Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Simple Necktie Rug Tutorial

Here is how to make a very quick and simple floor rug using old men's neckties.  Since valentine's Day is right around the corner I decided to make a rug using only red ties.  I purchased a lot of old ties on Ebay,  I was very pleased with the mixed lot that I received - for a very reasonable price.  Estate sales and garage sales are the best places to find the best deals.  For this little rug I used 16 ties.  Do not pull the ties apart, use them just as they are, you will only trim the length of the tie to the width of the backing.

Begin with a piece of backing material.  I have tried several different materials, this time I started with a piece of buckram fabric.  Buckram is usually used to make book covers and hats but it was a weight that I thought would hold up well.   My rug is 36" long and 25" wide.  The buckram comes in a 25" width, you can piece it together to make what ever size you like.  (*update* 5-22-13 I have started using thick felt for the backing, it seems to be more rigid over time, easier to sew and it give the rug a little cushion.) Ties are very long so you will only be using about half of the tie.  Be sure to hold on to the other half for another project.   Start in the center of the piece of buckram, pin your first tie down and then pin another tie next to that one with the large end pointed the other direction as you see below, we will alternate wide, narrow, wide, narrow.  It is important that you use a very heavy duty needle for this, I used a 18/110 and a heavy duty upholstery thread.  I used a matching red thread. Using a fairly close zig-zag stitch,  sew the first two ties together on top of the buckram backing.  Working out from the center out, keep adding ties with a zig-zag stitch, trimming the excess tie off.

This is what it should look like when you have sewn down all your ties.

Trim off any left over tie pieces or points.

Machine bind as you would a quilt.  Katie at Swimbikequilt has a good tutorial if you don't know how to do this.  You could try to bind by hand but I think it would be difficult due to the thickness of the fabric.  I used a red twill fabric for my binding so that it would hold up to wear and tear.

There you are, just that easy!

Friday, January 25, 2013

So Many Neckties

I just received another lot of 200 assorted men's neckties.  I'm looking forward to making some rugs and I have some ideas for new projects.  Ruby really can't resist nesting in them, I think a pile of ties is her favorite thing ever!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

School Heritage Quilt

I got asked to make a quilt for a local International school's annual fund raising event. Each first grader in this class was asked to bring a piece of fabric in that represented their home country.  Wow, what an interesting lot of fabrics I got!  Flannel, woven blanket, poly scarf, Chinese silky fabrics, tee shirts, linen.... it was quite a fun challenge!

The finished quilt

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Reusable Grocery bag fun

 In preparation for the plastic bag ban at the local grocery store I decided to make a couple of new bags so that I could retire some of my old ripped and nasty bags.   I found this awesome tutorial 

Here is my version:

It was really fun giving it a test drive today!  Makes me want to make another trip to the fabric store to shop for more fun canvas prints.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sneak Peek

Here is a sneak peek of my new quilt design Cascarone featured in the fresh off the presses Fon's and Porter's Easy Quilts.

A close up!