Anita's piecing and quilting tutorials

A place where I put sewing tutorials to keep them from getting lost in my main blog.

Necktie quilt instructions

UPDATE:  There has been some confusion about washing the ties so I’m adding this update.  I was making quilts for homeless men at the time I wrote this post.  Homeless men don’t care about running colors or preserving the memory of the ties, they just want to be warm.   I was using ties bought at a thrift store so preserving the ties was not so important.

If you plan to make your quilt as a washable one then you need to know the ties will last through washing.  Washing the ties should be done before they are taken apart.  Quilts made to preserve the memory connected to the ties should only be gently washed by hand or plan to dry clean the quilt when it needs cleaning.

For additional information please read the comments and answers below the post.

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Before you can make a necktie quilt there are a few things you must have.  Neckties of course.  You can’t make a necktie quilt without the neckties. When you have gathered up your neckties you need to wash them in the hottest water you have available.  Why?  Because you want them to shrink or fade or come apart or whatever they are going to do before you spend all that time and effort making your quilt.  You don’t want to do all that work only to have something happen the first time it’s washed.

Wash in hottest water available.

Wash in hottest water available.

The ties that are going to cause problems will show in the washing process.  Washing them creates a mess of tangled up ties.  Don’t worry, the tangles will come apart easily, but wait until after you’ve dried them on a hot setting.  Washing also means your finished quilt can be washed instead of taking to a dry cleaner.  There will be those who differ on whether to wash or dry clean a neck tie quilt.  It’s my personal opinion that dry cleaning quilts is expensive and risky and stinky.

Tangled mess after washing.

Tangled mess after washing.

After the washing and drying you will want to take the ties apart and remove the inner stabilizer.  Usually there is one thread holding a tie together.  If you find that thread you can pull it out easily.  When I take the ties apart I save everything.  I save the padding fabric for making rugs.  I save the labels for another craft that I’ll start someday when I have enough labels.  I save the thread because it is a super strong thread.  It makes great coat button sewing thread.

Taking ties apart

Taking ties apart

Neckties are made with fabric cut on a bias.  This means the ties are stretchy and could ravel easily.  Stretching and raveling is not good when making quilts.  You need a stabilizer to tame and prevent stretching and raveling of the bias cut fabrics.  I use Pellon iron in stabilizer.  It must be the iron in type to work for quilts.  Do not confuse the stabilizer for a glue product. They are NOT the same thing.  This is the stuff you would find inside the collar or cuffs of a shirt.  It stabilizes a fabric.  It does not glue it together.  The Pellon has glue on one side only and that is to attach it to the fabrics you want to stabilize.

I use the feather weight most often because it tames the fabric without adding a lot of weight to the quilt.  Making quilts from clothing is my specialty.  I make a lot of quilts from clothing so I buy stabilizer by the bolt.    How much to buy for your own quilt?  That will depend on which pattern you choose and which size you intend to make.

Pellon feather weight iron in stabilizer

Pellon feather weight iron in stabilizer

The next thing you will need is a pattern.  Many people are under the mistaken idea necktie quilts are made with neckties in their wearable form.  Not true, as you will see later in this post.  The pattern I chose for this tutorial is a Dresden Plate.  I chose it because the lady who emailed me for instructions liked the ones I had made before. There are hundreds, or possibly thousands, of Dresden Plate patterns out there.

Necktie quilt tutorial 2014

The great thing about making quilts from neckties is that any pattern will work.  Once the ties are taken apart it’s just fabric.  They are no longer ties.  Look at them as a pile of fabric scraps instead of neckties.  If you have a pile of scrap fabrics the pattern possibilities are endless.  What would you do with a bunch of scrap fabrics?  A string quilt?  A nine patch?  Applique?  Or, a Dresden Plate?

Neckties taken apart

Neckties taken apart

You may want to buy a template for cutting your pieces.  You don’t have to buy one but it sure will make cutting the quilt pieces much easier.  I have two Dresden Plate templates, a small and a large.  I could have used either one but for speed I chose to use the smaller of the two.  The templates come in different “degrees” and each size requires a different number of pieces (blades) to make the circle.  If you want to use lots of ties then choose a template or pattern with narrower blades.

