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  • Daphne Budding

So many hobbies, so little time!

It seems to me that every fibre craft is at least three hobbies rolled into one skill. For example, if a person’s hobby is knitting, the second hobby is buying and storing yarn and the final hobby is collecting patterns because “someday I’m gonna make this.”

For me lately, quilting has become four hobbies. There is, of course, sewing fabric together to make beautiful quilt tops, selecting batting, and then quilting the three layers together. That is my first hobby. The second hobby is buying quilting fabric because it is simply too beautiful to leave the store without it. Someday it will become part of a beautiful quilt. As a result, many of us have a large stash of cotton quilting fabric that we will use someday.

The third hobby is collecting patterns. I never really thought about that hobby until I spent this weekend tackling my studio. It was a mess. As I found homes for things I realized that I had many, many quilt patterns: some are waiting for me to do next, while others are waiting for the right fabric to make it perfect.

But lately (and here is my fourth hobby surrounding quilting), I have begun to notice the quilt fabric salvege (selvedge, selvage – spelling varies depending on where you look). According to Oxford, it is “a self-finished edge of fabric created during manufacturing that prevents it from unraveling.” It used to be that the salvege was just a white strip of fabric, but then some manufacturers started putting little dots of colour to represent colors used in the fabric. Those little guys are helpful when matching and blending colours for the pattern. These circles of colour often came with the designer or manufacturer’s name.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a job designing fabrics? No one gave me that option during high school career counseling.

Salvages started to catch my eye with a line of quilting fabric called Laundry. This series is about, you guessed it, laundry. It is a black-and-white series that includes shades of gray. The colours weren’t represented by little circles. Each color was a piece of laundry, so along the salvege were boxers and bras and tee shirts. They are very cute and much more interesting than dots.

The next step was a good friend telling me that she wanted to make a library quilt. It is a thing! Go to Google and look it up to see some amazing images. Library or bookshelf quilts are very nice. I got the idea that maybe some of these interesting salveges could act as the names down the spines for the books in her library. With that, I started to really take notice of what was written on a salvege. And my world opened up.

Then came the thought, “what can I do with these?.” The fabric is by Lynette Anderson and is called Something Borrowed, Something Blue. Along the edge was written, “blue skies with pretty butterflies flitting amongst the flowers bringing harmony to our busy world.”

One day I thought I’d make something with that and a piece of cork for a key chain. It’s true, cork is another hobby. From there, I went a bit wild as salveges became more and more interesting. Fabric designers are starting to have fun with them. A fabric line called Tales and Whiskers uses mice to represent colors along the edge. The fabric is about cats. Lavender Sachet uses little stocks of lavender. The Create Joy line of fabric has beautiful sayings. Desert Oasis says, “The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with One Step.” The Eufloria line says, “Just living is Not Enough. One must have Sunshine, Freedom, and a Little Flower.” The list of amazing salveges goes on and on.

And just like that, another hobby is born. Salvege collecting is hobby #4.

On a different note, The crochet bunny hug is blocked and finished drying. Here’s a picture. I’m quite happy with it.

I started on toques. Winter is coming.




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