Whiptips: necktie blanket?

by Admin on 29/06/2006

in News+Letters

Announcing a new feature here at Whip-up!

Whiptips is an advice column for readers to ask questions or offer advice. We were inspired by the ‘Good Questions’ at apartment therapy. Each post will include one question, and we’ll try and answer it, but we’re hoping anyone else reading Whip-Up can help out by leaving your comments! View Whiptips archive here.

Please submit questions, and photos if you can, to whiptips@gmail.com.

First question!

A reader, Jeanna, wrote to us asking for help to make something out of men’s neckties. Her husband passed away six years ago, and she would like to make something to remember him by, possibly a blanket or throw. Has anyone seen or done anything like this before? Has anyone got other ideas for how they could be used?

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 marta June 29, 2006 at 7:59 pm

my one friend made a really awesome skirt from neckties, so i know that would look good and keep the neckties in their whole form. it was just enough neckties to fit around her waist and then their flares out with length. i imagine it would be hard to put together a blanket from neckties without having to cut the up, but perhaps a wall hanging of sorts would be easier.
i’ll think about it somemore.


2 sarahminshall June 29, 2006 at 8:06 pm

There’s a quilt made by Denyse Schmidt out of neckties. It’s the only one that I’ve seen like it before. You can find a photo of it here: http://www.dsquilts.com/custom_ties.html


3 Marnie June 29, 2006 at 8:11 pm

Hi there! As I recall, didn’t Denyse Schmidt do a similar commission? I think it was on her website….hope that helps!


4 Fiona June 29, 2006 at 8:15 pm

Denise Schmidt has done something exactly like this! Her custom quilt made from men’s ties is here: http://dsquilts.com/custom_ties.html

Hope that helps. :)


5 Beth June 29, 2006 at 8:19 pm

My grandmother made one of these and I seem to have inherited it. It’s a sunburst shape. The very wide ties were folded in half (right sides out) and stitched together. Each of these ties made a ray in a sunburst and were sewn together and to a middle circle. I posted pictures to my website.


6 sueb June 29, 2006 at 8:24 pm

I would take the ties apart, lay them flat and then press them. Then I would turn them into a quilt. Probably using simple blocks and rectangles made up of smaller pieces. You could even do a crazy patch block.

Since the ties are probably all different in pattern and color consider using a solid fabric to tie them all together and tone it down a bit and give the quilt more cohesion so it doesn’t look like a bunch of mismatched pieces put together.

when you take the ties apart, save the labels. You could put those all together and use them for the cover of a fabric book that has pages of pockets inside to tuck photos and other momentos.


7 Mary-Frances Main June 29, 2006 at 8:45 pm

Crazy quilting is a great way to get rid of ties! (did I say rid?) One idea is here: http://www.oldstatehouse.com/piece-of-my-soul/quilts-types/default.asp?id=58&tid=10&tn=Bold&qn=Lula+Bradford+James, this one was made into a pillow: http://www.frenettik.com/customprojectsdirectorylistings/tiepillow01.jpg.
I can’t believe this is all I can find online, but there are scads of things to do with them, I’ve even seen hats, bags and other things made with them.


8 Stephanie June 29, 2006 at 8:52 pm

A book was published in 1994 called “Daddy’s Ties” by Shirley Botsford. It will look pretty dated to you, but it may be helpful as an idea book. Check your library.


9 Tara June 29, 2006 at 8:52 pm

I was about to suggest the Denyse Schmidt quilts but I see I’m not the first!


10 Strikkelise June 29, 2006 at 8:55 pm

I don’t know whether this is appropriate for Jeanna, but I’ve seen a very nice skirt made out of silk neckties. I just don’t remember where. I’ll see if i can find a link.


11 kate June 29, 2006 at 9:10 pm

Hi, Jeanna. Sorry to hear about your loss. I have my dad’s ties (he died 10 years ago) and one of these days am going to get around to making a quilt from them…

You might look in your local library for the book “Threads & ties that bind” by Jean Johnson. Here is a link to its Amazon entry:


It might be out of print now, but ask your library if they can do an inter-library loan for it if they don’t have it. Or you could buy a used copy.

It has a lot of good information about how to take ties apart for, how to handle the slippery tie fabrics, etc. Also, it has templates for quilt patterns that are well suited for small pieces from ties.

I am sloooowly making a Seven Sisters quilt inspired by the one in this book, though not from tie fabrics.