Plastic rotary cutting template rulers

Plastic rotary cutting template rulers

So now you have your ties washed and taken apart and you have your pattern.  It’s time for me to reveal the magic secret to making good necktie quilts.  Drum roll please……… you cut the stabilizer into the wedge shapes before you iron it to the fabric.  Why do I cut the stabilizer before ironing  instead of  after ironing to the ties?  Because I’m frugal. I don’t like using more stabilizer than necessary.  Honestly it can be done either way.  I have done it both ways.  I prefer to cut the stabilizer shapes first for doing this sample.

For my necktie sample quilt I decided to use the full length of the smaller ruler.  It’s an eight inch ruler which makes a finished circle of 17 1/2 inches across.  I cut an 8 inch wide strip of stabilizer and then cut the blades.  If you plan to make a much larger plate for a much larger quilt then use a larger wedge ruler.  Whether you plan a small plate or a larger plate the process is the same.

Cutting the stabilizer

Cutting the stabilizer

The next step for me is to iron the shapes to the back of the neckties.  By cutting the stabilizer first, I can manipulate placement and get four blades each from the narrow end of five ties.  Or twenty blades. This leaves the remaining fabric of the ties, the wider end, for making into other quilts.  If you are planning to make a large plate you may be using about half the length of the tie for each blade.

Stabilizer ironed to back of neckties

Stabilizer ironed to back of neckties

See, four of each color for a total of twenty.  Simply trim along the sides of the stabilizer and you’re ready to start making your Dresden Plate.

Necktie quilt tutorial 2014 019

I wanted to see how the fabrics look together so I lay them out.  Drat, the photo looks washed out.  Low batteries.

Necktie quilt tutorial 2014 020

The first sewing step is to fold the wide end in half and sew across it.  Like this.  Use a 1/4 inch seam.  I chain sew all the blade ends.

Sew across the wide end

Sew across the wide end

Now cut them apart and clip a little tip off the side with the fold.  Like this.

Clip off a dog ear

Clip off a dog ear

Fold them right sides out and press the blades flat.  The seam inside the blade point is ironed open.  The clipped off piece allows for a better point and creates less bulk.  It does take a little manipulation to do that but is worth the effort.  Be sure  to keep the seam centered so your points stay even and not skewed to one side.

Four blades of five colors

Four blades of five colors

 Now it’s time to sew the blades together.  Use a 1/4 inch seam again.  Always start at the pointy end of the blades.  If you have a slight difference in length, or your points are skewed,  it will show at the center and not at the pointy end.  

Sew the blades together with 1/4 inch seam

Sew the blades together with 1/4 inch seam

Sew two together.  Sew two pairs together.  Etc, until you have a full circle.  I press the seams open to reduce bulk.  I always iron each seam after it’s sewn.  If my seams are not accurate or if anything else has happened it will be apparent as I iron each seam.  I frog stitch and correct any error before going on.  My plate has finished nice and flat.  Everything is pressed nicely.  

Press seams open as you go.

Press seams open as you go.

Now it’s time to cover the whole in the center.  For this I use the necktie inside facing.  This facing comes in really nice solid colors.  Just right for making a Dresden plate center circle.

Colorful necktie facings

Colorful necktie facings

Use whatever way you make a circle.  I found that a jar ring is just the right size for marking my circle.

Find something to mark a circle the correct size

Find something to mark a circle the correct size

I mark the circle on the stabilizer  but do a “birthing” technique rather than iron for a raw edge.

Necktie quilt tutorial 2014 033

Birthing a circle is when you sew the stabilizer to the fabric, right sides together, then turn it right side out (the birthing part), making sure the edges are even, and press.  I use my thumbtack method for a perfect circle.

Sewing a perfect circle

Sewing a perfect circle

When you have your circle made it goes in the center of your plate.  That’s it.  The plate is finished.

Necktie quilt tutorial 2014 029

Now that the plate is finished you simply use your favorite way to applique and put it on a background fabric.  If you would like to know how to draw your own template for the Dresden instead of buying a plastic one go here.  Draw your own Dresden template.

