Tutorial! Selvage Christmas Tree & Giveaway!

Ready to dig into your selvage stash? I’m delighted to introduce you to my friend Cindy of Live a Colorful Life.
Live a Colorful Life
Cindy’s so talented and creates such lively colorful things, especially with her stash of selvages!
I was so excited that she agreed to be part of Deck the Halls. You’re going to love her festive and fun selvage Christmas tree tutorial.
Check out Cindy’s tutorial below! 

I’m sew excited to be part of Jennifer’s blog hop today! I’m Cindy from Live a Colorful Life. I’ve been quilting for quite a few years. In the last few years, my style has changed quite a bit. I love combining traditional blocks with modern fabrics for a fresh new look. I also love saving all my selvages–they are so fun and colorful.

selvage tree table runner tut

I’m going to show you how to make a wall hanging using selvages. Now I happen to categorize all my selvages in bags by “theme.” A little obsessive, maybe? If you have some Christmas selvages hanging around, here is a chance to use them. If not, any and all kinds of selvages would be just as cute.

So here is what you need for this wall hanging, which finishes at 16 1/2 by 26 inches:

Muslin base for the selvage “branches” of the tree:
3 – 4 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches
1 – 4 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches

Background (I found this fabulous gradated snowflake print, but blue would be great too–especially if you have something with stars or snowflakes):
6 – 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches (two each for the bottom three “branches” of your tree)
2  – 4 1/2 x 5 inches (these are for the tree trunk)
2 – 4 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches (these are for the top “branch” of your tree)

1 – 2 1/2 b y 12 1/2 inches (this will at the top of the tree)

Tree trunk:
1 – 3 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches

2 – 2 1/2 x 16 1/2 inches
2 – 2 1/2 x 22 inches

1/4 yard
1/2 yard
1 piece approximately 20 x 30 inches 
Button: I used a red star for my tree topper

First you will make Christmas tree. Each  level of the tree is a simple rectangle: three of them are the same size and the top one is a little smaller.

Start by choosing your selvages. Sometimes I have selvages that are cute but too short–so I just sew the short one with a longer one. There aren’t a lot of rules when it comes to selvages so just have fun with it!

Now lay them on the base until you are happy with the arrangement. I always like to add some selvages that have the color registration dots–kind of like little ornaments on your tree! Sometimes I have really skinny selvages and sometimes I have some that are wide enough to show off a bit of the fabric too.

I usually start from the bottom and work my way up, sewing close to the finished edge of each selvage. When you are finished, turn it over and trim to the proper size.

Next take your background fabric. This part is kind of like make a flying geese block, except on the three bottom “branches” the background squares don’t meet in the middle. Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner.

Sew on the line you have drawn.

Trim 1/4 inch past the sewn line. Press open.


For the top of the tree, you will do the same thing with just this little change: Lay your background on the selvage base, right sides together (just imagine the gold fabric is your selvage base–I took this picture after my whole wall hanging was together and needed a little contrast for illustration purposes).

Because this is the only place where your background is a rectangle rather than a square, make a little pencil line 4 1/2 inches down, then draw your diagonal line from the top left down to the mark and sew on that line. Trim, press back, and do the same on the other side.

Sew your selvage “branch” units together.

Sew the remaining background piece to the top of your tree (I added my button after it was completely quilted).

For your tree trunk, sew the two background pieces on each side of your trunk fabric. Then sew this strip to the bottom of your tree.

Add your two side borders, then the top and bottom. Baste, quilt, and bind. Add your star to the top, hang and enjoy!

You realize there is a giveaway today too? One of my favorites–Zipit!

I made a Christmas tree ornament pillow a couple of weeks ago, also using selvages (tutorial here):

and used a zipper from Zipit on the back.

They have a great selection and wonderful customer service. You will find every size and color you could possibly need. They are giving away a $20 gift certificate. So head back to my blog and leave a comment telling me whether your like to decorate with traditional colors–red and green–or do you go out on a (Christmas tree) limb and using a retro or modern color combination?

Thanks for having me, Jennifer!

Isn’t Cindy’s tree so cute? After you pop on over to her blog and show her some love, don’t forget to ENTER TO WIN the $50 gift certificate from Contemporary Cloth !

Be sure to check out all the posts in this series!

11/26: S.O.T.A.K. Handmade / Giveaway from Sew Me a Song
11/27: Live A Colorful Life / Giveaway from Zipit!
11/28: Petit Lyons /Giveaway from Zipit!
12/4: Jednoiglec / Giveaway from Sew Fresh Fabric
12/5: Owen’s Olivia / Giveaway from Sew Fresh Fabric

Happy Holidays!



  1. 1


    What a great way to use selvage! I was just eying some zippers at Zipit yesterday! We just bought a house a few months ago so this will be my first Christmas actually decorating things. I plan on going a little modern with my decorating and there will definitely be blue and silver involved. Now I just have to find the time to decorate!

  2. 24

    kathleen soman says

    I love making things with selvedges, the latest was a purse and I would rather use non traditional colors for christmas.

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