Burnham Overy woman celebrates the ties that bind in a quilt

Alirae Bunkle with the completed quilt MLNF16PB08471 ANL-160830-133809001
Alirae Bunkle with the completed quilt MLNF16PB08471 ANL-160830-133809001
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Alirae Bunkle, from Syderstone, still misses her father, David, who died in 2010, so now she has created a lasting memorial to him.

She has incorporated into an unusual quilt what family and friends mostly remember about him and the many ties he wore during his lifetime..

David Bunkle lived in Burnham Overy, where he was well-known for always being smartly dressed.

“He had a magnificent collection of neckties and the things he supported in his life time are reflected in his collection of ties,” she said.

A military policeman in the Royal Air Force when young he was later a member of the Royal British Legion and several other village groups.

For each organisation he owned the ties that bore their insignia. There were also four black ties for the many funerals attended as church warden of St Clements parish church.

It was a friend, visiting from the USA, who was heavily into quilting that gave Ms Bunkle who is Ranger Guider of the 1st Creake Rangers, the idea. She suggested it as a project for the Rangers.

“That’s when I decided to make my own tie-quilt,” said Ms Bunkle. She devised a central sunflower using thirty-two ties, around half of the total in her father’s wardrobe. She said: “He was a nature-lover and where I had to add bits of fabric I used materials that had anything to do with nature and farming. The fabrics were chosen to reflect dad’s personality and interests.”

She added, “This wasn’t a project about sewing skills, but about love and remembrance. He would be very pleased with this project.”

The task was not as easy as she had first imagined. “When I started initially I found it too emotional cutting up his ties and I had to put the quilt away in a cupboard for 18 months.”

But when the time approached for the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations earlier this year she found the strength to complete the task. “He had been church warden for 32 years so I finished the quilt as a cover for the altar at St Clement’s in time for the celebrations.”

Now her family have a permanent reminder of a man whose life revolved around being involved with the community in which he lived. “He had a lot of ties,” said Ms Bunkle. Those not used have now mostly been ‘rehomed’.