At first the thinking was something along these lines: what should I do with these silk ties I have collected over the years from charity shops and flea markets? Ah, I know, sew them onto a cloth, some unbleached calico that came my way. I enjoy their silly lapping tongue tips as they snake over the cloth. Once that is done I have a piece of cloth whose back is pretty manky with big untidy stitches. OK so I have a piece of calico to cover the back exactly the right size and all. But technically, how to do? A visit and phone call to a friend who knows all about these things sends me to a place that I never thought I’d go. Quilting. Yes, batting between the two layers helps to even out the weight and feel of heavy ties – and yes, ties are really heavy – and thin cloth between them. Then to stabilise the two layers we pin the entire surface with safety pins – hundreds of safety pins - and I sew rows and rows of undulating in and out stitch between the ties using thickish white cotton thread. Finally the edges. The same friend cuts super-accurate strips of cloth on her natty cutting board with a cutting wheel, shows me how to sew them together slant- wise to make a long thin continuous strip of edging, teaches me a nifty little trick to get professional mitered corners and leaves me to finish off the said piece. This I do with my Singer sewing machine which courageously sews through four layers of stuff as if it was born to do it, and then it’s only a matter of turning the edging over and hand sewing it on the back. Viola! My first quilt, a gift to another dear, dear friend whom I hope it will please.
Thanks to Jenny Hermans.