Last week I found a good reminder that your grandmother was reusing out-of-date materials and clothing to make something that might be useful, and she didn’t even have Pinterest to inspire her. In this case, someone took a bunch of old ties and made a lap quilt.
Sometime in the early 1950s men started seeing a shift in tie design. Ties became longer and more narrow, and the colors and designs became much more conservative. What looked right to men after returning home from WWII now looked a bit clownish. I’m sure that many men did like my Uncle Corky and just left the crazy ones on the tie rack. When he died there were dozens of great 1940s ties buried under the somber 1950s and 60s ones, and there were even a few new 1970s polyester ones on the very top.
But some clever quilter saw patchwork material when looking at these old, unstylish ties. I’m pretty sure this was made in the 1950s because of the type of rayon that was used for the backing. Maybe it was a gift for the original owner, or maybe the maker collected them from friends who would no longer wear them.
I look at something like this today and realize that as far as monetary value is concerned, the seller of the quilt would be better off having the ties intact. But it’s hard to criticize the maker of the quilt, and she (or he, possibly) would never have dreamed that anyone would ever be caught dead in these again.
I see dozens of old ties in practically any thrift store I visit. They are rarely older than the 1970s, but some of them are made from fine silks. I’m not a quilter, but I’ll admit I’ve been tempted to collect then just so I’ll have a project in case I ever get snowed in for two weeks with no electricity. And I always look at ties in thrift stores in the hopes of finding a Liberty Tana lawn one. I always get them because those long strips of bias fabric come in handy for various projects.
That one with the swordfish is pretty nifty.
Nothing says “classy” like big old green and orange gems.
Do you know a steel-working man? There was a tie for him.