Yesterday I went to a retirement party of one of the people who I admire and have worked with for the last 14 years. This man has always had an open door and often and open heart. When I left employment and returned he welcomed me with open arms. When I made the decision to marry there was no question who I was going to ask to officiate, and he did cheerfully. Being a general district court judge it is seldom that you get to give a life sentence, and I do give thanks that my beloved spouse took on that sentence with a smile. Judge McDonough was wearing a big smile that day as well.
That being said, this occasion of Judge McDonoughs retirement called for something pretty special. As I was soon to move on to other adventures the idea came to me with only two days left of my employment. My last day was May 8. With that in mind I went to Hizonners co-workers and asked them for something. I wanted their ties. Even though judges wear those black robes, they still need to wear a tie. Greater minds than mine come up with these rules. The judges complied and I was on my was with about a dozen neckties. Why ties? Well, I’m thinking most men prefer not to wear ties. And if you don’t have to wear a tie that in itself is a gift. This was to commemorate the fact that if he chose not to, he did not have to wear a tie again.
A sampling of ties that are in the “collection”.
So I destructed the ties, washed and pressed them. Then I found some foundation blocks and stamped some others on muslin. Ties are cut on the bias so they are mighty stretchy and most are made of silk so they are a little mischievous! I began sewing. And cutting. And sewing some more.
One would think I might be a little tidier…but creative ventures are a messy process for me! Well, so many things are “messy” with me!
June 11 and over 600 pieces to add in 7 days…I’d better get focused~and I did!
Cutting threads and adding the final pieces to the blocks.
Completed blocks – however, there is “some assembly required”.
What to use for the backs of these? Well, I have just the thing. While away on retreat this spring, I scored a fabulous frock for a whooping $3.50! You would be amazed at how much fabric is in some of these dresses. I just couldn’t resist trying it on and being the Domestic Goddess that I am…note the tiara!
A special thank you to my daughter for venturing out into the back yard and taking these photos. Mercy it was a hot day.
The pieces completed…and they really are fabulous.
A couple of things to remember when working with ties. They might be fragile. When you wash them, wash them in a lingerie bag after deconstructing them. Remember silk takes color well, but doesn’t always keep it so it might bleed on other ties (wash similar colors together).
This pillow had 725 pieces. I might suggest if you do attempt this with a deadline, that you start early.
That gown looks much better on the back of these pillow than it does on me! And there is plenty more!
All in all it was a worthy project and I felt good about giving it. Truly this was a labor of love, as was the career of Judge Donald McDonough.
They are just beautiful – I am so in awe of your handiwork! Such fine attention to detail, and what a thoughtful gift… Just beautiful.