About Necktie Quilts

    CRAFTS CLASSES
    TO INSPIRE CREATIVITY
    by Hannah Rice Myers

    About the Author

    Based in Jamestown, Pa., Hannah Rice Myers has more than 10 years of experience as a freelance writer, specializing in the health industry. Many of her articles have appeared in newspapers, as well as "Curing Epilepsy: Hope Through Research." Rice Myers received her master's degree in nursing from Upstate Medical University in 2001.

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    Quilting has been an American tradition for centuries. From keeping you warm at night to serving as a decoration, quilts can serve a myriad of purposes. Necktie quilts, often sewn using the old neckties of a loved one, can be especially meaningful.

    Significance

    Necktie quilts are known also as memory or remembrance quilts. While skilled quilters can create any quilt and give it as a gift, necktie quilts often have even greater importance and meaning. Since they are created from neckties that have been worn by a special man in a person's life, the quilts are a wonderful way to keep a deceased loved one's memory alive. They embody the connection between those who have passed and the family members he has left behind.

    Function

    As with any quilt, a necktie quilt can serve various functions. It can be used as a blanket, a pillowcase, a Christmas tree skirt or a wall hanging. Many quilters choose to make an entire quilt out of neckties or to use neckties for just the border of the quilt. In most instances though, a necktie quilt is created as a memorial, or as a gift to a special man in your life. They can also commemorate special moments, such as a wedding or a first date.

    Features

    Necktie quilts are unique in that the ties used are generally of various colors and patterns. This leaves the door wide open for creativity and color play. In essence, they closely resemble the patchwork quilts of many decades ago, although there are other patterns that can be followed as well.

    Types

    There are basically two types of necktie quilts. The first type is made out of material cut to resemble neckties and sewn into blocks. The second is made by using actual neckties that are no longer being worn. Within those two types of quilts there are many design options. The blocks can be sewn together to make a quilt that is unique to you and your family members. Some of the pattern choices include the sun ray design, which resembles rays of sun coming out from the center of the quilt; the patchwork design, in which you simply sew the ties together in no specific order; and the block design, in which you sew the ties together to form blocks for your quilt.

    Size

    You can make a necktie quilt any size to fit your specifications, ranging from a lap quilt to a quilt that can be used as a bedspread. They can also be made into pillowcases, table runners or other decor items. The size of your quilt will depend on its use. For a bedspread on a queen-size mattress, the dimensions would be 96 by 108 inches, a double would be 72 by 90 inches, and a crib quilt would measure 36 by 54 inches. A lap quilt would be perfect with dimensions of 54 by 72 inches, a pillowcase 20 by 30 inches, and a wall hanging can be any size you like, depending on the space you want to fill.

    Considerations

    When making a necktie quilt, keep its purpose in mind. If you are making it as a memory quilt to give to someone or keep for yourself, you will want to opt for the neckties that hold the most special memories. Also, since neckties are made from a finer quality fabric, some may require dry cleaning rather than simple machine washing. Always be sure to check the washing instructions of each tie before sewing them together. Washing a tie that calls for dry cleaning only will ruin your quilt.