Friday, September 14, 2018

The Ties that Bind

My dear friend lost her husband to cancer and after I made memory T-shirt quilts for her daughters she asked if I could also make quilts for her and her mother-in-law with his ties.  As if she could stop me;-)

I started with this pile of ties which I first had to disassemble and then interface.  Since I needed to get 2 quilts worth of fabric out of these I spent a lot of time planning everything out before I started cutting.

For the first quilt I decided to go with a fairly traditional tie quilt pattern and made a giant Dresdan plate.  I should have added some objects to the photo for scale but this Dresdan is 40" across. Since I had 30 ties to work with I bought a fancy new 15° ruler to cut the large wedges but after that it was pretty much the same process as my (still unfinished) Blue Plate Special.

To keep the focus on the ties I kept the quilting simple.  Once I'd quilted down the edges I used a hera marker to mark lines radiating thru the center of each wedge out to the edge.  I used a shirting fabric for the background and combined with the different weight silks it was a bit challenging to quilt but I love the finished effect.

The second quilt was inspired by a quilt by my insanely creative friend @RebeccaLorenQuilts.

For this one I made fan sections with the wedges and then glued them down to the Essex Linen blocks.  The biggest challenge was adding the quarter circle wedges.  I made circles with linen and interfacing then cut them into quarters and fused them on to the blocks before piecing them together.

I used navy Essex linen on the back, reminiscent of a blue blazer, and the binding was made from one of John's dress shirts.  It was such a honor to make these quilts but I'm really hoping I don't have the occasion to make any more for a long, long time.

My friend Michelle of From Bolt to Beauty is hosting a Brag About Your Beauties linky party and giveaway so hop over there and check out her amazing collection of projects!


  1. I love the setting you've chosen in the second quilt. And using the dress shirt for binding was a great touch! What a lovely memory for them.

  2. I have yet to make a memory quilt -- it's intimidating to take someone's precious T-shirts or ties and cut them up. But these are beautiful and well worth the risk! I especially like how the fabrics you added to the ties are reminiscent of a man's wardrobe. These quilts will be cherished, for sure. : )