Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Fun New Project!!!

I went to a really fun and different workshop at my Music City Quilt Guild's Sit-n-Sew day last week.  One of my favorite people, Starr Howell, taught us how to make selvedge boxes.  Just to prove that I was an A+ student, here is my finished box.....  cool, huh???

One of my favorite quotes from Bonnie Hunter is - the smallest leftover strip of fabric costs the same amount as any other piece of fabric you buy - why throw it away?  I've been throwing away selvedges since I started quilting; that is, until I saw Starr's first box at a meeting a couple of years ago, and I've been wanting to make one ever since!!!  The class was on Thursday and I was looking forward to it excitedly, but on Wednesday night I got NO SLEEP AT ALL!!!  I kept hearing that 5th Dimension song from waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back all night - you know the one..... "Last night, I didn't get to sleep at all, all, all..... I lay awake and watched until the mornin' light..."  Yeh, that was me!  When hubby got up at 5:30am, I was in the studio cutting squares for Talking Turkey!

But even though I was afraid would pretty much be a zombie, I was determined to take this class!  All my stuff was loaded and ready to go, so I "suited up and showed up" LOL!!!  Actually, the zombie state did not hit me until Friday - go figure!  But I was really glad I went to class, because we had fun and I've got a really cool new box to keep my selvedges in now! ♥♥♥

The first thing we did was cut pieces to fit the top and all four sides of the box, allowing an extra 1-1/4 inches for trimming.  Then we had a BLAST digging through our selvedges and picking out our prettiest ones, then pinning them down.  Once a couple of pieces were all pinned, we chain-pieced the selvedges down, trying to sew as closely as possible to the edge (sorry this one is a little blurry!)......

Here are my finished pieces (before trimming down to the correct size)....

Starr had told us ahead of time that the trick to pretty selvedge projects is to cut at least 3/4" of the fabric off with the selvedge so you get some color with it.  She sure knows what she's talking about - look at all that wonderful color!  And look at my completed box top shown below ...yoohoo!!!!

Now I ask you, does that look like me or what?  
All that color - oooo-la-la!!!

And look at some of the special selvedge designs... can you see where the designer used birds instead of color circles on the upper left here?

And Christmas Trees here?.....too cute!!!!

And the cutest little set of Japanese fans in the bottom corner.... awwww......

There are selvedges in here that remind me of the projects I've made.... like Easy Street - this fabric was used as the border....

And Genevieve's Live-Laugh-Love - this one isn't even finished yet, but it's now immortalized for me in my selvedge box!

A lot of these are from friends who knew I was collecting them, which makes them special too!!!

As I was gathering my materials together from Starr's class list, I wasn't sure what to bring for the bottom and trimming on the box.  I finally just grabbed a bland pink/red buttons print figuring a sewing motif would work no matter how the box turned out.  Boy, was I wrong!!!  That pink looked horrible with it!  All these wonderful colors in this box, and I just couldn't put that washed out pink on there... no way.  A bright, happy pink might have worked, but.....

Then Sheila came to my rescue!  I had spied her trimming fabric earlier and drooled all over it - she had chosen a bright purple and it glowed!!!  When it was determined by a large group of us that purple was what my box needed, Sheila generously offered me her left-over purple so I could make my box beautiful - now that's a sweetheart folks!!!

Looking at the finished box again - isn't that purple just perfect???  
                     Yep, I thought so too :*)
                                    Thanks so much, Sheila!!!!

And here is my finished box with all my selvedges (so far!) in it.  They were all neatly folded before I began the project, and I'll sit with this in my lap tonight while I watch TV and straighten them all up again.  It's so much easier to see what's there when they are not all jumbled up like that!

Love this "Good Morning!" piece =^..^=
(I just cut it last night, or it would have gone right on top of my box!)
........ all ready for a new selvedge project.  Let's see.... what will it be????  There are a ton of cute projects out there right now!  And tons of new selvedges, like "Good Morning!" just waiting to shine....

I cut this one Friday while playing with Talkin' Turkey!
(Another candidate for the top of the box, am I right????)

That sweet measuring tape selvedge was cut from this fabric :*D

And how about this one - too sweet!!!!!
I bet you are designing something just as beautiful!

