ARRANGING THE TIES
Step 1: Using sharp scissors, the ties are cut in half. On a flat surface, two wider halves are placed endto-end; cut ends facing in and right sides up. A third wider half is placed at right angles to the other two and will form the central point of the mat.
Step 2: Gradually, the remaining halves are added; first one side of the central tie and then the other. Some adjustment may be needed to achieve a pleasing curve, and using both wider and narrower halves of the ties helps to smooth out the shape and create a striking pattern.
Step 3: Once all the ties are in place, they are firmly pinned together ensuring they are fully joined all the way along. When sewing, the mat will be picked up as a whole, so time spent adding extra pins is worthwhile. Using a tacking stitch to hold them in place may also be beneficial. Any extra bulk in the centre can be lessened by carefully trimming overlapping ties. This area will be covered by the central circle of fabric so need not be perfectly neat, but care should be taken not to cut away too much.
SEWING THE MAT TOGETHER
Step 4: The ties are sewn together with running stitch along the edge of each tie. Once all the ties are sewn, the circle of fabric is placed over the central area where the ties meet, to form a semicircle covering the cut ends. The remaining part of the circle is folded over to the back. The semicircle on the right side of the mat is pinned in place, folding the raw edges under at the same time. Using running stitch, it is top stitched around the edge and across the flat top of the semicircle, securing it to the mat. The remaining part of the semicircle is stitched down by hand to the back of the mat.
“Oh I have been to Ludlow fair, and left my necktie God knows where”
A E Housman, ‘A Shropshire Lad’