Neckties are just wonderful to use in some Foldy Stuff  projects.  This is not the same type of project you will find on the "Free Projects" page.  Rather, here are a few hints on how to use the fabric found in men's ties for a number of projects including the ones on the "Free Projects" page and those given in the basic pattern. 

1. The best Foldy patterns to use with neckties are those projects for the Log Cabin, Courthouse Steps, Chevron and Amish designs.  The others have too heavy a buildup of fabric in parts of them.

2. If you don’t have enough ties already, you can purchase more very reasonably at resale stores and garage sales.  The old wide ones are great --- more material and usually the most patterned.  I stay away from knits and woolens.

3. You’ll need to take the “innards” out.  This is “sitcom” work!  Get something mindless on the TV, a huge wastebasket, a sharp scissors and a seam ripper.  Most of them will be stitched with a “loop” stitch (like on a sugar bag) and all you have to do is find the right thread to pull.

4. I wash them in the washing machine,  If you lose one (I haven’t yet!) it’s better there than in the finished quilt.  I “agitate” for about a minute, then let them just soak for an hour, then another minute of agitating action, then finish with the rinsing cycles.  Throw them in the dryer then press.  NOTE: Do NOT put those really thin, silky ties in the wash with the rest of the ties!  They will knot everything up into a tight ball that is completely unsalvageable!!  Wash those separately, by hand.

5. Cut the ties on the bias (along the length of the tie).  If you cut on the straight grain, they fray something awful!  Using a rotary cutter, cut them to the correct width and length --- this will be important later.

6. I like to do mine by hand as I’m always looking for a traveling and/or TV project.  This is a great hand project as the size and uniformity of the stitches do not matter a bit --- great for a bouncy car ride.  Make “packages” by stacking the strips, in order, on a transferred muslin square.  Pile these in a box or can that’s ready to “travel”.

7. To make a travel kit, keep the following in a can or box: small scissors or snips, needles, straight pins, thread, needle threader, thimble.  Keep a clipboard with it for a flat place to work.  Here’s the big secret --- everything in that can is dedicated to that can!!  NO ONE takes anything OUT of it!!  Then it’s always ready when you need to grab it & run.  I even thread a needle before I put it away each time.

8. When you pick up those silky strips you’ll find they have lost their shape a bit.  Pin each corner in place, then pat the strip.  It will go right back into shape.  Stitch them in place with a running stitch.  HINT: There’s not enough light colored ties to make traditional light/dark sides.  Pay no attention to the colors and your quilt will be gorgeous!

Ties are such fun!  Enjoy, enjoy!