Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Quilt from Old Neckties






I had a friend named Anna Lee Bush. She passed away several years ago. She was dear. Once very long ago, she gave me a black garbage bag full of men's neckties. She had planned on using them herself, but never did. For some reason, she decided I should have them. Maybe because I am hard pressed to throw things out and she didn't want to either. So, I took the bags and thanked her for the treasure.

Anna Lee was a lot of fun. She was older, wiser, more talented, funnier and just a great person! She made me laugh and also inspired me to do good work. With all the best of intentions, I sorted out the ties and then safely packed them away til I could get to work on a quilt using them. You know how it is...I would think of the ties often, but I never got around to actually making a quilt with them. They were there....in the back of my mind...but I always found something else that "had" to be done.

Then, one day, I heard that Anna Lee was very sick. I called her on the phone and we talked....she, still funny, said she remembered me back when I was "quiet." Well, possibly, because at one time I tended to be quiet....but that time had passed. We both laughed and talked about old times. It was fun. I wished her well and said I'd call again. Then, a couple weeks later, she passed away. After her funeral, several of us from the quilt guild decided to celebrate her life by going to the local quilt shop to buy fabric and to spend some time "remembering." We each bought fabric that she would have liked. I still have my little bundle, untouched, and when I see it, I think of her and smile.

One day after that, I got out the long packed away neckties and made this quilt in honor of my generous friend. It looks like a crazy quilt, but actually, it is just a simple fan pattern, embellished with embroidery stitches and then beaded. You know by now that I love to do both. I decided to use all black embroidery thread and jet beads, just to keep it simple. Alll that pattern in the ties kind of decided that for me. And, I wanted to use jet beads because not only do I love them, but I knew Anna Lee did too...all that drama and sparkle when the light hits them "just right."

I like to write on quilts from time to time, so I decided I would write on this one...in the border. On the bottom border it says:
"In memory of a wonderful quilter and friend, Anna Lee Bush, who gave me much encouragement and a very large bag of old neckties."

And, because I knew she would love this quote from Linda Otto Lipsett (and I do too), I wrote: "It was not a woman's desire to be forgotten. And, in one simple, unpretentious way, she created a medium that would outlive even many of her husband's houses, barns, and fences; she signed her name in friendship onto cloth and, in her own way, cried out, REMEMBER ME." I will always remember Anna Lee. Take care. pat

22 comments:

Melody Marie Murray said...

What a lovely memorial.

Judy Hartman said...

Hi Pat,
I came to your blog via a comment you left on Sparkle Jars (Gayle's blog). What a great story about this necktie quilt and a beautiful tribute to your friend.
I love your Home Sweet Home pincushion also!

TattingChic said...

Oh, Pat! This post just brought tears to my eyes! That is so touching! I think the quote is what did it. What a fabulous way to remember your dear friend! I can't believe those are old neckties! How resourceful! :)

StitchinByTheLake said...

As usual your work is beautiful Pat. But even more beautiful is your memory of your friend and your desire to show your love for her. blessings, marlene

sparkle jars said...

Beautiful quilt, beautiful post, lots of good tears. :-)

Sue said...

What a lovely story, a beautiful quilt and a wonderful way to remember a special lady.

brenco1 said...

Pat a beautiful tribute to Anna Lee. I never had the pleasure of meeting her,but through your eyes and memories she was very special.

Robin said...

This may be the sweetest post I've ever read... plus the quilt is wonderful. I'm glad you kept the bead color constant... it allows the ties to shine.

I'm curious how you prepared the ties for piecing and quilting? Did you wash them and if so how?

Robin A.

Willow Witch said...

Oh, Pat that is so sweet and so you. You are truly an angel among us... I alway's feel blessed when you have stopped over to the willow's and leave your ray's of sunshine. Thank you, friend...

Gaby Bee said...

A absolutely wonderful piece... as usual. What a great tribute to Anna Lee, Pat!

Hugs to you
Gaby

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

What a touching tribute to your friend! It's beautiful!

I put the pincushion you made me on my blog today!

CraftyT said...

Beautiful. I have been wanting to make a quilt from old neck ties that I have.

Natasha

Rose Haven said...

What a sweet and touching memorial to your friend.

~Blessings,
Jan

Cottage Rose said...

Hello Pat. I am so happy I stop by, what a lovey tribute to you friend. She sounded like a very lovely Lady. I really love the Quilt you made from all those great ties. How did you do the beading around the outside edge??? just beautiful.

Hugs;
Alaura

Linda said...

Quilt & your memories were just... Beautiful! At a loss for words, sorry! Thank you so much for sharing!

Margaret's Ramblings said...

What a beautiful quilt and memory. I'm sure she's smiling down on you and saying "well done".

Sincerely Yours said...

Hi Pat! This is my first visit but when I saw that gorgeous silk ribbon/bead pincushion you made Romantic Home Cindy I had to stop in and tell you how beautiful it is!!! I made a small ribbon embroid that I haven't finished yet and adore the way you beaded the edge; so if I may I will "borrow" that idea! I am sorry you lost your friend but am sure she is smiling down knowing she is a part of this stunning quilt! I look forward to my next visit! Have a beautiful week - Sincerely, Jeannette

Jeri said...

So lovely! what a sweet remembrance of your friend.

supplies overflowing! said...

I love your quilt. You have used that bag of ties in a wonderful way. You make me want to do something with the ties that my dad used to wear. I will share your quilt idea/pictures (if I can print them!)with my mom.
Simply lovely. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I just recently discovered your blog and love all of your projects! This post particularly touched me as I have saved for many years a large bag of neckties that belonged to my grandfathers, Dad and Uncles. I originally thought about using some of the silks to patch a crazy quilt but I so love your memorial quilt idea that I will be putting those ties to work in their own memoty quilt.
Thanks for sharing! Bramble

J and Z said...

ooo my gosh, your work is just fantastic! this quilt is so special!!

Vesuviusmama said...

I found your blog online when looking for photos of quilts made from ties, and I linked to your blog entry along with a photo at http://vesuviusmama.blogspot.com/2011/04/ties.html. Please let me know if this is unacceptable and I will remove the photo and the link. I love the quilt!

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