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What to do with Dad's old ties?

My family and I ate dinner at Poppies, a place where the elderly in SE Denver like to hang out (but only if you have reservations. Do you have reservations? No? That's OK, they'll seat you at one of the many open tables). We celebrated Opa's 91st birthday.

We were finishing our meal when Opa made his way over to me and said, "I have a bunch of ties. Can you make something with them?"

"Yes," I said.

So, what to make? I decided on pillows for Opa and his four sons.

Well, I just finished a pillow for my Aunt & Uncle:

Haphazard Chevron, pattern by Quilting Happiness

This pillow pattern is from the book, Quilting Happiness by Diane Gilleland & Christina Lane. It's a great book with lots of fun ideas.

Anyway, I started thinking about how all of these ties could be used to make pillows. Ties are similar to the strips of fabric needed in the pattern for Haphazard Chevron.

First, I sorted the ties into "themes." It's a rather random set of ties.

So, with that in mind, here's how I sorted them. The ties almost all have a pattern or at minimum a single object on them, so I tried to group them based on themes.

Here's my first photo after sorting:

I added solid fabrics from my collection that I think work well to connect the random patterns. Loosely, the themes are England, Christmas, Flowers, Music & Sports, and Nature.

I made the Nature pillow first. After cutting down the ties, here's what the stripes look like:

Some of Peter's ties are from his time in England, so I wanted to capture more of those on the pillow and the lines looked like this:

And, finally, the end result:

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