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96 comments on “Necktie quilt instructions

  1. Margie Kingsbury
    March 18, 2017

    Very informative directions! I am making a necktie quilt from my brother’s ties. I hope I can do a nice job! Thank you!

    • Anita
      March 18, 2017

      You are welcome. I’m sure you will make a great quilt Margie.

  2. Bob Jensen
    March 9, 2017

    Can you make a tie quilt without taking the ties apart? Is that a good or bad idea?

    • Anita
      March 9, 2017

      Yes, you can do that if the design works. I’ve seem several quilts made without taking the ties apart. The only problem I can see would be in quilting through all those layers of fabric. I prefer to take the ties apart so I can cut all the pieces the same size.

  3. Rita Strain
    February 8, 2017

    Please explain your thumbtack method for a perfect circle. I’m following your instructions to the letter. Have my large circle attached to fabric and am making 1/4 circles for the corners. Had a little trouble getting my circle right. Thanks for your help. Rita Strain

    • Anita
      February 8, 2017

      I use the same pellon as for the ties but it is not ironed to the fabric until after the circle is sewn and turned right side out. I usually just cut squares of fabric and squares of stabilizer. Not ironed together. Mark the very center with a dot on either the stabilizer squares or the fabric squares. Not necessary to mark both.

      1. Take a thumbtack and push it through a small piece of tape so the sticky side is down and the tack point is up.
      2. Measure the size of your circle. Divide it in half. If your circle is going to be 3 inches, half would be 1 and 1/2 inch.
      3. Measure 1 and 1/2 inches (or your size) from the needle and tape your tack. Point side up.
      4. Push the center of the fabric and the stabilizer (un-ironed right sides together) onto the thumbtack and sew.
      Because the thumbtack is holding the center of the fabric steady in one place it can only sew in a circle.
      5. Trim the extra fabric around the outside of the circle.
      6. Cut a slit in the stabilizer and turn it right side out. The glue side of the stabilizer should now be inside the circle. Use a pointer tool to be sure the circle is straight.
      7. Iron it flat. This will adhere the stabilizer to the fabric to make it hold its shape.

      Rita does this help?

  4. Charlotte McGovern
    February 6, 2017

    I am making a necktie fan quilt and I have all my ties sewed together and now ready to applique them on fabric. I have never machine appliqued and am considering doing it on this. Which method do you think works best for this type of quilt? And if it is machine applique, could you describe how to do it?

    • Anita
      February 8, 2017

      On my tie quilts I often applique by machine using a mono filament thread. A couple of times I’ve used a color thread with a decorative stitch along the outside edge and the inner circle edge to dress it up.

  5. George Hudler
    February 5, 2017

    I’m a novice; trying to get the parts together to have a quilt made by a real quilter from 20 of my favorite neckties. Thinking I would give the quilter a hand, I cut all of the ties apart and removed the lining but I’m nervous about putting the ties in the wash as you suggest. Tried four of the ties (ranging from silk to polyester to cotton) in hot (130) water for a few minutes and ALL of them are leaking color. Each tie is in a separate container so I know that each is having a similar reaction. Am I better to just skip this step for the future and resign myself to dry cleaning the final product?

    • Anita
      February 5, 2017

      No, please don’t wash after you have already taken the ties apart. It should have been done before opening them up. Washing after could cause the fabric to fray and start to come apart along the edges. I’m so sorry for the confusion. I need to change the blog so its a little more understandable. I was making the quilts in that post for homeless men so washing made the ties more durable when sleeping outside. Color runs don’t matter to the homeless, they just want to be warm. If you are getting bleeding of color my guess is that dry clean is your only option. I do know a trick that just might work. I’ve used it myself for customer tie quilts. You could take one tie to try it out and see if it helps.

