabrics in these pretty postcards. I love the Aboriginal designs made up of all those dots. Her selvage arrangement produced two postcards, both equally interesting. Nice idea to use red thread for the edging. See more at her blog:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Selvage Quilt Inspiration at the Home Depot!

Even at the Home Depot you can find selvage quilt ideas. These tiles look like a selvage quilt to me. With a box of markers and a little time, I could fix up this display:)

My selvages usually run the whole width of a block, but it might be interesting to butt two or three selvages together like these tiles.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cheery Selvage Ornaments

Elena McDowell of NC has made these beautiful selvage star ornaments. I think the bright colors and the white selvages would stand out nicely on a Christmas tree, but I'd display these year 'round in my quilt studio to feed my creative spirit. Pinking the edges means no binding. Nice job, Elena!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Inspiration in NYC's Garment District

After my guild meetings in NYC I like to browse the Garment District and feast my eyes on the huge inventories of buttons, trim, lace, and fabrics. I'm not usually looking for anything special, just "filling my tank" for future creative endeavors. I thought you would enjoy this beautiful wall of upholstery trims, and this unique tape dispenser that was sitting on the cutting table. Whoever made this would definitely sit in the Onion Chair!
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Monday, November 17, 2008

Framed Selvages

Take a look at this framed selvage arrangement made by Elena McDowell. This colorful rainbow of selvages is surrounded by a black and white frame made with newspaper, and upon close inspection: Chinese newspaper! This is a real treat for a font lover like me.
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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Seashell Encrusted Pillow

This unique pillow was displayed in a store window in Provincetown, MA this summer. The idea intrigued me. Who would ever think of attaching hard seashells to a soft pillow? I think the shells were first strung together, then couched onto the pillow. This really appeals to me; I think it would look very cool in my quilt studio.
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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Selvage Postcards as Christmas Greetings!

Here is the perfect way to use those selvages from your Christmas projects. Some of them even read "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays." I like all three selvage arrangements that Elena McDowell has created here. Isn't she amazing? Look at the precision in her arrangements! (I think she sews, while other quilters sleep!)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Log Cabin Pillow - With Selvages

Take a look at this innovative log cabin block made by prolific selvage quilter Elena McDowell. This is a 16" pillow cover for sale on etsy at: I love the playfulness of this block. Nice job, Elena!

P.S. Elena makes custom selvage items (like table runners, quilts, and pillows). You can contact her via

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Meet Linda Robertus of Brisbane, Australia!

Take a look at this beautiful big tote bag by Linda Robertus. She is from the Netherlands, and is now living in Brisbane, Australia. The green handle and lining was made from hand-dyed fabric. To see more of her creative endeavors, visit her blog at:
I particularly like the selvage on a slight angle at the top of the bag in the top photo. It adds a jaunty touch near that bright colorwash. And I like the row of black stars on the white background. And that turquoise ocean color toward the bottom is one of my favorites. I really like this bag. Nice job Linda! Have a great summer!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Notecards for Extreme Scrap Quilters!

These great note cards (Star of LeMoyne, done in selvages) were made by Elena McDowell and are for sale on etsy! Click on the photo for a closer look. I made a selvage quilt using that same selvage featuring the horse!

To go right to the etsy page where you can read about these cards, click on:

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Here is the Easier Way!

Have you ever said, "There's got to be an easier way!" Well now you know where it is! It is one of the choices when you want to descend Jay Peak, a ski area in northern Vermont. My sister and I climbed Jay Peak, and this "Easier Way" sign made us laugh.
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Monday, November 10, 2008

Christmas Tree Ornaments!

Aren't these the sweetest ornaments? What a great idea! Elena gave these to me and I have them displayed in my quilt studio where I can enjoy them all the time, not just at Christmas.

They are 4" wide at the bottom and 5" tall (not including the jute loop). They are "selvaged" on both sides, and there is batting in the middle, so they feel nice and soft. A pretty vintage button at the top, and a selvage tree trunk at the bottom, and there you go.

You could whip up some of these for your quilting buddies (or yourself), or go to Elena's page at etsy:

Where does she get all these creative ideas?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Selvage Quilter's Field Trip to Block Island

I recently visited Block Island, a small charming island off the coast of Rhode Island near Connecticut. I was delighted by the abundance of stone walls, their sometimes "lacy" construction, and someone's clever method of preserving their wall from the wear and tear of foot traffic! The bottom photo was taken from the porch of a hotel near the ferry landing, now deserted for the winter season.

If you lived here you would have to quilt all the time because everything else is a one-hour ferry ride away! Sounds like paradise to me. Savoring the beauty of places like this "fills our tank" for artistic expression in our quilts, don't you think?

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Selvage Christmas Tree Skirt!

Elena McDowell makes the coolest selvage quilts and other selvage objects d'art! This one is for a small tree. This should inspire some quilters looking for Christmas decorations/gifts that are fun to make!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Wonderful Font Fabric from Kaufman

This stunning font fabric is from Kaufman's Oriental Traditions 6 Collection. Wouldn't a bit of this look great in a selvage quilt? I'm planning to use bits of it in a crazy quilt. I don't have a clue what it says. I'm guessing it says: hope, love, peace, friendship etc., so I'll take my chances. I have neighbors in my highrise apartment building who could read it for me if I could remember to carry it around with me. If I learn anything, I'll let you know.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Cure for the Bland Selvage Stash

If your selvage stash needs a little perking up, consider adding strips of ribbon. Use them just like a selvage. Some ribbons have writing or dots on them, too. And remember, you can make a strip of fabric work in a selvage arrangement by folding one edge over and using it like a bound edge. (This pillow doesn't have ribbon strips in it, but I'm planning to try this soon. If you do, email a photo!)
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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

June Calender's Selvage Jacket!

Take a look at June Calender's selvage jacket in progress. She started with an over-sized sweatshirt. Then she proceeded to cut the ribbing off the cuffs, neck, and the bottom edge. Finally, she cut up the front to make it a "cardigan," and cut up the sides and along the sleeve seams so she could easily add the selvages. To get the whole story from June, see her blog at: She describes it to you step by step.

I sure hope we get to see June modeling this fancy jacket at our next Empire Quilt Guild meeting. We meet at the Fashion Institute; how appropriate is that?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Nellie Durand Makes Art Quilts Using Selvages!

Nellie Durand, an art quilter from Tennessee & Michigan made this stunning quilt called "Come With Me to the Kasbah" from blocks made for her by the Thursday Bee, members of the Smoky Mountain Quilt Guild in Knoxville, TN. The center block shown in the close up photo was made by Christine Copenhaver. What a beautiful job they did!
Nellie is also working on a "Lake" series which will have 100 quilts when she's done! She likes to use the selvages that have shaggy edges to add a nice touch to the water scenes.
Visit her blog, Nellie's Needles, to read about this quilt and see photos of it in progress. Also be sure to see the Lake series. Make a new cup of coffee now; this blog is fascinating.