While cleaning up some old digital file folders I came across this Quilt Inspiration post of quilts made with men’s ties and silk tie fabrics. Here’s a hand pieced tumbling blocks stunner from that post. It’s called Universal Ties, and is by Nancy Ota.
I’ve made two quilts with old ties and can attest to the need for special handling of the fabrics. I picked apart the ties I had and fused the silk to interfacing made for knits. The resulting fabric is stable to work with but bulky. I pressed my seams open to reduce bulk.
Here are my efforts.
Taffeta Ties is old, circa 2006. In a burst of hubris I decided to make a quilt with old silk ties and synthetic taffeta and satin.
As I recall, I treated all the raw seam edges with Fray Chek to stop the raveling. That added difficulty to stitching in the ditch. Then I used variegated 30 weight quilting thread in contrasting colors to stitch a simplified cable pattern.
I spray basted a plaid backing fabric onto the rest of the quilt sandwich as I was worried that pins would cause pulls in the taffeta fabric. Because I wanted to be careful about fumes, I did my spraying while the layers were draped over the hood of my car in the garage. (Outside was covered with snow.) Let me tell you, that plaid was not a good choice. I didn’t position it on the batting straight and didn’t notice that until I had done the quilting.
I think Taffeta Ties is a sterling example of what not to do when making a quilt – the fabric and thread choices, the quilting used, and the basting method. It has a hanging sleeve, so at some point I actually displayed it.