      Here’s how. Put some hot tap water in a bowl. Put two or three tablespoons vinegar in the water. Put one of the ties that you already tried into the water. Swish it around just a little then let it set until cool. Rinse well. Then use fresh clean hot water to see if the color still runs. I’m really interested if this helps you. Please email me to let me know. estesanita@ bellsouth. net

  6. Anna
    February 4, 2017

    I want to make a tie quilt with squares, maybe a log cabin even. I am concern d the stabilizer will make it too stiff. I really want to keep it soft, but can’t of course keep the shape without some time of stabilizer. I was thinking of using some type of dissolvable stabilizer. I have all the ties, washed, taken apart. Just can’t get past the stabilizer portion right now. Someone suggested starch to help keep the shape. Don’t want to waste too many ties or money trying to figure this all out.

    • Anita
      February 5, 2017

      The reason I use the stabilizer is to keep the bias fabric from stretching when I sew it. I use the type iron in stabilizer used in silk shirt collars and cuffs. Its not stiff at all. Starch would work if you are careful while sewing. A wash away or even doing paper piecing could work too. When the ties are taken apart they are not ties anymore, its just a bunch of bias cut, odd shaped pieces of fabric. Does this help?

  7. Mary Lou Jones
    November 19, 2016

    Help! I thought I was on track, but…. I’m doing a large 42″ dresden. I went and got a piece of plexiglass cut for my template. It is 21″ long with a 2″ narrow end and a 4″ wide end. Now that I’m laying it out, my center circle looks as big as a serving plate.

    • Anita
      November 19, 2016

      Hi Mary Lou, Sorry to take so long to get back to you. I’ve been away for a couple of days. A longer template usually means having a larger circle so it looks balanced. If your template is 21 inches that means your circle is going to be 42 inches plus the center. It will look a little smaller when its sewn together because each seam takes up 1/2 inch. 1/4 from each side. Please let me know if this helps.

  8. Sharon Maddox
    November 13, 2016

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. It was so precise. And step by step. Thank you so much .

    • Anita
      November 19, 2016

      You’re welcome. Let me know how it turns out.

  9. Anne Hugill
    October 30, 2016

    I found this by chance – an excellant tutorial. I have been collecting blue ties for ages, I think I may have enough for a hundred quilts (slight exageration) Cannot wait to start a dresden quilt.

    • Anita
      November 19, 2016

      Let me know how it turns out.

  10. Barbara Lawton
    October 21, 2016

    Finally! Directions for making a tie quilt. A friend asked me to make something with some ties from a friend who had passed away. We searched for directions and finally found yours. Now we can get busy…after we get a template! Thank you!!

    • Anita
      November 19, 2016

      You’re welcome. Let me know how it turns out for you.

  11. Carmen
    September 28, 2016

    I have a nephew who loves purple ties I don’t have any but was wondering if I could use fabric cut in the tie pattern and use stabilizer to do the quilt.

    • Anita
      September 28, 2016

      I don’t see why you couldn’t do that but it may not be necessary to use stabilizer. Just piecing in a tie pattern should work if you don’t cut the fabric on the bias. The stabilizer is used on tie fabric just to keep the silk bias cut tie fabric from stretching out of shape. I hope that made sense. I’m never sure if my words explain it understandable or not. You might be able to find purple ties at a thrift store for a dollar or less each.

      I know a Carmen, are you in Kentucky?

      • Carmen
        September 28, 2016

        thanks I felt that it could be done but wanted to check with you to be sure

  12. Barbara S Corry
    September 18, 2016

    A dear friend just brought me over a box of ties which he and his 90 year old wife had taken all apart. Should I still wash and dry before starting?

    • Anita
      September 18, 2016

      No, don’t wash them. The fabric might fray too much without the stabilizer to keep them together. I would only soak any that had obvious stains but handling them very gently.

  13. Charlotte
    August 21, 2016

    I have a pattern I would like you to see because this is the one my son wants me to make him out of a bunch of ties. Each block has 1/4 of Dresden Plate pattern. Could you tell me how to make it? Could you tell me how to send the image to you?

    • Anita
      August 21, 2016

      Charlotte you have your “do not reply” set so I can’t email you. My email is estes anita at bellsouth dot net. There should be a button somewhere in your email for attachments where you can send the photo. Or phone me at 502 776 4392

      Here is the key to using neckties…. after you take them apart they are just scraps of fabric. Not ties anymore. ANY quilt that can be cut and made from scrap fabrics can be made from the ties. If you can find a pattern for a Dresden plate quilt would work. Just don’t sew the whole plate together. Keep it in four parts.

