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Thread: Is it ok not to remove selvages from backing if it will end up inside the binding?

  1. #1
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
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    Is it ok not to remove selvages from backing if it will end up inside the binding?

    My top ended up a little bigger than I expected, and my back is not much wider than the top. I am nervous about quilting it. Would it be ok to leave the selvage on to grab a few extra millimeters? I know it does not behave like the rest of the fabric, but neither does binding, so will it make any difference?
    Fortune favours the prepared mind
    "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

  2. #2
    Super Member LyndaOH's Avatar
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    I wouldn't because I think you might get uneven shrinkage when the quilt is washed. That's just my opinion, though. I've never tried it.

  3. #3
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    Meh, I've done it. Not a big deal.

  4. #4
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    If you have to use the selvedge, you might try snipping into it every inch or 2 after you've sewn the first side of the binding on. It's more tightly woven and often shrinks up more.

  5. #5
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    The thing you need to worry about is that it will really pull up after washing. If you have pre-washed & dried it, it will probably not pull up any more. If not, then nanibi's idea of snipping it is a good one.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  6. #6
    Super Member SouthPStitches's Avatar
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    I think you'll be fine. Sometimes you just have to fudge things a bit. All's fair in love and quilting!

  7. #7
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I have done it.. but did clip the first few theads every few inches, so if there is more shrinkage in the selvage it will not distort.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    I have done it and I was fine but I'd I make quilts for others I cut it off just to be on the safe side.

  9. #9
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    If you need the extra, then use it. Just clip the selvage inside the 1/4 inch seam allowance edge once you sew the binding on. Hopefully the fabric is printed right to the edge? I hate those new large selvages that are unprinted or have huge printing.

  10. #10
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I'm more concerned that your backing will not be big enough when you start quilting if it is already so small that the selvage is where the binding would be. Usually you would allow 1-4 inches all around extra backing, not just enough.

  11. #11
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    It should be fine. The binding is strong enough to prevent distortion from any shrinkage of the selvedge. It would be a good idea to clip the selvedge every once in awhile, inside the seam allowance.

  12. #12
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    I like to have the backing about 4 inches bigger that the top, all the way around my quilt. This allows for the quilting. I also like to hand quilt and for that reason alone, I would cut off the salvedge edge.

  13. #13
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    It will be fine especially with the clipping as was suggested. Salvages today aren't like they used to be.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster View Post
    I'm more concerned that your backing will not be big enough when you start quilting if it is already so small that the selvage is where the binding would be. Usually you would allow 1-4 inches all around extra backing, not just enough.
    I agree and the higher the loft of the batting, the greater the problem will be. Lots of people are using pieced backs these days. Are you quilting this yourself? As a long arm quilter I could not in good conscience accept a back that small because I know the results would be less than optimal.
    Cheryl Robinson
    http://www.silverneedlestitching.com
    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  15. #15
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    everyone else has answered exactly how I would have. It is best not to use it, (when I was a home ec ed major, that was the one really big thing we learned. it WILL shrink and distort your project. clipping it should help in this emergency situation, but I would recommend NOT making it a habit to leave the selvage in your project. Can't wait to see pics of the finished quilt!

  16. #16
    Senior Member ncsewer's Avatar
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    Can you cut the backing in half and use some scraps to create an "artistic strip" to place in the center that would add a few inches to the width of the backing? Or you could even add a couple of inches to each side of the backing with strips made from the leftover top.

  17. #17
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    Oh well yes, I've done it. its not the best situation but who cares. Unless your sending this quilt to a national quilt show I'm pretty sure the quilt police won't issue a ticket.

  18. #18
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    This is what i would do, too, if I didn't have the money or couldn't find more fabric. Won't be show quality, but it will still be "love" quality.

    Quote Originally Posted by nanibi View Post
    If you have to use the selvedge, you might try snipping into it every inch or 2 after you've sewn the first side of the binding on. It's more tightly woven and often shrinks up more.
    Last edited by knlsmith; 01-11-2013 at 07:11 AM.

  19. #19
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    I've left the selvedge on many times, and have never had a problem. Long arm quilting is another story. They need more fabric to start the quilting.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

  20. #20
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    My query would be do you fall in the prewash camp? If so don't worry about it, look at all the selvedge quilts Karen Griska has introduced and spawned.
    I used a ton of selvedges in last years Bonnie Hunter mystery in the strippy blocks, and they are all fine. But I'm a prewasher.

    That said I've never seen a selvedge shrink up in 40 years of prewashing. That is where we'd see it first. This might be an old myth. I do know with hand quilting they are a little harder to quilt through.

  21. #21
    Power Poster gabeway's Avatar
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    Have done so once. If material prewashed not a problem.
    Wayne & Gabriele, the married quilters.

  22. #22
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gabeway View Post
    Have done so once. If material prewashed not a problem.
    Me, too. Gabeway is right!!
    "A woman is like a tea bag-you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

  23. #23
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    I always trim the selvadges, they will shrink differently than the fabric. Won't you still need several inches around the quilt that will be taken up when the quilt is quilted?

  24. #24
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    I've done it with good results but only in an emergency-----what you have IS an emergency.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Judi in Ohio's Avatar
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    I have used selvages, but do take some off. I haven't had any problems, but then I like my quilts squishy and vintage looking. I've not noticed the selvage looking any different.
    Judi in Ohio

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