Tie Quilts

Tie Quilts are just plain fun to make, to own, and to display, whether you want a quilt made out of your father’s ties or you collect ties and would like to see a quilt made from them. Certainly they make terrific bereavement quilts, because ties say so much about a man and can be easily turned into a beautiful work of art. Other people want their collection out for display in a wall hanging. Either way, tie quilts or wall hangings are in demand. I’d love to make one for you. Below are some examples of work I have done in the past with ties:

Two Wall Hanging Tie Quilts – Christmas Gifts to Mothers

Cindy's Gift to her Mother - Tie Bereavement Quilt

Cindy’s Gift to her Mother – Tie Bereavement Quilt

In Cindy’s quilt, I used white silk as a background and three thin borders made from her father’s luscious ties.

Family display tie quilt made for mother

Family displaying tie quilt made for mother

Cindy and her family shown displaying the wall hanging made from her father’s ties and gifted to her mother.

Tie bereavement quilt made for Cindy Koebl's mother

Tie bereavement quilt made for Cindy Koebl’s mother

I made the wall hanging above for Cindy Koeb’s mother, using my own version of a pattern copied from a picture (see below) that Cindy sent me. I didn’t use silk as the background, which would have been a better choice simply because so many satin-like polyesters are difficult to work with.

Quilt I used as a template for my own - Artist unknown - but thanks!

Quilt I used as a template for my own – Artist unknown

Three Wall Hanging Tie Quilts Honoring Husbands

After making the diamond shaped tie wall hanging above, I’ve had a number of customers who love that shape.  They especially like seeing most of the tie showing.  Here are three quilts with essentially the same pattern.  But note how different each one is because the ties make the wall hanging – not the pattern.

Bereavement tie hanging honoring husband Greg


Bereavement tie wall hanging honoring Sheila's husband

Bereavement tie wall hanging honoring Sheila’s husband


Bereavement tie wall hanging honoring Robin’s husband

Cindy’s Tie Quilt Honoring her Father

A few years after I made the diamond shaped tie wall hanging for Cindy’s mother, I made the wall hanging below for Cindy herself, using the same patch of ties which had belonged to her father.  As I ran out of ties, I used Duponi silk for the central star.  I also used silk in the backgrounds.

Bereavement tie wall hanging honoring father

Bereavement Tie Quilt using Kaffe Fassett’s Organic Radiation Pattern

Bereavement Tie Quilt using Kaffe Fassett’s Organic Radiation design

Kaffe Fassett’s Organic Radiation Design

When Teresa sent me a huge amount of lovely ties worn by her late father-in-law plus about 60 scarves worn by his wife, I pondered what to do with them. I’d already made a number of tie quilts using some version of the Dresden Plate design and wanted to do something different. Then I saw a few quilts online that were named “Organic Radiation” – the name being an apt description. It turned out to be one of Kaffe Fassett’s designs and the perfect choice. Teresa wanted a queen-sized quilt to use in the guest room in a future log cabin in the Appalachian mountains, and I had loads of beautiful ties and scarves at my disposal.

Center Detail of Organic Radiation Bereavement Quilt

Use of Scarves

I definitely wanted scarves to embellish the center diamond, as seen above. I was also fortunate to find two very lovely pashmere shawls among the scarves, one red, one blue-green. The red one was large enough to frame the body of the organic radiation design and nicely framed the centerpiece. 

Top of Organic Radiation Bereavement Tie Quilt

The soft and luscious blue-green pashmere shawl was just large enough to encompass the entire quilt, as seen above. To ring the design, I cut large squares from chosen scarves and framed them with strips of leftover ties.

Organic Radiation Bereavement Quilt Center

The Challenge of the Design

Any quilter knows there’s math involved in designing a quilt. This one required the skills of a drafter as well. No matter how well I planned and figured the distances and angles, I always came up short such that the final center piece within the red framework was about five inches smaller than planned. The borders helped and added beauty as well, but overall this quilt provided an interesting challenge to what became a creative puzzle. Although this was a Kaffe Fassett design, I didn’t have any instructions to follow. I did read whatever advice by other quilters I could find online and am glad that I heeded it. The biggest problem, according to these wise quilters, was keeping the quilt flat. By constant ironing, I managed to keep it flat throughout.


Teresa’s response:  “The quilt blew us away!  It is so beautiful.  My best friend, Jacque absolutely loves it. Thank you so very much.  You have incredible skills and this will be a family heirloom for many years to come.” 

Commemorative Tie Quilt for Retired Computer Teacher

Tie Quilt featuring retired computer teacher's ties

Tie Quilt featuring retired computer teacher’s ties

Over 100 ties collected by a retired computer teacher went into this 52 x 70 inch wall hanging. It was a fitting way to honor John Schaap’s career as a teacher.

Bereavement Bed-Sized Quilts using a Diamond Shaped Tie Array

Bed-sized bereavement quilt for daughter made with father’s ties in diamond shaped array

Jeri Lynn wanted her dad’s ties incorporated into bed-sized quilts, one for her and one for her son.  She gave me the color scheme and I selected fabrics to make two quilts using simple but elegant designs.

