A life in ties

My grandmother is going to be 90 this year. So, celebrating life, and memories, I made a second cushion with my Grandfather’s ties. He died last year. Of course, as usual, I forgot to take a photo before it headed off to the Post Office, so here it is shown in near-completed form. I found the perfect binding, stripey Japanese material which picks up all the colours, and has some gold in it. You’ll just have to trust me on that one, or wait until I visit my Gran to take a better photo.  PICT8895 PICT8896

As last year was a Bad Year, losing both my grandfather and father, I realise that I could just spent time making memory quilts. I have a pile of my father’s shirts, all cut up, pressed and ready for piecing on my desk. But I will get to that in good time, but first I had to finish this one. It ended up way too big, but certainly cheerful. These were all his special ties: St Catherine’s College Cambridge, schools he was a teacher or Headmaster in, the Gurkha Rifles — his beloved regiment in World War II in the Hindu Kush and Burma — and so on. My grandmother knows which they all are. The golden silk is from my wedding stole, so all very highly charged fabric! Working with silk was a bit hard, as I discovered in the first cushion (below) that I made from his less-special ties.Pogs cushion

So I used a modified version of Oh Fransson‘s quick piecing technique, only without fusible interfacing, and instead just sewing it on backing fabric using basting spray. It didn’t really work, or stick, and left one nasty splodge on one golden square, but pins solved the shifting. Not a technique I will try again!


My mum and grandmother will be having a “We’re Not Dead Yet!” party this week, which I think shows a sufficient combination of bad taste and humour to be truly uplifting. Hurray for strong women! xx JJ

About pragmaticpatchwork

Academic and quilter
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