      Ok, does that help? Oh gosh I just figured out how to email you so I’ll do that too.

  14. Angela
    July 22, 2016

    Why can’t I print the entire Neck Tie Tutorial

    • Anita
      July 22, 2016

      I’m not sure Angela. I don’t know alot about computers. I wish I did. Did you use the print friendly button at the end of the post?

  15. Mary
    May 25, 2016

    I want to make a double bed sized quilt with a large Dresden Plate in the center and small ones in the corners. I don’t know how big to make the blades. If you can help I would appreciate it. Thank you.

    • Anita
      May 25, 2016

      Its a simple math problem. Choose the size of your circle then divide in half. That gives you the length of the blades. Whichever template you choose to use will determine the width of your blades. Does that help?

  16. Mel
    May 24, 2016

    Wonderful tutorial… making one for my father in law for Father’s Day (and this was very helpful!)

  17. Myrle howell@gmail.com
    April 21, 2016

    I’m confused about keeping the point of the tie. some pictures show a straight across but I want the point like the tie has.

    • Anita
      April 21, 2016

      The pieces are cut straight across the end but when sewn they become points again. Look at photos number 13, 14, and 15. The pieces are cut in the correct shape and the right size to form a circle by using the template. Its the sewing after the pieces are cut that makes them points again.

  18. Linda Brown
    March 26, 2016

    I too tried to [print and also email to myself and neither worked. Any idea what to try next?

    • Anita
      March 26, 2016

      I added a new print friendly button at the bottom of the post. It is the “print and PDF” button. You can click out any unwanted ads or photos you may not want to print. Let me know if this helps. I tried to reply to you by email but you have your “do not reply” set so I couldn’t send you an email reply.

      • Rita Strain
        January 27, 2017

        Yes, was able to print from the “print or pdf” button on the bottom with no problem. Thanks so much for this great tutorial. I am washing about 100 ties right now!

  19. Brigitte Tiller
    March 14, 2016

    Good morning. Please help me with the following: the back ground fabric is 44″ by 44″. I have enough ties to make a Dresden plate but I need help with the size of the Dresden plate. if the ties are 16″ long, what width should they be at the top? and what size circle will it be? so the Dresden plate fits.
    thank you

    • Anita
      March 14, 2016

      I’m a little confused by your question. The size of the top would be what the template is that you use to cut the tie fabric. If you have 44 inch fabric the circle could be anything from about ten inches across going up to 40 inches depending on your template. Think half the width of a circle. What size circle do you want to make? Every template is different. Every template has a number of blades (ties) to make the circle. Your template will determine the number of blades. Usually the number of blades is divisible by four to make the circle but I’ve seen some that are divisible by 5 and some by 7. It all depends on the degree of the template. 360 degrees make a circle. I hope this helps. If not please let me know. I’ll try again.

  20. Ilene Cherry
    February 26, 2016

    Where can I get the Dresden Plate templates and the plastic rotary cutting
    template rulers?

    • Anita
      February 28, 2016

      Most any place that sells quilt supplies will have them. I bought mine at a quilt show a few years back.

  21. Leah
    February 7, 2016

    Thanks so much for your instructions on making a tie quilt. Our group
    needed this helpful information on how to begin such a project. We have bags
    of ties and had no idea how to put them together. The instructions are easy
    to follow – we appreciate your help/

    • Anita
      February 28, 2016

      I’m so glad to hear this. Let me know if I can help further.

  22. Amy Bird
    January 25, 2016

    These instructions look great, thank you! I would like to make this as a table topper. Can you tell me how I would back it that way?

    • Anita
      January 26, 2016

      To use as a table topper simply sew the plate to a background fabric and hem. No need for layering with batting and backing if you don’t want to go that far with it. OR, make two plates and sew them together back to back to make it reversible. Does this help?

  23. Anita
    January 22, 2016

    My circle won’t lay flat what am I doing wrong?