Bereavement quilt for grandson using granddad’s ties in the center

Lone Star Bed-sized Tie Quilt Made for Retired School Teacher

Lone star tie quilt made for retired school teacher

Steve had so many colorful ties from his years as a school teacher, but he wanted a tan-brown-yellow color scheme for this bed-sized quilt.  He chose the Lone Star motif partly because he had seen a quilt which used white dress shirts in the corners.  If you look at this picture closely, you can see those white dress shirts in the corners of his quilt.  I had a large amount of yellow fabric (seen in the inner and outer borders) which picked up the green, orange, red and browns of the ties, but it was a little overwhelming for Steve when he received the quilt.  He said he was sure he would get used to it, and I fervently hope he does.  To me it is a perfect balance, framing and setting off the stunning inner star.


Bereavement Tie Quilt – Small Wall Hanging – Silk and Satin Background

Bereavement Tie Quilt - Lee's Tribute to Jack

Bereavement Tie Quilt – Lee’s Tribute to Jack

The tie quilt above was made as a wall hanging for my friend Lee, a poignant tribute to her husband Jack.  I used the familiar Dresden fan pattern (blades not petals).  Each tie was used four times. Few realize how much material is in a tie. As you can see, there was still plenty of material left over to make an insert of tie bits in the border design. Only 14 ties were used to make this lush quilt. Both satin and silk were used in the background and in the border.

Tie Quilt – Landscape/Collage

Bereavement Tie Wall Hanging - Elana's Landscape/ Collage

Bereavement Tie Wall Hanging – Elana’s Boston Landscape/ Collage

Elana took a leap of faith when she commissioned me to make a large wall hanging (approx. 60 x 53 inches) using her dad’s gorgeous ties. Her dad was a civil engineer in Boston who had worked on the MIT Dome. Using pictures she sent me, I portrayed the Boston skyline, the MIT dome, and the childhood home in Boston. I used silk for the sky, clouds, water, grass and some of the trees, but the rest all came from ties. Below is the picture of the Boston skyline that I followed.

Photo of the Boston skyline

Photo of the Boston skyline

Bereavement Tie Quilt – Small Wall Hanging

Bereavement wall hanging made from husband’s ties and shirts depicting Colorado mountain view

This wall hanging is an artistic rendition of the Colorado mountains as seen from a mountain meadow where a wedding party has been collecting wildflowers for the upcoming wedding.  My customer Mike’s parents had such a wedding which was too far from civilization to get flowers from the florist so they picked their own.  I primarily used Mike’s father’s ties for the landscaping, plus a few shirts. The wall hanging was for his mother.

Bereavement Tie Quilt – Small Wall Hanging

Mom's wall hanging re

Bereavement Tie Quilt – Small Wall Hanging – Pinwheel Design

When someone commissions a quilt, they either choose or approve of the pattern. Elana’s mother chose the pinwheel pattern for the wall hanging above, which uses the same ties as I used in the landscape/collage previously shown. As can be seen, a pinwheel pattern calls for varying shades so that each tie can stand out. Bereavement tie quilts are very meaningful as they evoke so many great memories. But they can also be enjoyed for their beauty alone.

Bereavement Tie Quilt – Medium-sized Wall Hanging

Bereavement Tie Quilt - Also Using Two Shirts

Bereavement Tie Quilt Using Two Shirts in Background and Borders

Jennifer had me make this quilt for her mother made from her dad’s ties and two shirts. I used a blue shirt as the background in the Dresden plate wall hanging and the two alternating stripes (red and grey) in the border. I used the one light colored tie to rim and set off the centerpiece.Only fourteen ties were used in this quilt.

Crazy Tie Quilt

The patchwork for a tie quilt using the crazy quilt pattern

The patchwork for a tie quilt using the crazy quilt pattern

I was commissioned to make only the patchwork, as Sande wanted to finish the quilt herself. If you look carefully you can see that I actually used blocks with preset pieces (which I got from a software program). The overall look, however, is of a random selection of bits and pieces. This was a combination bereavement/collection quilt, combining ties from a lost son and a retired father. Sande later finished the quilt and made a lovely memorable art piece which she gave to her daughter.

Bereavement Tie Throw – Wedding Gift for Daughter

Bereavement Tie Throw - Wedding Gift for Daughter

Bereavement Tie Throw – Wedding Gift for Daughter

This tie quilt is a small throw made using a father’s ties, a gift from a mother to her daughter on her wedding day. The red background is from a red silk dress of the mothers. In the center of the quilt is a phrase from a poem written by the daughter to honor her father.

Ties Used in a Bereavement Quilt along with other Clothes

Bereavement quilt depicting magic carpet going to four major cities, using ties and other clothes

Bereavement throw for daughter using grandfather’s flannels and ties

Ties used in a Traditional Bereavement Quilt

Ties used in a Traditional Bereavement Quilt

Sarah sent me 54 shirts and three ties to include in a bereavement quilt for her mother. I used the ties in the centerpiece to frame a favorite poem.

Tie used in Block of Story Quilt

Tie used in Block of Story Quilt

I made a Bereavement Quilt for Tracy which was made up of blocks that told a story. I used her father’s clothes throughout, including a red striped tie which is used to represent a parking lot outside the church where Tracy is getting married.