Feb 2020: Selvage Diva

Save those selvages

For our February meeting, we welcomed selvage diva, Rosemarie Ameen who wowed us with what she can do with selvages. Originally from Canada, Rosemarie made lots of baby quilts and t-shirt quilts for co-workers as a nurse for 40 years. She started using selvages ten years ago and hasn’t looked back.

trimmed selvage

She recommended a couple of books, Save the Selvages and Modern Selvage Quilting from which she has made projects and found inspiration.

Rosemarie talked about different types of selvages – the interesting ones that have writing and colors either in dots or symbols or figures, the plain white ones, and ones with fuzzy edges. When saving selvages, she recommends cutting a minimum of 3/4″ above the white part and up to 1 1/2″. She sorts the fuzzy ones from the others and then sorts by color and further by type – plain, white, dots.

selvage sewing tips

She also talked about several ways to sew with selvages. The overlap method does not require a foundation (that adds extra weight). Selvages can also be sewn together side by side, or raw edge can be folded under and top stitched on both sides. She recommends a zig zag instead of a straight stitch for this so that the long arm foot doesn’t turn over and stitch down the edge of the strip during quilting. She suggests using decorative stitches on plain white selvages. She often cuts the foundation out of the background fabric and then just lays down and stitches selvage on top of it. When foundation piecing, she may draw guidelines on the foundation so that selvages stay straight. The display board she shared was made by her Canadian sister – notice the British spelling: selvedge instead of the U.S. version of selvage.

Rosemarie shared a number of constructed boxes and baskets and the patterns used for them. The tissue box was made by a friend as a gift.

She also shared pin cushions, one made by her sister for her, and several pillow covers including holiday star pillow covers using a pattern from Cut Loose press.

Next up were wall hangings including one for Halloween with numerous spooky sayings printed on the selvages and one resulting from a denim pocket challenge.

She has made several tote bags as well as tablet holders.

Rosemarie has participated in challenges as part of the MANY retreats she goes on each year. Some involved using required fabrics, and she is especially talented at using as little as possible such as the orange and purple in Christmas trees or yellow and green in the Japanese one.

Full-sized quilts – some finished and some UFOs were on display next showing a wide variety of techniques. The Canadian themed one in honor of Canada’s 150th anniversary, and the black and red one were made by her sister who has become a selvage convert and who also does long arming for Rosemarie.

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And finally, what selvage diva doesn’t have a selvage valance in her sewing room and of course a cape to wear.

Taking care of business

  • Debbie welcomed one new member – a third Barbara and two guests, Eileen and a fourth Barbara! We hope our guests will consider joining us as members in the future.
  • Ann A. answered questions about mondo bags in preparation for assisting others with theirs at our upcoming Saturday sew day.
  • Teresa shared that the 2019 raffle quilt is now at Yadkin Valley Quilts in Elkin for display and ticket sales.
  • Penny plans to meet with Gail this week to discuss quilting options for the 2020 raffle quilt. She encouraged members to be brave and consider leading efforts for our next raffle quilt.
  • Barbara B. announced that the hospitality committee had met and has decided that our July party will be beach themed instead of Christmas themed. There will be a prize for the best beach hat, and Barbara encouraged members to be planning their hats!
  • There were several happy winners for name tag drawings and drawings for door prizes provided by Rosemarie.

Show and Tell

Amy started us off with finished quilts including one she’s glad to see the end of and her pumpkin quilt with hidden gnome that she loves. She also shared her New York Beauty (think Statue of Liberty) adoption quilt made from leftover paper-pieced blocks that resulted from our workshop led by Carl Stevens and a lovely Christmas wall hanging reminiscent of poinsettias.

MJ shared her most recent seasonal wall hanging with the goal of making a new one for each season to hang in her kitchen. She also shared her necessary clutch that she made in a recent class at Studio Stitch. Avi shared blocks she is making for a rail fence quilt. Her favorite one incorporates a University of Illinois t-shirt and their orange and blue colors, reminding her of her move from Illinois.

New member Joan shared a few quilts to introduce herself to us including a house quilt for one of her several nieces and nephews, a quilt made with a ruler after searching for a full-priced item to buy with a Joann’s coupon and not realizing until she started using it, how tiny the ruler was. Her third quilt was a throw used by her and her husband.

Debbie and Barbara also shared adoption quilts supporting Carolina Adoption Services, one of our three charities for this year. Debbie chose a North Carolina theme since all of the families we are sewing for this year live in NC.

Sheila, Ann A., and Janet shared the centers of their ostrich challenge medallion quilts. Over achiever Sheila has already added her checkerboard border for March. Janet also sported her patchwork-look sweater from Goodwill.

Ann L. shared three quilts she quilted to donate other charities we are supporting this year.

Ann A., last year’s UFO queen, shared a 2020 UFO, a cathedral window quilt made entirely by machine. Sandra joined in the UFO fun with her mondo bag.

Helen D. shared a beautiful quilt, and Emily shared her first quilt completed as an adult and made for her father.

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