    • Anita
      January 22, 2016

      Yes, if it doesn’t lie flat that’s an indication something is wrong. When sewn correctly it should lay very flat when pressed. Check to see that you have the correct number of blades according to your ruler instructions. It should be an even number divisible by 4. Check to see that the center hole is a circle and not an oval. An oval indicates either the wrong number of blades or your seam allowance is off. I sew starting at the narrow end of the blades and finish at the wide end to keep the seam allowance even. Did you press the seam open inside the blade point? Did you clip the point before turning the blade? Is it possible any of the fabrics shrank when pressed? I’ve had that happen before even after washing in hot water. The steam from a hot iron shrinks some fabrics. Use your ruler to check. That’s all I can think of at the moment. Let me know if this helps.

      • anita
        January 31, 2016

        Thank you, think I got it now. Thanks for the information.

  24. Fatn Fiorentino
    January 19, 2016

    What if I wanted to make a 36 inch plate?

    • Anita
      January 20, 2016

      You would need a ruler that says it makes a plate that large. They come in many sizes.

  25. Joyce Colotelo
    January 2, 2016

    Thank you for your wonderful idea of the Dresden Plate pattern. I have a bag of neckties of my beloved brother. I am going to make small wall quilts for my sister-in-law, niece, and me. I think I will call the pattern, Circle of Life…. The little quilt will give me wonderful memories of all the good times with my brother.

    • Anita
      January 3, 2016

      You’re welcome. Hope it turns out fantastic!

      • Joyce Colotelo
        January 3, 2016

        I know it will. The ties are already washed. Just have to get the template and stabilizer…but am anxious to get started!!

  26. Ronnda
    November 25, 2015

    Do you have a tutorial on applying this to fabric after the design is done? I just made my first tie applique following your instructions above and I am thrilled with how well it turned out by following your instructions….now to get it on to some fabric!

    • Na Na
      November 25, 2015

      You have your do not reply feature turned on so I can’t reply directly to you. I’m glad to help. I use my domestic machine’s decorative stitching to applique the plates to the fabric. I pin it down then stitch the straight line through the center and do the outside pointed edge last.

  27. Karla hamrick
    November 15, 2015

    Your directions are perfect. I had never done anything like this until my dad died and i wanted to make something with hia ties. I made 27 dresden plates, 12 for a quilt and the rest i put on 15 pillows for us kis and our children. I am having it quilted now. I was so scared to throw dads ties in the washer….but i did it, and i followes every step, this shows anyone can do this. Thank you!

    • Na Na
      November 15, 2015

      Thank you. I love knowing someone used the instructions to make their own quilt. You will have lasting memories.

  28. Pat
    October 9, 2015

    I have tried several times to print off your instructions but to no avail. Other things print for me. Are we not to print your page.

    • Na Na
      October 10, 2015

      Pat I’m not sure why you aren’t able to print the instructions. There is a print button at the bottom of the post added so readers could print it out. Its in the line of buttons at the bottom. I tried it and it works for me. Is it possible your printer can’t handle so many photos at one time? Could you maybe copy and paste to a word program?

  29. Shelia Rice
    September 3, 2015

    I took a quilting class 8 years ago using ties. We had photos transferred onto canvas material and the ties made a frame. I’ve lost the pattern for this — can you direct me to a website to purchase the pattern?

    • Na Na
      September 6, 2015

      Sorry, I don’t know the technique or the site.

  30. Linda Eckert
    August 18, 2015

    From the pictures it appears that the stabilizer does not extend into the seam allowance. Is the stabilizer cut smaller than the actual pieces?

    What type of tread did you use for piecing that will not damage the silk?

    • Na Na
      August 18, 2015

      Yes, the stabilizer covers the whole piece. 1) I first cut the stabilizer to the right shape 2) I ironed the stabilizer to the tie fabric on the back 3) I cut around the stabilizer using the edge as the guide sort of like cutting on a line. In other words the stabilizer edge replaces a drawn line or a template. I hope I wrote this understandable. I’m never sure. I used whatever thread happened to be in my machine. Normally I don’t use a special thread as my necktie quilts are made for homeless men. To be used and dragged around from place to place. If I were making one for a customer I would use a thread made for sewing silk. I believe the stabilizer prevents damage to the silk. That’s why I use it.

