The Real NeckTie Pattern

Ah, finally, I have come up with a pattern I really like for the necktie quilt.  It meets all criteria:  It is straight lines only (for my first silk-piecing adventure), has good graphic impact  (without too many small fiddly pieces), and is planned to allow me to trim each large square with the Accuquilt cutter prior to piecing them together.  The first version is this:

Random Color Version

Random Color Version

This one is the random color distribution version.  I’ve used the lighter colors for the larger pieces, and the darker colors for the stars and the whirling squares.  But the warm and cool light colors are randomly laid out.  Then I thought perhaps having either the cool colors or the warm colors concentrated in the border/center might be cool.

NeckTie Warm Border

NeckTie Cool Border

The top one of these two has warm colors in the border, cools in the center.  The second of these two has cool colors in the border and warms in the center.  Do you prefer either of these to the first version?

My next task is to trial ironing very lightweight stabilizer to the silk.  I have found all sorts of brand recommendations, some of which are very expensive when I consider using it on the entirety of a 48″ x 48″ quilt.  I’ve decided to start with Pellon fusible interfacing (left over from another project, which is 20″ wide and only $US0.99 per yard.

I’m heading for the drawing board!!

NeckTie Quilts!!

How to design my NeckTie Quilt?  Mr. Google has given me all sorts of ideas.  There are many necktie quilts made as a memorial to a loved one who has died.  These tend to be unsophisticated in design, mostly using a whole segment of the front of each tie in a fan or dresden plate design:

Gentleman Jim Quilt posted by didido4u on

Gentleman Jim Quilt posted by didido4u on

These helped me focus my ideas.  (1) I want to use just the ties, without the additional of any other background or sashing fabric (except perhaps for the binding, if I use one).  (2)  I want more design cohesiveness than just random charm squares or other random scrap quilt design.

I considered using a scrappy drunkards path variation, sort of like this:

from The Little Red Hen on Typepad.

from The Little Red Hen on Typepad.

And here’s the variation I tried out on EQ7:

Developed on EQ7

Developed on EQ7

But then I go to thinking about curved piecing and silk needing stabilization.  Curved seams work because the bias cuts on the curves stretch and adapt.  But once fused to iron-on interfacing, the fabric would no longer stretch as graciously, making these curved seams difficult to sew.

I found a few truly inspiring quilt designs from ties.  This first one is a Christmas Tree Skirt from Chicago Lost and Found:Christmas Tree Skirt

And this one, called No Necks Needed

No Necks Needed by Virginia Anderson

No Necks Needed by Virginia Anderson

Settled:  Scrappy and No added fabric.  Question:  Exactly what design, composed of straight lines only?

I’ve considered a very simple block, with a triangle off each side of a square, ultimately looking something like this:

Tie Circles

I guess this is sort of a snowball variation of drunkard’s path without curves!  And this is a sort of Kaleidoscope:Kaleidoscope

But I’m not sure I like to light to dark ratio in this- too much light?


Or, this is another variation of a square divided into two triangles and a slash.  I think I like this one best, but I’m not madly in love with any of these yet.  I’ll be experimenting further!


A Quilt from Ties?

It all started with a fashion concern.  Sweet Husband decided to weed out his humongous collection of ties, leaving only the ones he really loved and wore often (and maybe so he’d have a good excuse to buy more??).  I sat on the bed helping him decide which ones were really ‘him’.

Ties Galore

Karen helping with sorting the Mega-Tie Collection

As the pile of rejects grew, I thought, hmmmmm.  These are all silk.  I have always wanted to try working with silk in quilting.  Hmmm. Hmmm.  I wonder if it would work to  somehow use this silk in a quilt?  Here’s the collection I ended up with!!QuiltsFromTies1h

Such silky goodness should obviously not go to waste!  So I searched a bit online, and one person made the point that ties are often filthy, having been the catchers of everything from soup to (let’s not name it).  Washing so many by hand seemed daunting, so into the washer they went.  Regular cycle, regular soap.  And them I piled them into the dryer, again regular setting.  When the dryer cycle dinged ‘Done’, I opened the dryer door with trepidation:


A little scary looking!  And here’s the pile back in the basket:


One at a time, I thought.  Here are the first three I chose to tackle:


They look kinda crumpled and yucky.  Was this a good idea?  So, I chose one and settled down to tie deconstruction:QuiltsFromTies1d

First I removed the label.  Then I cut threads up the center seam.  This was very loosely sewn, and easy to cut.  I removed the felt or interfacing, and spread the tie out.  The stitching holding the lining in place at both ends was sewn with much smaller tighter stitches, and required a small embroidery scissors to undo.  Then I laid it all out flat, and ironed out the creases.  Flatter was very helpful with this (no affiliation).  And look at what I ended up with!!QuiltsFromTies1f

You know how big a rotary cutter is!   This is a seriously big amount of silk!  It measures 8″ at the widest point, and a total of 64″ long!!  And here it is folded and ready for the shelf.  QuiltsFromTies1e

The deconstruction and ironing took about half an hour, but I think with practice that will get faster-  and if I tackle this whole basket of now-clean ties I will get a lot of practice!!

How will these deconstructed ties work in a quilt?  To Be Determined!  I notice that the narrower ‘tail’ of the fabric is a nice size for cutting hexies.  The broader part should work for all sorts of potential designs.  Maybe trolling through thrift shops looking for silk ties is in my future?