Puttin’ On The Ritz

Ready to dress up in style, quilters? Because August 28th is National Bow Tie Day! And in honor of such a fashionable occasion, this month’s quilt block is the Bow Tie Block.

This block can dress up a quilt in various layouts, creating striking and beautiful geometric patterns, and can be seen in quilts dating back to the late 1800’s-early 1900’s. Some of the most interesting samples we’ve seen come from the 1930’s, and have a definite Art Deco look and feel to them.

A Bow Tie quilt from the 1930’s.
Here’s another Bow Tie quilt from the 30’s, but what a difference the fabrics and layout make–this quilt has a scrappier, more cheerful look to it!



As for the bow tie itself?

  • It originated in Croatia, and was used by soldiers to hold their collars together, but it was not the structured tie we have now, but a loose and floppier version. Brought back to western Europe, it evolved into the cravat, then into the bow tie we know today.
  • The most popular day for bow ties? New Year’s Eve. And Bow Tie Day, of course.
  • If you want to go all out on Bow Tie day, you can wear one as an accessory, drape yourself in a bow tie quilt, and eat some bow tie pasta for dinner.
  • Fans of the long-running British sci-fi series Dr. Who may know that after Matt Smith made his first appearance as the 11th Doctor, announcing “Bow ties are cool,”  bow tie sales increased by up to 94%.



Here is Marsha’s Bow Tie Block Pattern, with three different layouts. And for more Bow Tie fun,  go into Bernina and whisper the secret phrase to one of the Bernina Babes, and you’ll get a free Bow Tie Quilt Pattern.  Psssst! The secret phrase is ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz.

Happy Stitching, Bow Tie style!


If you want to see more beautiful historical quilts, please visit the following websites:

The Quilt Index  Both quilts featured in today’s post are found there.

International Quilt Study Center & Museum is located at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus, and the site has wonderful information on quilts and quilting, both American and international, as well as great info on subjects like preserving antique quilts.

Find interesting facts and info at National Bow Tie Day.