Because tie fabrics are so slippery (most of them, anyway), you may want to experiment with using fusible interfacing to give them some body and stability.

Good luck with your project!


12 Nathalie June 29, 2006 at 9:15 pm

Saltwater Purls posted on her blog (March 30, 2006) a picture of a quilt her mother made from men’s ties:


13 rubykate June 29, 2006 at 9:35 pm

One of my friends makes bags and purses out of neckties.


14 eireann June 29, 2006 at 9:41 pm

yes, I thought of Denise Schmidt, too. After all, ties are just long, thin pieces of fabric–and quilt should be easy. Even if you don’t want to cut them, it seems like the shapes would line up, or could be made to.


15 Krawuggl June 29, 2006 at 9:45 pm

I have seen a bag made of neckties, but sadly have no picture of it. They were simply sewed together for a big shoulder bag, very nice. So maybe this would be an idea to use this neckties for a memory.


16 Sockbug June 29, 2006 at 9:47 pm

There was a book a few years ago full of ideas for neckties. I cannot remember the title, but maybe someone else will!


17 Karen Palmer June 29, 2006 at 9:54 pm

I make handbags from neckties. We have had several people request sending in their own ties from boyfriends, husbands, ect so we can make them a custom handbag. Check out my site at http://www.dondadesigns.com and see if this is something you would be interested in. We only need six ties to make most of our bags, the larger ones take thirteen. We also are working on quilts as well as flower bouquets.


18 Rineke June 29, 2006 at 10:59 pm

There’s a tutorial on a necktie bag (maybe the one Krawuggl has seen?). I think it is corgeous. Btw using the neckties to make something of is a precious idea. Good luck, Jeanna!


19 Rineke June 29, 2006 at 11:00 pm

UPs, forgot the place and the url. The tutorial is on craftster, the url is : http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=45985.msg417169


20 Michele June 30, 2006 at 12:01 am

Please see Sherri Wood’s work:



21 Laura June 30, 2006 at 1:15 am

My grandmother made me a crazy quilt using many of my grandfather’s ties. Ties are good for crazy quilts because they are traditionally made of silky materials.


22 colleen June 30, 2006 at 2:07 am

Hi. I know a blanket would probably be best but Kaffe Fassett has a covered ottoman he made out of strips of fabrics in “Passionate Patchwork”. Although he uses fabric strips, he writes that he was inspired by one he saw in New York made from men’s neckties. It was really beautiful!


23 Becky June 30, 2006 at 4:25 am

Ties would be great in a quilt/throw/blanket.

After working with ties in a skirt, I would suggest that you use some sort of iron on interfacing on them since they are cut on the bias and sewing a long bias cut seam can get a bit “strechy.”


24 Edie June 30, 2006 at 5:46 am

Ties are wonderful for crazy quilting, especially the silk ones. I haven’t used whole ties, since I make small things where the ties need to be cut up (I also have a bunch of tie fabric samples that I LOVE working with!), but as several people have pointed out, there are a number of ways to use the ties without cutting them up. A student in one of my crazy quilting classes used whole ties (and other fabrics) for a quilt; she made large squares and didn’t do much embroidery, and it turned out great. I have also seen a small bag (made by someone in Cabin Fever Quilters’ Guild), that used the large end of the tie as the purse flap. Very cute! Anyway, looks like there are plenty of ideas for you!


25 Nancy June 30, 2006 at 7:40 am

I once saw a beautiful waistcoat made out of ties. I think the ties were alternating pointing up and down.


26 Shelina July 1, 2006 at 12:19 am

The former owner of this house sewed ties together like a dresden plate or sunburst pattern. It was beautiful. I don’t know if all the ties were the same size, but they must have been because it looked symmetrical. This quilt actually got me into quilting.


27 Barb July 2, 2006 at 3:03 am

I am fast becoming an expert in this field. Someone emailed me this post, saying she immediately thought of me. Please feel free to email me–I have tons of ideas. barbian7@yahoo.com


28 Marija July 3, 2006 at 3:32 am
29 Kerri July 10, 2006 at 4:25 am

I found this really cool website that makes purses and other handbags out of ties. They are all very cute and fairly inexpensive. Check out the website at donda designs.com


30 Susan July 19, 2006 at 10:34 am

Am making photo mats from ties which I then place in a black or wood frame…glad to email you a photo of one of my “Ties That Bind” creations!


31 Carla July 25, 2006 at 11:32 pm

My mom has been making weavings with neckties. Check them out:


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