One day there's a heavy rainstorm, and our collector flees his house in the nick of time. A massive mudslide buries the house. Since he's very rich, he never bothers to dig it out, and lives happily ever after in another house.
A hundred years later, his wealthy heirs, arguing about inheritances, decide they want to salvage his buried home. A crew of workers dig down into the ruins, and finally break into his closet.
Here's a cross-section of what might they might dig up. There are 68 neckties on this quilt, newest on top, aging as you move down, with a 1950s-era quilt on bottom. (Also, 100+ vintage buttons).
In the interests of historical documentation, I tried to keep these ties as intact as possible. The only change I made to most was to surgically cut the tags off the back and move them to the front, so future fashion scholars can study them.
Here's the bottom-most tie:
It's a slim '50s or early 60s tie, with a bikini-clad pinup girl hidden in the lining. (She unfortunately has punctures on her neck, due to a thrift shop sales tag and/or confused vampire attack.)
Moving up into the later 60s, the ties widen.
A closer look:
Perhaps 1960s tie designers experimented with LSD? There's an Escheresque orange-and-black design at the bottom, followed by pink diamonds; a striped tie celebrating San Francisco trolleys; and a whole lot of crazy paisley.
Along the bottom of the photo above, there's a festive tie that features international drinking toasts: "Prosit!" "Campi!" "Skol!" "Salute!"and of course, "L'Chaim!" (Plus one in Chinese characters - thanks to reader Margaret who let me know it reads "Ganpai!", literally, "empty your glass!") Above that is a demure orange paisley that belonged to my Dad. Above that is a lobster-themed tie. The topmost navy tie in the photo above was also my Dad's; it has state seals from Massachusetts, the state he loved and lived in.
I wove an ultra-wide British beefeater-themed tie through that grouping.
Continuing to climb, we have birds, yellow submarines, eagles and wolves. The animal neckties and many others have labels that indicate they raise money for charity.
Still higher, in the photo below, there's a space shuttle; a supersized fish (you need some chutzpah to wear that to work!); Forbes magazines punctuated by money; a Monopoly board, and neon Volkswagon bugs.
The other end of that grouping also shows a moon landing tie, the narrow end of the space shuttle tie, and young Elvis clutching a hound dog.
Past Monopoly, there's a lime-green golf course; a photography tie with antiquated film rolls; and the tornado scene from The Wizard of Oz.
The topmost grouping features Nicole Miller ties. Nicole's exquisite silk fabrics bring new meaning to the word "clutter." Many appear to be advertisements as well as fashion.
Closer: (The plaid tie on the left and the horizontal ties are not Liberty).
And finally, in the lower left corner, I put a section acknowledging the tie's resonance as a symbol of upright masculinity. I call it the Love, Sex and Babies Department.
queen of appliqué Kay Mackenzie took some pictures for me. Their hanging system wasn't as high as my quilt (about 100" long), so they ran it onto the floor.
I love working with neckties, and these kinds of quilts make wonderful retirement as well as memorial projects. There are several books out on the subject; my favorite is an oldie but goodie, Shirley Botsford's "Daddy's Ties," which is inexpensive on Amazon, here. (No financial affiliation!)
For instant gratification and more of my favorite necktie projects from across the web, check out my Pinterest board on upcycled fabrics, at https://www.pinterest.com/cathper/upcycling-denim-and-other-fabrics/.