QUILTS & FABRIC: PAST & PRESENT By Quilt Historian Barbara Brackman Above: Moda's Baltimore Blues

Friday, October 18, 2013

Improved Selvages from Moda

Selvage quilt
by Chicken Julie

Selvages (or selvedges in English English) are the finished edges of the yardage.

In screened fabric the selvage usually has information about the print, such as  name, company and colors used in the various screens to get the multi-colored print. In the selvage above eight colors are indicated by the dots. Sometimes there is a number too. The dot is the traditional shape for color indication.

At Moda we use that familiar strips of dots as a logo.


Riel Nason
Making Every Scrap Count

Riel at The Q and The U blog showed this quilt pieced of just the dots and the numbers cut from selvages.

Spider Webs from Squares and Triangles

Selvage quilters make the most of everything.

Elena sells selvage quilts on Etsy

They become selvage collectors

A dress pieced of selvages by Jodi at Ricrac in 2008

You collectors have probably noticed that Moda has done some innovating in their color
indicators. In my Morris Modernized line we used a Voysey bird instead
of a dot. We pull out an image from a print in the collection.

The more colors, the more birds.

Karen Griska at THE Selvage Blog
calls the selvage quilt phenomenon
"Extreme Scrap Quilting."

Karen Griska, Thin Sticks


kathyinozarks said...

these are amazing-I love the birds instead of the dots

Julie Vee said...

OH DEAR - while I am a scrappy quilt nut aka maker and lover ... doing the selvage thing just is taking it a bit too far for me lolol.
But whatever 'floats your boat"


Debra Spincic said...

With so much emphasis on using the selvedge, what becomes of the yardage?

Helen said...

I am intrigued by the selvage quilts and am saving selvages until I have enough to make a project. The Moda Bake Shop has a charming pillow pattern for selvages. I'll have to buy some of your fabric to get the Voysey bird and also some of Anne Sutton's to get the bunnies.

Dorothy Matheson said...

I too love that other things than dots are showing up on the salvages. I also really like the older fabric that are thinner and I have a bunch that say where they were made. In the USA

Barbara Brackman said...

Debra---What becomes of the rest of the fabric?---I think the selvage hounds beg and borrow the selvages from others and some shops sell bags of selvages. They are like the factory cutaways. Crazy to throw them out. That's perfectly good fabric!

Julie Vee said...


Imagine just how many SEAMS that dress has in it, and minimum of a zillion spools of thread! I think the selvage idea is a novelty. Some day the Smithsonian will have a exhibit of this craze? Maybe!

Thanks for posting such an interesting post. I love reading all of your posts too.

Smiles, JulieinTN

SEW FUN said...

I would L♥VE to find out where/which shops sell the bags of selvage, PLEASE. :)