necktie quilt

lonestar quilt of neckties

I remember my grandfather as being a sharp dresser.  I don’t ever remember seeing him in jeans or an old t-shirt, even when working in the yard or doing something messy.  In my memory, he always wore khakis, an oxford shirt and a sweater vest.  When he dressed up, he wore ties.  He had quite a collection of ties that my brother took after my grandfather died.  My brother is an engineer and leans towards cargo pants and polo shirts when he dresses up, so I couldn’t imagine what he was going to do with them.  Evidently, my brother didn’t know what to do with them either as they sat in a couple of grocery bags in his closet for almost ten years.

Over the years I’ve thought about making a quilt out of those neckties but there were always more urgent quilts to make.  While at my brother’s house last year I asked him if he was ever going to use the neckties for anything.  He said No and I offered to make him a quilt out of my grandfather’s ties.  The bags of ties sat on the floor of my sewing room for about 6 months until I worked out the pattern and summoned up the courage to cut into them.

I chose a lonestar pattern – the third that I’ve made (with modifications!).  This was the first memory quilt (well, maybe second, if you could the t-shirt quilt I made out of my triathlon shirts) and I was a little nervous about ruining the ties and working with a different type of fabric.  Though the quilt is made of neckties, I didn’t necessarily want it to *look* like it was made of neckties.  This was a really really fun project and a big learning project and confidence booster for me.

This quilt was also a lot of work!  I first washed and dried all of the ties (yes, I just threw them in the washer and drier – just added soap!).  Then I opened the ties up and took them apart.  Then a quick pressing and adding of interfacing.  I think cut the ties to size and started sewing them together – once you’ve affixed the interfacing, it’s *just like fabric* haha!  I loosely followed this blog post on how to work with the ties (again, with my own modifications and shortcuts).  One thing I didn’t anticipate was, even after washing and drying the ties, I could still smell my grandfather’s pipe when I took the ties apart.

necktie quilt

I was so psyched to finally have quilt top!  By this point, I had already fallen head over heels with this quilt :-)

necktie quilt

My brother is over 6″ tall so I had to add a lot of borders to the top.  I had always planned to longarm the quilt and my resolve was strengthened once I realized the top was so big I could barely lay it out on the floor of my sewing room!

necktie quilt

For the quilting, I just kind of meandered around the quilt.  If I was more confident in my longarm skills and more patient with using the machine, I probably would have done something different.  I think the meandering works.

necktie quilt

necktie quilt

The back is pretty simple – the green fabric is some old Marimekko fabric I had and I think it works well with the simpler fabric on the right.

necktie quilt

necktie quilt

I think it goes without saying that I LOVE how this quilt came out!  I am so proud of it and I am so happy that I was able to use my grandfather’s ties in a way that will be used for (hopefully) many years to come by my brother and sister-in-law.  This is the first quilt that I’ve made that I was a little sad to let go of but I’m thrilled to pieces that I’ll be able to visit it every time I visit my brother :-)


3 thoughts on “lonestar quilt of neckties

  1. Very, very nicely done! I’m proud that you were able to take the information and finally put those ties into a finished quilt. I’m sure your brother appreciates that it has memories of both your grandfather and you connected to it now.

  2. Pingback: necktie label zipper bag | When Natasha Sews

  3. Pingback: necktie Dresden-ish | When Natasha Sews

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