A while ago I was asked for a silk necktie quilt pattern. I decided to include three different necktie quilt blocks to give you plenty of ideas if you were planning one of your own. The silk neckties in my quilt came from charity shops but you may have neckties in your household crying out to be made into a quilt – they certainly make vibrant quilts. My necktie quilt is 32″ square so I think that probably makes it more suitable for a necktie quilted wall hanging.
Taking the neckties apart
I trawled the Ludlow charity shops and found seven lovely silk neckties. I could have used some of the polyester or wool neckties but I felt that it was best to stick to one type of fabric within the necktie quilt. They all have a seam up the back which can be unpicked fairly easily.
There is a layer of lining/strengthening which can be removed fairly easily, leaving the silk panel with a lined triangle at each end. I had hoped to use these ends – maybe in the quilt border – but in the end I didn’t because it would have made the necktie quilt larger than I wanted it to be.
The four patch necktie quilt blocks
The amount of useable silk from each necktie obviously varies but I began by cutting two 4.1/2″ squares from six of the ties and made a four patch quilt block using these with two 4.1/2″ squares cut fromthe background fabric of gold coloured silk. These photos show the first tie that I used and for this I didn’t use fusible interfacing. That was a big mistake as the silk is very fine (for which read stretchy!) so I backed all the remaining neckties before I cut the patches.
The dresden plate necktie quilt block
The next quilt block that I made for the necktie quilt was the dresden plate patchwork for the centre. Dresden plate templates vary in size but mine is for a twenty segment circle. I decided on a 5″ unfinished length of segment so I cut a 5″ length of fabric and placed the template so that the thinnest end was at one end of the fabric and the 5″ line on the template was at the other end of the fabric. I cut ten segments from the neckties and ten from the gold background fabric.
I wanted a tip similar to the end of a necktie for each segment of the dresden plate so I measured 1/2″ from the wide end of each segment, folded the segment in half along the length and cut from the 1/2″ mark to the fold.
Sew the segments together in pairs then fours and so on until you have all twenty segments included. Sew the first and last segments together to close the circle.
The dresden plate template comes with a circle to applique in the middle of the dresden plate. I cut a circle in the gold silk and then trimmed 1/4″ all the way round as I had used interfacing so that I wouldn’t need to turn under a hem. I placed first the dresden plate patchwork and then the central circle on a 16.1/2″ square of the gold fabric and embroidered the edges of both with buttonhole stitch.
The flip and sew necktie quilt blocks
The third quilt block that I used in the necktie quilt was a simple sew and flip block using the remains of the silk neckties. I began with an 8.1/2″ square of calico (muslin in America) and placed a 2.1/2″ strip of gold fabric across the diagonal with right side up. I then cut random pieces of the silk neckties, trying to vary the widths of the fabric to give some variations in the blocks. Sew one necktie strip to the edge of the gold strip with right sides together. Sew in place with a 1/4″ seam, flip and press.
Continue adding strips using flip and sew to either side of the gold strip until the entire calico square is covered. No need to cut the lengths accurately. all the extra can be cut off later.
When each square is covered, turn it over so that the calico square shows and trim the excess necktie fabric in line with the edge of the square. Make six of these 8.1/2″ flip and sew quilt blocks.
Sewing the necktie quilt together
That’s all the silk necktie quilt blocks complete so now it’s just a question of sewing them all together. I placed the dresden plate patchwork quilt block in the centre and then alternated the four patch and flip and sew quilt blocks around it. Sew two blocks together for the top and for the bottom of the dresden plate and then sew two strips of four quilt blocks together and sew them to the sides.
Finishing the necktie quilt
The necktie quilt top is now complete. Layer with a 36″ square of wadding and backing fabric, quilt and bind. For the quilting I used stitch in the ditch as I didn’t trust myself to free motion quilt across all that silk. As I had used pink embroidery thread for the dresden plate quilt block, I decided to use pink fabric for the necktie quilt binding.
I’m thrilled with my necktie quilt and I hope that it’s given you ideas for ways that you can use your own silk neckties in your quilting projects.
Here’s the video: