In January I was contacted by a High School Classmate about making a tie quilt. Her Father had recently passed away and she wanted the quilt for a gift to her mother. I had never made a quilt on commission before. I had been asked plenty of times but had always turned it down because I am kept so busy with everything else I do. But, I was really intrigued with the idea of a tie quilt.
She told me what size she wanted the quilt. Do to shrinkage from the quilting and laundering I planned to make it a little bigger. I began with a sketch. Then I took this design to the computer.
I do not have a special program that I use to design quilts. I simply use Word, so this is the best I could get.
Next I did some research on-line for making a tie quilt. The best thing I found was to wash all of the ties in the hottest water and dry them in the hottest dryer. Some of the ties did not fare as well as others. But overall I was surprised how nicely the ties did come out
I found a lot of suggestions on deconstructing the ties. I chose not to go that route because I wanted to keep the integrity of the ties and use the ties as ties.
This was my first cut.
I was a little nervous about cutting into the ties.
I had decided that I was going to stitch a circle of ties together and then applique them onto the background fabric. Here I had taken two of the skinny ends to audition stitches to determine which one I was going to use. I decided to go with the blind hem stitch pictured above and use Superior's clear Mono Poly Thread.
I decided that the tie circle should be about 36 inches in diameter. I didn't think that it would look very good if it was too big and I certainly did not want it to hang over the side of the bed. I thought 36 inches was a nice size for the center medallion in the middle of the bed.
The ties all stitched together in a circle.
The tie circle appliqued to the background fabric. I used Kona Snow for the background. Since I did not deconstruct the ties the medallion was very heavy.
When I got to this stage I decided not to go with my original design. This quilt was getting time consuming and heavy. So, I just added some borders. I asked my client if she wanted blue, maroon, or green. I was hoping she would choose blue and she did. The blue I chose is Robert Kaufman's Quilters Linen.
I freehand quilted it on the longarm with feathers and swirls. I have to say that it was tough going through some of the ties. It was very thick.
I sewed the binding down by machine. I do think that it makes a much stronger binding. And on the up side, it is quicker.
My client has not received the quilt yet but she has seen a picture.
She seemed very pleased and is excited about surprising her Mother with it.
I did learn a few things in this process. I would like to make another one and do a few things differently. There was quite a bit of interest when I showed it at my guild. I am thinking that this might need to be a class that I offer. I will decide that after I make another.