A big thank you for all the lovely comments, via email and on the blog, after the last post, and a special shout out to readers Nicole and Lana, who were moved to give me fabric contributions (mens ties and upholstery samples).  Thanks for repurposing/reusing/recycling with me!

When I left you I had begun to cut the Hermes ties so trustingly given me by Ellen, who commissioned this quilt.  After a second meeting, in which we established her preferences, I basically got down to the nitty gritty.

First step: press fusible interfacing to all the strips. Somewhere around 150 strips at 15-20 seconds per press, well, you get it. I was grateful for my iPod speaker.

Once that was done I began sewing together pieces from the rows Ellen and I had laid out together.  The rows shrank as strips were sewn.  This vanishing fabric is called “seam allowance” which good quilters plan for and quilters like me freelance around.  Constant rearranging was necessary.  Since more strips were needed I added more of the yellow chinese silk, including strips turned to use the vertically striped backside, seen in the rows below

What I'd previously thought was a 65" tall column was now a lot less. The beautiful silks offered more strips.

The next step was to add the sashing between the columns.  Ellen chose the Thai silk for this

A cabinet door in my workroom offers a place to hang work in progress, so I can see how the "coin stack" looks with its sashing

The Thai silk was running low, down to one 39 x 39 square, a 35 by 8 segment and a few scraps.

Will there be enough for a 6 inch border? I'm notoriously bad at simple math. How I became the family bookkeeper I'll never know.

At over 65″ square, things get rather unwieldy.  My son’s bedroom floor, next door to my workroom, offers a surface to lay it out.  Unfortunately, with the winter we’ve been having, he seems to be home every other day due to snow.  Thus, he occupies his room, quilt production slows, and shoveling increases.

The upside?  Might as well stay inside and work on the quilt

After checking and rechecking my math, I cut the remaining fragments for a 6″ border (with the seam allowance it’ll end up more like 5 to 5 1/2).

I pin the border strips (the filmy white stuff is the fusible interface) and carefully fold the piece up between sewing and pressing

Border complete, I’m ready for batting and backing.  Ellen provided a new sheet, a lovely hue called China Blue (current product at The Company Store) for backing, and with batting from my local resource City Quilter, I consult my personal quilting bible to remind myself what order and on which side the quilt layers go together

Batting goes down first

Quiltop is placed, right side up, on batting

Backing is placed, right side down, on quiltop

Excess batting and backing are trimmed, and the three layers are pinned around the edges, leaving a 10 -12" opening

Modest Machine capably sews the perimeter three times

I turn it inside out through the 10-12" opening; it reminds me of a nautilus

But is it finished?  No, it’s fit to be tied!  Ellen drops off bunches of yarn she had but was not using

and I use a needle to pull about 80 5″ lengths of yarn through the layers and tie each in a simple double knot.  This took an afternoon on the floor.  Luckily, school was in session.

In spite of the laborious crawling-around-on-my-knees aspect, I still prefer hand tied quilts

Finished, it’s about 69 inches square.  The ties retain their tie-like aspect given that the pieces are not all cut on right angles.  Three pieces spread over the rows have penguins on them.  I hope it is a fitting tribute to the man it was made to remember.

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