Quilts Are the “Ties” That Bind

I want to share with you the story of the Tie quilt that I helped orchestrate for a very special person I know from church. He served as a stake president for our church for 9 years and his term of service was up last summer. This quilt is special not only for the person who received it but also for the men represented by the ties on the quilt and the story of togetherness that the quilt created.

A Very Special Tie Quilt

My dear friend Alberta from church had the idea to give a quilt to the outgoing stake president, made up of 68 ties from all the men that served with him during his 9 year tenure. These were counselors, bishops and council members, many of whom had moved out of town and had to be tracked down again. (My husband Jason’s tie is in there, too but now I can’t remember which one it is!!)

We took all the ties and formed them into a circular Dresden Plate design.
I had nearly gotten it all quilted when I decided it looked all wrong. The ties curved too much and the circle did not look like a nice flat circle – there were too many ties so it bunched up too much. I had not figured out the math ahead of time – I thought I could just sew them all together and they’d magically create a circle. The pictures in this post all show the corrected finished quilt – I was too traumatized to take any “before” pictures!

Emroidery DetailAfter much agonizing, I had to take it all apart and start over. This was on a Tuesday afternoon and the quilt needed to be finished for a presentation on Friday of the same week. I told Jason about the problem and he figured out the correct math for me, based on number of ties, the circumference of a circle, and the length and width of the ties. I then enlisted lots of women from my ward and they helped me for 3 days solid, nearly round the clock to finish it. We had to unpick every single tie, recut them all, resew and quilt them down. We finished it just in time and it was very well received. We even finished the binding by hand and it was nearly queen sized when done.

Finished Tie QuiltThis quilt really helped me learn the value of advanced planning and the very true saying “measure twice, cut once!”

This project was completed last summer but it wasn’t until our church fair last week, when I was able to get the quilt and the former stake president in the room with me to take a picture.  It was the most spiritual experience I’ve ever had making a quilt!

6 thoughts on “Quilts Are the “Ties” That Bind

  1. Shelia Spradlin says:

    Christa, I would like to make a quilt using my fathers ties. He passed away 1 year ago. Could you tell me how you get started sewing the ties together. Do you take them apart?

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