  31. Jalane Rolader
    July 23, 2015

    Thank you for your wonderful instructions. I have over a hundred clip-on ties that my father wore. I’ve stashed them under my bed and been afraid of messing them up. After reading your post, I finally feel ready to make a quilt with them (or several). Cutting the ties will help me “let go” on a very healthy level. With something so personal that my dad cherished, I want the end result to be beautiful. It’s a quilter’s way of “moving on” and a daughter’s way of preserving memories. Thank you, again.

  32. gale
    May 23, 2015

    What material for the backing of a neck tie quilt?

    • Na Na
      May 24, 2015

      The fabric for the back could be the same as for any type quilt.

  33. Faye Rotunda
    May 4, 2015

    Hi,
    I only have 8 ties ( all different sizes) from a friends deceased husband and she would like me to make a dresden quilt for her daughter. What is the best way to do it with so few ties and what is the largest one I can make?

    • Na Na
      May 5, 2015

      I’m not psychic. 🙂 I wish I were. If you read my post again you will see I had twenty pieces from four ties in that one plate. That one finished at 18 inches across. Your plate will depend on the size of your pattern pieces and the amount of fabric in those eight ties. You will see I have more than one wedge template for cutting the plate sections. Start with your wedge pattern. It should have a “fabric requirement” with it someplace. Then check to see how much fabric in your ties. If you need more ties for a larger quilt you can always go to a thrift store to buy more. I hope this helps.

  34. Pat Weld
    April 28, 2015

    Good directions probably will try it . do you think a quilt could be made without taking ties apart? You would already have stability from the ties. I thought maybe the ties could be sewn in circles, snaked or spiraled with different stitches

    • Na Na
      April 29, 2015

      I’m sure you could try it without removing the inserts. The design sounds do able. The problem I see would be the difference in widths and weights of different ties. There would also be a difference in the weight (or thickness) of the foundation fabric and the ties with inserts.

  35. Diane
    April 28, 2015

    Na Na, this is my first one and just sewing the ties together, so far so good. Your directions are great. I have the brand name labels and the filler stuff from inside the tie, I would like to send them to you for your rug etc. Not sure how to get your address though, or give you mine without the world knowing them. 4/29/15.
    Diane Edly

    • Na Na
      April 29, 2015

      Thank you Diane, its always nice to know my instructions are helping someone. My email is estes anita at belllsouth dot net

  36. Amanda
    April 18, 2015

    I have read your instructions several times. they work very well. thank you. I’m running into trouble, . I am sewing the ties together but seem to have a much bigger whole in the middle is much than the mason jar you suggested. Where am I going wrong. My template size was 2 1/4″ at the top. 4″ at the pointed area and 20″ inches long. I’m using 20 ties. I’m planing to make a queen size quilt. Please advise. Thank you so much for your time. acs

    • Na Na
      April 18, 2015

      Amanda I don’t think you are doing anything wrong at all. The difference is in the template used to cut the blades. Yours may be a different brand or a different size which gives a different size plate. Also, the seam allowance may be different. Be sure you use what is recommended with your template. Find anything round that fits over the center hole and use it to cut your center. A pot lid, a cereal bowl, a pizza board, etc. I hope this helps.

      Twenty inch long blades will make a circle over fourty inches wide. Are you making one plate only for the quilt?

  37. Betty Jones
    February 22, 2015

    It is OK to wash any silk – it is called DESTRESSING and can be found in detail by
    Googling – Wash in HOT water and dry in HOT dryer. Can add Synthrapol to the
    water which lifts out loose dye.. Fabric becomes supple and easy to handle. (More detail in the DESTRESSING SILK file) Betty

    • Linda E. Liberty
      February 12, 2017

      Betty Jones, May I have access to the “more details in the “Destressing Silk” file”?

