The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

March 24, 2013

From men’s wear to artwork

Neckties get new life as quilt

DANVILLE — Where do old neckties go when they’ve served their usefulness? Some get buried in the back of the closet; some go to resale shops; and others meet an inglorious end in the garbage.

A few lucky ties get recycled into a colorful quilt, assembled by the skillful hands of Donna Gash of Danville.

“It was a fun project and not nearly as difficult as I had thought,” Gash said of her quilt, featuring about 30 neckties.

Gash, a member of Creative Covers quilt club, brought her creation to a recent gathering of the group, which meets at Threads of Time. She had made her quilt at home.

Gash said she had been collecting men’s ties for 20 years, with the idea of one day making something out of them. She got most of them from rummage sales or thrift shops, adding, “The most I paid for a tie was a quarter.”

She eventually ended up with about 100 ties of all colors and designs, preferring the flowers and small prints. None came from the closet of her husband, Ron.

“Sewing with silk was a scary thought, but I kept collecting them,” she said.

Years ago, she started making a vest using the ties, but soon realized she wouldn’t wear it, and stopped the project. Last November or December, she saw a pattern for a quilt using men’s ties, and she decided to try it.

She sorted the ties by thickness and prints (removing all the striped ties), took the linings off, opened them up, pressed them and cut the ties into strips of different sizes.

She also cut the labels off the back, and sewed some of them onto the back of the quilt. A couple of the labels feature names from Danville’s past — Ries Strauss and Block & Kuhl.

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