Hugs & Blessings!


  1. That is such a great project for selvages. I lOVE IT!!! AND I have enough selvages for at least 10 boxes!! Of course purple is ALWAYS the right color if it is going in my sewing room. Your box is really special.

  2. Teresa, that red and white fabric with the sewing items on it is adorable! Got any extra, or maybe it is still available? I love the selvage as much as the material!

  3. What a delightful project, Teresa. Yes, it is you!! And the purple is perfect.
    I love all the fun little designs on the selvedges. So fun to find a way to show them off. : )

  4. Do you put batting underneath the fabric? Are the pieces glued to the boxes? I really would like to make some of these.

  5. This is so cool!! Oh, I have some of that black/purple print - one of my favorite fabrics in my stash. Just another great way to use 'all' our fabric.

  6. Very cute - what a great selvedge project! I know you're happy you didn't let the lack of sleep deter you!

  7. That's a really sweet box. Most difficult part for me would be to make myself leave that much fabric attached to the selvedges when they're cut off!

  8. I love it Teresa. I have made a lot of selvage projects before but not a box with a lid. Did you use a heavy interfacing or batting to make your box stiff?

  9. How neat!! Love it! I've been throwing away my selvages, too. I need to start saving them (I would have never thought to include a little of the actual fabric with the selvage, but you're right - it really adds some pretty color).

    I've found that the day after a poor night's sleep I'm usually ok (running on adrenaline?) ... the effects of a sleepless night don't usually hit me until the next day. Glad I'm not the only one.

  10. that looks AWESOME! gosh I used to make fabric boxes before I quilted, hmm wonder if I remember how or have a book about it still, that would be FUN to do now, did you glue the flaps down? sewed the side seams?

  11. I love the idea of trimming 3/4" off with the selvedge I will start doing that too with some of mine! The box is delightful!

  12. This is so fun! It turned out great! I have started to save my edges too. Someday......

  13. I LOVE this! What a great idea! I am going to put that on my to-do list for sure. Now where is that list?!?!? LOL

  14. Such a cute idea Teresa, just love it!

  15. Oh I love your box! I have been saving salvages for years but I haven't been leaving at least 3/4" of fabric with the cut, but I have left some of the color fabric. Sooo maybe I can do something like this! Like I have time with so many other things going on! How did you adhere the pieces to the box? Did you glue them down! Anyways thanks for sharing such a fun project. How sweet of someone to share her bright purple with you.

  16. What a neat box! Yes, the purple made it zing. I must be doing something wrong as my cut off selvages are never that wide. I throw them in the pile to make stuffing for dog beds. Thanks for the process, Theresa.

  17. What a neat idea! I have been saving selvages and small cuttings for dog beds for a local no kill animal shelter. You are so talented at whatever you do!

  18. That is a beautiful selvage box, such pretty fabrics and colors! The purple sets it off perfectly. Awesome!

  19. that is such a cute and fun project. Looking for selvages is fun too.

  20. The purple is perfect! I really fun box!
    Have a great day.
    Always, Queenie

  21. Here from Whoop Whoop! I love this project. How fun to have such a grand box!

  22. Fabulous box Teresa. Very effective use of selvage. Thanks for sharing. Stopping by from Whoop Whoop. Marie (

  23. What a great box! I sent all my selvedges to another blogger who wants to make something with them. I LOVE that white fabric with the red, vintage sewing stuff. Where did you find it? What is is called? Oh, I gotta get me some of that!!!!

  24. Wow Teresa this is so neat and what a great way to use selvedges! Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

  25. That is such a fabulous box, Teresa, and so much more "do-able" than a whole quilt with selvages!! Whoop whop!!

  26. Could you tell us where to get the pattern? Adorable box.

  27. Could you tell us where to get the pattern? Adorable box.

  28. I have been saving selvage edges since I started quilting 5+ years ago. So far I have only used them to create the fabric to recover 2 dining room chairs for my daughter. Now I want to make boxes!!! Love your box and the purple fabric is fabulous!!! Now we are going to be shopping for fabric for the selvages :) Need the directions for that super box!!


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