Sunday, May 19, 2019

Selvaging My Sanity, 2019

Years ago, when I had my logo designed for Live a Colorful Life, I also had an Etsy shop (inactive for quite a few years) called Sewing on the Edge. I mostly sold custom selvage pincushions. When I decided I wanted/needed a tag line for my blog, someone suggested "selvaging my sanity...one stitch at a time." I loved it, and it became part of the logo.

Over the years, I have thought I should update my logo for a fresh look. But I've never been able to do it. I still really like it. But I often wonder if readers are confused about the tag line and wonder what I'm talking about...

Anyway, at the beginning of 2019, I had a general lack of energy, recovering from radiation therapy. When I finally felt like sewing, I still didn't have the mental energy to make fabric choice decisions--it all felt too overwhelming. I decided that working with selvages was the answer--I could make something small and cute. Matching just the right selvage to friends was something I could handle.

It all started with my dear friend, Lucy, who lives in Manchester, England. Her blog and instagram feed is "charm about you," so I had been saving all my "charming" selvages, and then I really hit pay dirt when someone threw 'I Love Lucy" into a bag of selvages they gave me.
I was sending Lauren some fabric scraps and decided to throw in something a little extra just for fun.
 I found some cute baking-related selvages. Brianne had sent me some of the most delicious cookies a couple of years ago, so when I found "full cookie jar, happy home," I knew exactly who was getting this pincushion.

Kelly has been a constant encourager in the last couple of months. She loves hot pink. I had to piece her name together, but the back is all Kelly.

Erika is a pie maker and flower lover. When I found "pie making day," I had to make a pincushion for someone who has been known to make 16 completely different pies on Thanksgiving day.

Laurie spends her days counseling people. She is a "piece maker," but also a "peace maker." My friend Molly designed the fabric I used for the back, and I think those are probably phrases Laurie has used in her work.
Paula is someone who writes the most beautiful comments on my blog. They are thoughtful and heart-felt, definitely "noteworthy."

Tracy made the most gorgeous quilt, Tula Pink's butterfly pattern. It was not without its challenges. I'm not sure she exactly had "sewing woes," but that seemed appropriate.

Nicole is well-known for her creative and modern hexie designs. And Diane lives in southern California. I had set aside that little scrap of California Bolt Hugger fabric for the longest time before finally using it.
Deborah just moved to Texas, to the hill country actually. Obviously she needed a pincushion with a couple of bluebonnets on it, y'all.

And Jeni loves this color of purple.
Anne loves to hike, loves the color green and everything Kaffe Fassett. Mary's shop, Sunny Day Supply, is one of my favorites--and the fabric on the back of her pincushion just seems very sunny and cheery.


Mary S. has been a long-time friend, Heidi also lives in Texas and has her own fabric lines, Clara sews lovely things, as does Gwen.

Shawn is in business with her sister, Mary, and of course they also sell notions. Janice and I have been known to drink a glass of wine or two (see it there on the right?), Linda does gorgeous handwork, and Sarah lives in Montana, in the great "outdoorz."


After I had all of the pincushions sewn together, Charlotte came over and helped me stuff them--she turned out to have a real knack. I hope she will agree to help me out again.

Along the way, long-time friend Lotti is teaching her granddaughters to sew and thought a pincushion for each of them would be a fun gift. I searched through my selvages and believe it or not was able to come up with something to personalize each one--Willow and Lily. Lotti took it from there and made them each the cutest little sewing kit.


We had such fun going through selvages for the girls. I hope Lotti and I can have some sewing days this summer.
It's always fun to see the pincushions in use--Lauren's lives on her ironing board and Sarah's is on a shelf with some other treasures.

I spent some time organizing all my selvages by theme. Obsessive? Maybe a little. But now I'm working on blocks for my first selvage quilt and it's such fun. Each block has its own little theme. I'm using the whirlwind block designed by Amy Friend of During Quiet Time.
I'm not done with personalized selvages--there are still so many people on my list. Pincushions will be completed when I find just the right selvage for each of them.

Do you save selvages? If yes, what is your favorite thing to make with them? If no, why not??

11 comments:

  1. I used to save them, but when we moved across the country, I got rid of them with a lot of other sewing stuff. I just couldn't bring it all with me. I love how many different selvedges you have. I never knew you used to have an etsy shop. I am looking forward to seeing your quilt grow.

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  2. I just love all of your selvage projects. Those pincushions are so sweet and a treasured gift. I LOVE mine.

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  3. These are just wonderful! It has given me ideas to use for my own pincushions. I have saved a good bit of selvedges for a while, but have not used them yet. I will get to it sooner or later.

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  4. I absolutely LOVE my French75 pincushion. Your selvage projects are works of art. I'm sure each friend who received a pincushion cherishes it. I save the occasion selvage for you, but most go into the bin. Perhaps some day I'll be inspired to use a few, but until then, I'll admire your work.

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  5. A friend sent me the link to your blog post and I so enjoyed reading it. I LOVE selvages and have made a bunch of things with my massive collection. A lot of friends save them for me LOL. But, your pin cushions sure are the absolute cutest with their personalized selvages! Great job.

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  6. I just loved reading about the individual details of all your pin cushions. Mine lives on my desk right next to the pin bowl and I absolutely adore it! The thought you put into it is much appreciated. Thank You!

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  7. Some people always know how to say just the right thing. In your case, you seem to know how to sew just the right thing! What charming and thought-filled gifts. You may have been low on energy then, but your mind was certainly busy putting these together. Mine sits on the shelf next to where my sewing kit sits in between sewing sessions. Because I don't have a separate sewing room, I get to see it and think of you every day, not just on sewing days. Can't wait to see more of your quilt. Thanks!

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  8. I love your selvedge pincushions, especially how you 'individualise' them for your friends. I love playing with selvedges, they have been my obsession for more than 5 years now. I have become very disillusioned with sewing quilt tops lately and have given most of my fabric collection away but will be keeping my selvedge stash, just reading some of them makes me smile.

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  9. I used to cut them off as soon as the fabric entered the house, but I have a lot that I haven't used so ... I stopped. However, just yesterday, I started looking up basic instructions on how to sew with selvages. Why? Did you post a selvage project on a previous blog post? I have a feeling you did. I'm wanting to sew a selvage pillow for my fiance's sofa. Seems like that would be a very quick project. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  10. There is a whole book of ideas in those selvedges Cindy! Sadly I do not keep them, as I have enough scraps to last two lifetimes!!!

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  11. Fun to see your crop of selvage pincushions. I treasure mine, too--it's a page weight and lives right next to my computer, helping me daily.

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