      • Anita
        February 13, 2017

        You might want to read the comment from Betty again. She’s saying a person can do an internet search to find files like that. I don’t have a distressing silk file on my blog.

  38. Nan Martin
    February 5, 2015

    I lost my husband of 60 years 2 years ago–I have 4 children and I will try to do a necktie quilt for each one-the ties that I have are different widths–is that going to look strange with a circular pattern ? I am thinking of a pillow for each person=====

    • Na Na
      February 5, 2015

      If you take the ties apart and cut them all the same size, as in the instructions, you won’t have a problem. You will need the tools I show in the post.

    • Martha Cox
      February 5, 2015

      Using dress shirts as the background fabrics adds another memory. If I ever get mine finished, I’ll send Nana a photo.

      Have fun!

  39. Phyllis J (@pjcatlover)
    December 31, 2014

    Thank you so much for the detailed instructions. I’ve never quilted before, though I’m an accomplished “sewer”. My husband passed away two months ago and had roughly 125 ties. My daughter and I decided to use the ties to make a quilt or wall hanging for each of us and these instructions are exactly what I needed to get started. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this up.

    • Na Na
      February 5, 2015

      Sorry, I just saw your comment. You are welcome. If you have problems email me.

  40. Gabrielle Noe
    December 30, 2014

    A dear friend asked me to make a quilt out of her deceased husband’s ties. 75 ties. Since it will be a wall-hanging about 40 x 60 I’m concerned about losing some ties in the hot water wash and dry method you recommend. Do you think in this case it would be safer to hand wash and machine dry? I loved your tutorial – just what I needed. Thank you.

    • Na Na
      December 30, 2014

      Hand washing would be ok to do since you are making a wall hanging. I wash mine in the washer because they are charity quilts that will be abused and washed repeatedly. I love knowing my tutorial is helping.

  41. Gina Everson
    October 22, 2014

    Hi my dad just gave me a bag of his ties and was looking for a pattern to use for them. Can you suggest another pattern suitable for ties.
    Thanks

    • Na Na
      October 22, 2014

      Hi Gina,
      The Dresden Plate design I demonstrated was only because someone wanted to make that style quilt and asked for my help to make it. In reality, any quilt pattern will work to make a quilt from ties. When the ties are taken apart and ironed out flat they are no longer ties. Now they are just a bunch of odd shaped scrap fabrics. As with any scrap fabrics, if you can cut quilt pieces from it, you can make a quilt. Use a stabilizer to tame the bias of the fabric. Does this help?

  42. victoria person
    May 14, 2014

    if you have a tie that does run….does that not ruin the ties that are with it?

    • Na Na
      May 15, 2014

      So, which would you prefer to happen…..
      1) you wash the ties when you first obtain them and one or two fade onto the other ties or
      2) you put in a lot of time and effort to create a really nice quilt then wash it and one of the ties fades onto the others?

      My personal choice is to wash first so I don’t have a lot of time and effort in the quilt yet.

  43. Pattie
    April 7, 2014

    Are you sure i’ts ok to wash silk neckties??

    • Na Na
      April 8, 2014

      Hi Pattie,

      I wash the neckties BEFORE putting them into a quilt because I know the quilt recipients would not have the funds to dry clean a quilt. Many of the recipients of my quilts are living in shelters. If anything goes wrong with the necktie in the pre-wash I won’t be putting it into a quilt. Whatever comes out of the wash in fair condition should be good for going through a wash again and again after it is made into a quilt. Pre-washing eliminates what shouldn’t be used. Does this make better sense?

      • Pattie
        April 18, 2014

        Yes it does…. thank you

  44. Martha in East Texas
    February 12, 2014

    Thank you “sew” very much for this Dresden necktie quilt tutorial. I appreciate all of the time you took to do it. God Bless You.

    • Na Na
      February 17, 2014

      Your welcome. Glad you liked it. I do hope it helps people make their own necktie quilts.

      • Martha Cox
        February 17, 2014

        I’m using men’s dress shirts as my blocks. Just finished cutting the last one! Now on to the ties. Thank you again.

        >

        • Na Na
          April 8, 2014

          Your are welcome. I’m glad I could help.

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