Treasures in a Grab Bag

Today, I went shopping at the Outlet Mall with Robin. I think I might have told you that last Christmas, he sent home 4 boxes of his belongings with some gifts from Mexico that never made it home. Yes – it is a gut -wrenching thought, when you find out that among the things that were in the boxes were:

One of these:

A hand-appliqued dress called a Huipil

(Robin saved his money for about six months to buy me this dress.)

and some of these:

The ties… the only thing that Missionaries have that are distinct are their ties. They buy them, get them as gifts, give them as gifts, trade them and treasure them. They’re almost like photographs – they have so many memories stored up in them, like our quilts – they are that precious.

The tie Robin is wearing in this picture, below, is the most beautiful tie I have ever seen, and I bought it for him to take with him.

You can only see a little tiny bit of it, but it looks like a tooled leather saddle — and was the most amazing thing.

He sent his most precious ties home because the humidity in Acapulco would rub the color of the silk ties all over the white shirts and he didn’t want to get them ruined.

…Oh well…

So, the redeeming thing from that story is that there is an outlet store that has the ties that Robin sent home. Not the same ties but new and different ones. Most desirable ties ; )

But they also have one thing that you don’t usually find in Men’s tie stores… and it’s just for Quilters…

Are you ready for this…?!

A ten pound grab bag of tie silk remnants for $27.50. Yes, that’s right — you don’t have to adjust your spectacles, you read right.

The incredible thing about these tie silks is that they are from England, and the ties that are made from this silk sell on the street in Carmel, CA at the exclusive Robert Talbott shop for upwards of $250-350. EACH.

 (You read that one right too.)

At the outlet store, they’re $45, and a season older — but hey, at least they’re affordable at that price.

 There  were two bags to choose from and I chose the one I did based on the first fabric I saw in it – this one:

Beautiful, right? So I have to tell you, I LOVE men’s ties because the patterns of the fabric are so amazingly gorgeous. I drool over men’s ties.

Robin has been bugging me about getting a grab bag for a couple of years and challenging me to make a quilt out of it. Making a quilt with silk ties is pretty challenging – working with 360 degree bias, so it hasn’t been one of my ongoing passions.

But, when I turned the bag around to see what else was in it, this one fabric made the decision for me — and maybe you’ll agree :

Is this one fabric a treasure or what?!

I didn’t see what else was in the bag until I brought it home and pulled those little gems out, one by one.

Here’s what is in the bag: fat eighths, fat quarters, quarter-yard pieces and a couple of half yard pieces, as well as several fat tie shapes. I wasn’t quite sure what was going to be in that bag as far as size was concerned, I just figured I might be able to eek a lap-size quilt out of it.

It turns out that I have enough fabric to make three quilt tops, all in different color ways.

Here are some of the gems:

How about the Double Wedding Ring pattern?! It turns out that a lot of the tie silks have Quilt patterns in them!

Hot Rods?


This usually ends up on the underside of the tie to be used as the label, but I think it’ll fun to have it in a quilt square.

Here is the stacks of tie silks folded from the grab bag. Now all I need is about 10 yards of fusible interfacing to stabilize the bias before I can start cutting into it. I can hardly wait!

If you’re interested in one of these grab bags, all you need to do is get in touch with the Robert Talbott outlet store. There are two: one is Gilroy, CA — 408-847-5111, and one in Carmel Valley, CA — 831-659-4540.

They also have silk tie yardage, grabbags of men’s shirting remnants (also $27.50), and of course, beautiful ties at affordable prices.

The next time you’re in my neck of the woods, you may want to check out the outlet stores in Gilroy or Carmel Valley. You can find some real treasures there ; )

6 thoughts on “Treasures in a Grab Bag”

  1. Hey Annie;

    Good to see a post from you. I hope Robin’s boxes eventually show up. But, I really want to thank you for this information on the Robert Talbott outlet. Great score.

  2. OHHHH! How beautiful that silk is! I remember when almost all men wore ties!! Glad Robin is home, what an experience he had, I’m sure. Thank you for the info, Annie!

  3. My son is getting ready to leave on a mission in 4 months. I would love to come to these outlet. I live in Utah, so maybe on a break! Thanks for the input. I’m going to call and get a grab bag for sure!

  4. Shar– I won’t be at the HMQS show, but I will be at the Utah Quilt Guild’s Quiltfest in October in Midway. please do come by and say hi — my friends and I will have a booth in the Vendor Mall.

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