For years I used to trim the selvedge off my cotton fabrics and regretfully throw it away, thinking that it looked really pretty but not knowing there was any way of using it. I liked the look of the multi coloured dots, numbers and decorative lettering. Then one day I saw a pretty bag made from recycled selvedge strips which looked a bit like ribbon when applied to a backing. I gathered as much selvedge as I could from the fabrics I had in stock and made a cushion and it worked well. I then made a pin cushion, shaped like a needle roll, which I use all the time in my studio.
I work regularly for the inspirational Crafts Beautiful magazine, and for one of their projects I had an idea for a selvedge cushion, incorporating bands of cross stitch flowers to make it more personal. I also made ribbon ties for the top from strips of selvedge.
This picture of my selvedge project is from the June 2010 Issue of Crafts Beautiful.
One of my friends told her sister I was using selvedge in this way and she kindly asked her quilt group to save theirs for me - so I have plenty now to make the quilt I'm planning: I'm thinking of a series of square blocks made up of strips of selvedge, divided by plain white sashing. So if you don't already save your selvedge, next time you trim your fabric, think twice before throwing it away - you might just want to upcycle it!