Quilt made from ties

Recycling in the 1960s and upcycling

This is a Yorkshire World Collections object, one of 100 chosen by young people aged 16-24, as part of the London Cultural Olympiad programme Stories of the World.

This hand stitched single bed sized quilt was made by Mrs Worth in the 1960s from ties that had been sent to her from around the world by her nephew who travelled as part of his job.

The labels from each tie showing their manufacturer and country of origin have also been incorporated into the design. This is an example of upcycling, a commonly used term for making something new from items which were originally made for something else. This is different to recycling which is what you do with things like bottles which go around again in same form.

Curriculum Links:

Art and Design - Creative textiles, Pattern, Using upcycled materials
Geography - Comparing cultures and countries, Maps and local area
History - Peoples' lives and backgrounds
English - Storytelling, Travel journals
Maths - Tessellations, Number patterns, Symmetry

Discussion Ideas:

  • Look at the different patterns and materials.
  • Do you think Mrs Worth make the best use of the materials available to her?
  • Would you have created a different design?
  • Traditionally what do most quilts have in common?
  • What different types of quilts can you name? 

Activity Ideas:

  • KS1 Art and Design - create non sewing patchwork quilts with
  • KS2 Art and Design - create a patchwork quilt with recycled materials collected by the class
  • KS2 ICT Use Stop Go Motion to recreate the story with children choosing their own countries to send their traveller to
  • Ideas from video clips of a Chinese Womens textile project
Watch this animation about the making of Mrs Worth's quilt made by 2nd year student teachers during their SOTS ('settings other than schools') week. It was made with Newclay and filmed with a webcam and Windows Movie Maker.

Look at this other resource on My Learning - a quilt made from military uniforms.

Document icon Learning article provided by: Dales Countryside Museum | 
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