I love men’s ties. The fabrics that they use are absolutely gorgeous. Why someone doesn’t design fabric for quilting like they use for men’s ties boggles my mind. Those fabrics would make the most gorgeous quilts!
I have felt this way for a long time. I keep saying that one of these days, I am going to collect ties and make a quilt out of them. But then I think about having to pick the stitches out of enough ties to make enough fabric to make a decent quilt and I don’t buy any ties from the Goodwill.
I have this thing about ties, too, because, well, I am partial to guys who wear ties. You know, the ones who ride bikes in white shirts and … ties? Yeah, the missionaries. My son was one of those, as was my husband — and I have a special place in my heart for the young men (and women) who set aside two years of their lives to work and not get paid.
When my son came home from his mission to Italy (one year ago today!), I sat and talked to him while he unpacked his suitcase. All of those Italian ties! Ties from the motherland of Italian silk and tie-making! It was too much for me. My son brought me back down to earth by letting me know in no uncertain terms that I would not be allowed to make him a quilt out of his mission ties. I think he is planning on keeping them for the rest of his life. (When he moves out of the house and leaves his belongings behind, guess what the first thing is that I will nab…!)
Anyway, earlier this week, I was minding my own business when the phone rang. It was a missionary who pleaded with me to take on a quilt that would be a gift for the MIssion Presdient and his wife for Christmas. Not just for Christmas, but it has to be done by December 17th, at noon! It seems the person who agreed to do it, backed out and they were desperate for someone to do it for them. A good friend of mine, who was called also and declined, recommended me — (I love her anyway ; )
It seems all of the missionaries in the San Jose California mission had begun taking pictures over a month ago in anticipation of having this photo quilt made. So, pictures printed to fabric sheets would make up the quilt.
After I hung up with the missionaries, a thought came to my mind “Use their ties to make the quilt”. So I called them back and requested ties, which are a precious commodity for missionaries. That was Tuesday.
On Thursday, I picked up the October issue of Quilter’s Newsletter magazine which someone left by my sewing machine. I flipped through it to find on page 28 and article about using ties for quilts and how to prepare them. I couldn’t believe it! So now I know exactly what I need to do to be able to use pieces of those beautiful silk ties with cotton fabrics.
This morning, I received a bag of ties from the missionaries — 60 so far, more coming next Saturday. My sons immediately started picking the ones they wanted to keep while I was sorting through them — unfortunately for them, they can’t keep any. I need to use all of them.
These next few weeks will be filled with picking, washing, sorting, pressing, cutting, sewing and recutting to get it to the quilter in time. The result will be a beautiful heirloom quilt for President Heywood and his wife for their service in behalf of hundreds of missionaries who have been in their care for the last three years. Mrs. Heywood has been diagnosed recently with cancer, the fast moving kind, which we are hoping will turn out to be better than predicted. The Heywoods are beloved by the Elders and Sister missionaries. What a gift that quilt will be, which I why I said “I would LOVE to do this for you!” when they called.
I hope you remember this story when you see missionaries on their bikes. I hope you’ll honk and wave. Even though they don’t know you, it makes their day.
When the quilt is done, I’ll post a picture. In the meantime, say a prayer for Mrs. Heywood.
P.S. recently, one of the Brazil Mission Presidents contacted me about how to make a quilt using ties, and I realized that I didn’t post a picture of the quilt here. (I may have in another post, but I thought it would be a good idea to have a pic here too) So, here you go:
another P.S. : Sister Heywood survived her cancer and is well and happy!