I have made many memory quilts over the years and last year I had the challenge of creating four pillow covers with 126 silk ties for a lovely lady and her 3 children. The ties were her husbands which he had collected from the day he married and throughout his professional working life. She said that she picked most of them out.

Initially the project was to be a queen size quilt but then it changed to pillow covers. I hadn’t made pillow covers on this scale before. I started with designing them in EQ and sending images for the recipients to approve. Once this task was complete it was time to get down to business with the ties.

Thankfully most of the ties had been taken apart by the owner and I don’t think she will ever take another tie apart again. I set to work ironing the ties and getting them ready to be interfaced and cut up. The job went much faster as I watched a quilting conference via Zoom. To get the ties nice and flat I used both steam and Best Press.

four piles of ties ready to be cut up

After interfacing and cutting the ties into piece it was time to lay out the bits and see how they looked before sewing everything together.

All sewn together and ready for the applique pieces to be added. Each pillow had applique that meant something to the person receiving that pillow cover. It was really fun to see how they developed as I went along. I initially wasn’t liking the project very much when the pieces were just pieces.

Next step was to quilt each piece and add the applique. The personal touch to each pillow cover made the pieces complete.

And the final step was to add the backing and the binding. I chose to add a wide binding using silk from my stash that matched the cover. Initially my plan was to create a pieced binding with the ties but decided that was just too much work and am really pleased with how the single fabric binding turned out.

It was certainly a challenging project and a time consuming project as well but the end result was totally worth the time and effort. The best part is that the recipients loved them.

Which is your favourite?

Until next time,

Happy Quilting