Tie Quilts are just plain fun to make and to own and to display, whether you want a quilt made out of your father’s ties to remember him by or you collect ties and would like to see a quilt made from them. Certainly they make terrific bereavement or memory quilts, because ties say so much about a man and can be turned into a beautiful work of art as well as a memory. Other people want their collection out for display in a wall hanging. Either way, tie quilts or wall hangings or even pillows are in demand.
Call me at 360-726-1405 if you’d like me to make you a quilt or just to learn more about them. Below are some examples of work I have done in the past with ties:
A Tie Quilt Made as a Birthday Surprise
Cathy wanted to surprise her husband with a very special birthday gift. She surrepticiously selected the best 200 ties she could find from his stash of about 500. He had been an Ad Man in Manhattan for many years and was now retired and didn’t wear them often. We agreed on a pattern that she really liked, one using the Dresden Plate design. I’ve named it “Tumbling Vines” because the ties seem to cascade down across the quilt.
Her husband was surprised and delighted with his birthday gift.
A Bereavement Tie Quilt to Console a Wife
Amy sent me 22 ties belonging to her husband Bobby. She wanted a bed-sized bereavement quilt made from these ties and eventually decided on using the ‘tumbling vine’ pattern. But Amy definitely wanted the middle of the pattern to resemble a “B” for Bobby. She didn’t want borders or framing – just a light blue background to show off her precious ties. After receiving her quilt, she was very pleased with it and said she spent the night with it wrapped around her .
A Tie Quilt Made for a Daughter to Celebrate her Father’s Life
Holly’s mother engaged me to make a quilt for her daughter out of her father’s ties. The bed-sized quilt above was the result of using just half of the ties that Chris sent to me. After I made this quilt Chris wanted a second quilt made for Holly – one that displays the cartoon and other fun ties which both mother and daughter spent time discovering for their beloved man.
Chris chose a beautiful dragonfly backing (from Backside Fabrics) for Holly’s quilt and asked me add a gold buzzard to the label which featured cherished nicknames between father and daughter.
A Second Tie Quilt for Holly
This second bereavement tie quilt for Holly is in contrast to the first one. This one utilizes all the crazy fun ties which Holly and her mother Chris bought for their man, some very interesting and fun ties, but not the more conserative ties which were used in the first quilt. All the little blocks are using scraps from all of the ties – all of them holding precious memories.
Below is the backing Holly chose for her quilt – a wonderful digital print that almost acts as a second quilt. I show it draped across my long arm machine.
Holly’s mother Chris chose a very appropriate label for this quilt, especially the backing. It was a saying full of meaning for Holly and Chris.
King Sized Tie Quilt made to Utilize and Display a Lifetime’s Collection of Ties
Pattern is a Kaffe Fassett version of an antique Cigar Silk Ribbon Quilt
I built this quilt outward from the center to form a king-sized quilt using 140 ties. These wonderful ties were from Tom’s lifetime collection which he wanted to enjoy in his retirement when he seldom wore a tie. If you’d like to learn more, click on Stories to read more.
One Bereavement Tie Quilt for Cindy S’s Mother
In Cindy’s quilt, I used white silk as a background and three thin borders made from her father’s luscious ties.
Cindy and her family shown displaying the wall hanging made from her father’s ties and gifted to her mother.
A Second Bereavement Tie Quilt for Cindy K’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. Silk would have been a great choice for background, beecause so many satin-like polyesters are difficult to work with. I learned a lesson with my choice of polyester.
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 so much of the tie displayed. Here are three quilts with essentially the same pattern, however note how each one is makes its own statement, because ties make the wall hanging – not the pattern.
Bereavement Tie Wall Hanging Honoring Greg
Bereavement Tie Quilt made for Shiela using her Husband’s Ties
Robin’s Bereavement Tie Quilt
Cindy’s Bereavement Tie Quilt Honoring her Father
A few years after I made the diamond shaped tie wall hanging for Cindy K’s mother, Cindy wanted a wall hanging made from her father’s ties for herself. Using remnants from that first quilt, I soon ran out of ties. To complete the wall hanging, I used Duponi silk for the central star and also used silk in the background.
Bereavement Tie Quilt using Kaffe Fassett’s Organic Radiation Pattern
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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 yet let me select fabrics to make two quilts using simple but elegant designs.
Lone Star Bed-sized 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, but the almost overwhelming yellow color is not for everyone.
Bereavement Tie Quilt – Small Wall Hanging – Silk and Satin Background
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). Few realize how much material is in a tie, for I was able to use each tie four times and there remained plenty of leftover material to insert tie bits in the border design. In total 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
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 her 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.
Bereavement Tie Quilt – Small Wall Hanging
This wall hanging is an artistic rendition of the Colorado mountains as seen from a mountain meadow. A wedding party has been collecting wildflowers for the upcoming wedding. The parents of my customer had such a wedding – too far from civilization to get flowers from the florist. 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
When someone commissions a quilt, they either suggest a pattern or approve of one I suggest. Elana’s mother chose the pinwheel pattern for the wall hanging above which uses the same ties as I used in the Boston 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
Jennifer engaged me to make this quilt for her mother using her dad’s ties plus two of his 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. In between the red and the centerpiece, a light colored tie was used to set off the centerpiece. Only fourteen ties were used in this quilt.
Crazy Tie Quilt
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
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
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.
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.