Saturday, June 8, 2013

Memorial Tie Quilts

Memorial Tie Quilts

I made three crazy quilts out of men's ties and shirts.  The client wanted three crazy quilted lap quilts or pillows made from her deceased husband's ties. She is a friend of a co-worker and I was honored to be asked to make these quilts for her family.  One quilt will be for her, but the other two quilts will be going to her two sons.  I love this! 

Problem: Only 22 Ties!

Solution:  I asked her to also include some of her husband's shirts and we could make the lap quilts instead of the pillows. 

This project moved very slowly because I wanted to take great care with her husband's ties. I deconstructed and hand washed each tie in a mild soap mixture and hung them up to dry.  This part was very time consuming!  Yes....they are silk ties....Don't panic..... they can be washed if they are going to be used in a quilt.  

Each tie is made of either two or three parts plus the lining and the tie backs. 

After they were washed/dried ...... each piece was ironed and a light interfacing was ironed on the backside of the ties.   (Also very time consuming, but worth all the effort)!  LOL

They were sorted by size, color and shape. 
There are some great fabric designs in the lining!

 All 22 ties had to be used in each quilt -- But each quilt was to look a bit different.   To insure the ties were distributed equally, the widest part of the ties were put into three piles and filled in with the other colors.  This should provide a "different" color theme for each quilt. 

Each block was paper pieced. 

Notice the words in the quilt...  She requested that I use some of the words from his favorite T-Shirt in each quilt. He loved New York City. 
 Sample Test Block Quilting Stitches - Playing with some antique quilting  stitches. Yep... there are some skipped stitches.... the IDT was not down and I was sewing too fast (blush).  Love test pieces!  

See my sewing machine reference guide ...

The blocks were embellished and pieced together. 

Border Design: Once the borders where in place I needed to find a border design that would incorporate some of the designs of the ties.  I couldn't find anything that was appropriate  so I made my own. This was not the final design, but it was the starting point. 

Made in Embird and ProQ Designer

The Backing: The backing was made from the husband's dress shirts. Each shirt was deconstructed and sewn together to form the blocks below. 

Fresh Off the Quilting Machine!!

Binding still needs to be sewn on. 
Corner Block

Top Pass

After all the quilts were done I washed them all together. I used a mild soap, cold water & 3 Color Catchers.  They all came out great. I was feeling pretty good about how they came out.


When I was going over the quilts for their final inspection (looking for loose threads)  I noticed this on the last quilt! 

At first I thought it was the yellow shirt, but it didn't happen with any of the other quilts. It was one of the orange ties.  The dye from the tie bleed into the cotton thread and it followed the thread lines.  The Color Catcher were clean.... no dye.  Not sure how this happened, because I washed each tie until they ran clear.  Any ideas?

 The Final Products
Finally All Three Quilts  Are Done!!!

I Designed and Digitized this Myself!!
I am really proud of this.

Quilt Number 1

Quilt Number 1 - Back
Quilt Number 2
Quilt Number 2 - Back

Quilt Number 3

Quilt Number 3 - Backing

This was a very rewarding project. I loved making them. Hope you enjoyed the journey!   


  1. This is the first tie quilt that truly looks great!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I really happy to be visiting your blog.nice Design.

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