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Ode to a Quilt O'Ties...

Has it been 2 years or 3 since you sent me your 44 ties for a unique quilt a la Julie? Well, whether it was 2 or 3, in the intervening time we had a pandemic, Mom moved to an apartment, we sold her house and most of the contents, we lost our dear Anne to a damnable cancer -- Mom followed a year later (after a good innings of 88 years) and in the midst of all that, this quilt played on my creative mind. How grateful I am for that.

You requested a quilt of my design, with the only idea, and completely open suggestion of a sunshine - like the CBS Sunday Morning logo maybe? I played with the ties, organizing them by color, by texture, for two years before I finally surrendered to the idea that I was stuck in the idea that I should "keep the integrity of the whole tie" as much as possible. Stretch the length of the tie to the four corners and use the point in the corner of the quilt and fill in around the corners. I had my son create a diagram for me with the number of ties around a center point.

It was a good idea, and my son, Hudson,

was a willing participant as resource, but the implementation was not going to be straightforward. The ties were not cooperating with this design. They were fighting back, which let me know it was not the right direction. I like working with little margin for error, but I also like having a clear direction.

Such beautiful silks. The first step to any tie construction is de-construction, and interfacing for stability. Video evidence puts the commencement of activity on October 24, 2021. Interfacing began in earnest on Halloween. I remember because Frankenstein was on television in the background.

As I said, I arranged and rearranged by color and texture and hue and tone...

I even had some help. A lot of help actually. Miss Kitty was my sewing mascot. The ties didn't stay laid out for very long. It was clear the patterns and colors couldn't play sufficiently that way. She was ever present as I was piecing at the machine, and quilting on the frame.

What you will read from the words and pictures so far is that I enjoyed this process completely. The agony and, if not ecstasy, the satisfaction and pride in the neatest sew I've ever done. My experience culminated, to date, in your quilt.

THEN! I stumbled upon this quilt block pattern, with a great name, and great variations. It turned me on creatively, so I began to experiment with sewing the pattern (in cotton). I got the hang of it and went on to make 25 blocks out of the ties!

Seems simple enough. I liked the technique. I liked learning something new, and I thought the process worthy of your ties.

Then it was time for engineering. I had to remain cognizant of surface area of the silk in relation to the pattern pieces. It revealed itself and came together relatively quickly after that. I always knew it would, but until I found the pattern / direction, I couldn't move in any direction. This pattern allowed the ties to play together and create an interesting visual that was neat and had precision. As both a banker and a golfer, I was sure that would be pleasing to you. The pillow is a little different story...Probably the "funkiest" thing you have in your home. The points of the ties are all so friendly though, and not to be missed.

You have been the embodiment of patience with me. These have been a challenging few last years. Believe it or not, the joy and responsibility of your quilt has kept me grounded and moving forward. For your trust in me, the gift you gave me of complete creative freedom, and your safe harbor for now what is both our creation born of love, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. May you continue to find joy in all its myriad imperfections, hidden and otherwise. It is an honest quilt, and comes to you by way of immense gratitude.

Carry on. Be well, and spread your joy, j

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