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Monday, November 07, 2005


How's this for novel tie construction: it's a real patchwork quilt, in the "log cabin" pattern (which is essentially a square spiral). This tie comes from Rag Merchant of Des Moines, Iowa. The pattern and fabric pieces are available as a kit for $8.00. I am especially impressed with the way the four different fabrics in this tie all contribute to the undersea theme: one has fish, two have waves (too small to see here in the green section, but they're there), and the blue fabric is full of bubbles, like an effervescent ocean. Lucky for me, I got this one already assembled, and quite professionally so.

I was going to write that it's interesting that a craft born of necessity, i.e. the reuse of fabric scraps in lean economic times, has become such a popular hobby today, with hundreds of bolts of brand new fabric, made specifically to be cut apart and sewn back together, stacked on the racks at fabric stores such as Jo-Ann's. But it turns out that I was wrong in my initial assumption; it has always (since at least the sixth century!) been about creating works of beauty, and not about recycling scarce material. There's a great deal about quilting history at this History of Quilts website on; especially on the page entitled Facts vs. Myths About America's Quilting Past. Some of the most stunning "new" quilts I've seen are constructed of marbled fabric; they display a glorious riot of color!

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