Monday, March 9, 2009

Edgy Words and Selvages

I love to put words on my crazy quilts. Sometimes I backstitch them onto an evenweave material such as linen or Aida cloth and then use that piece of cloth as a patch in my CQ. In the pictures below you can see that I used DMC 3371 to backstitch the names of all types of teas on one side of the basket top. On the other I used the same color to backstitch some of the things having a connection with tea.

This particular set of small basket top covers was a study in natural dyes. I have used mostly coffees, teas and brown onion skins to color the fabrics I chose for this CQ - cotton, linen, silk and rayon blends. I also took a skein each of DMC cotton floss in white, ecru, pale blue, yellow, green and pink and dipped them in the different brews I had concocted to subdue their natural colors. I then spattered the flosses with other natural dyes of red, blue and green. I am sorry I don't remember right now what gave me those colors. All the silk ribbon was also dipped in coffee or tea to take the sheen off.

Because I wanted to emphasize the dyeing of the fabric on these tops I used only a single strand of floss for each seam treatment. This really made the seams recede into the background. I also chose to put SRE bees on a honeycomb pattern rather than use the traditional spider and web. The look is simple and the process was educational.

Other ways I have put words onto my CQ's include using labels from clothing - some of those designer clothes have really cool words as names for the company (All That Jazz, Mosaic, Piano, etc.) I have also painted initials on fabric and I am sure someone with better handwriting than mine could write whole sentences! One of my favorite ways to get words and thoughts onto my projects is by printing poems, vintage calling cards, etc. onto fabrics using the computer. It is fun to experiment with different fonts and colors. Even ribbons can be created with words on them. I also save ribbons, like the ones on boxes of fine chocolates, that have words on them and use them.

Over the years I have begged many a cut off selvage from my friends who do sane quilting and sewing. Those selvages have nice words, numbers and even patterns that can be sewn in with other patches, across other patches or even sewn together to make their own patch. In fact, today the trend is to save the selvages just for their own projects, like needle case covers, cell phone holders, etc. They even have books about how to do use selvages for different projects. Ask yourself, how many selvages have you thrown in the trash can over the past decade?

I was recently blog hopping and found the Moda Lissa blog site. Wonderful fabrics for quilting and sewing. They are having a giveaway on Saturday, March 14. The prize is a large ball of selvages (think twine ball)! Check it out! Also, there is going to be information posted on March 18 about a Selvage Pillow Giveaway on the Selvageblog blog site. There are pictures there of one pillow that is so darling. I want in on this, do you? Check it out, too!


Ruby said...

Shari, I found your blog on words,selvages, natural dyes very interesting. Thank you.
Garment labels are sooo neat!
I think your basket covers are pretty. I would find it hard to stay that neutral but you have encouraged me to try it.


Ruby said...

OH, I forgot, love the honey bee with comb. DH is a beekeeper so that's got to be on one of my blocks!

Karen said...

Hi Shari!
Would you share some pics when you have these completed. You know I love your work!!