Tie Collection Quilt

This being my first blog ever, I figure I ought to start out with a bang. And I have just finished a collection quilt that has to be my most professional quilt ever, so why not dub it the best tie quilt ever? My client, a retired Texas school teacher, sent me 55 ties which he said he wore faithfully during his teaching career, even when few teachers wore them. Many were gifts from his own grammar school kids, and you couldn’t find a brighter array of ties, many of them festooned with cartoon characters or school related pictures in stunning primary colors.  I used eight ties per block in the center with the yellow background:

Tie Collection Center

The next few shots are up close, so you can see the different types of ties more distinctly. I used 7 ties per block against the red background:

Detail 1 Tie Quilt

Next is a yellow corner block using only 6 ties. These few ties are more Texas state related:

Detail 2 Tie Quilt

And on the opposite side is another yellow corner showing a few Christmas ties:
Detail 3 Tie Quilt

For those of you who are quilters, you might be interested to know how I managed all those points in the middle with nary a bulge. First of all, I used Judy Mathieson’s paper piecing technique for sewing the ties together.  It is practically foolproof, and you don’t have to pull off paper when you’re finished (since you fold back the paper before you sew, there are no seams on the backing wax paper).  And giving credit where credit is due, the central pattern is an old tried and true Dresden Fan pattern,  retrieved from my EQ6 computer program.

The border designs are my own. The yellow and red material used in the center is Laurel Burch fabric. Although this was made for a double bed (so the center piece is 58″x70″), the customer wanted the longer version. The overall dimensions were 96″x108″, allowing me to use more of the tie fabric in the borders.  Also, note the embroidered binding. I’ve always embroidered my bindings, something I’ve never seen on any other quilt. Does anyone else do this?

Tie Collection Detail Edge

My client wanted two shams to match. Luckily ties have a great deal of material in them, enough for extra borders, enough for two pillow shams, shown below:

Quilted Tie Shams

My client was very pleased with his quilt – he obviously has enjoyed each and every tie and now he can look at them whenever he likes. His response to the quilt in part was, “What a most beautiful quilt.  My family loves it.  Thanks so much.  You did an excellent and most professional job.  . . Thanks for working with me.  I will treasure it for a life time.  So many memories about each of those ties. ”