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Melcroft woman memoralizes husband through quilt

Dorothy Beck, 88, of Melcroft has memorialized a collection of her deceased husband’s ties in a unique quilt.

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By Rachel Basinger
Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, 8:52 p.m.

Dorothy Beck has completed a quilt that is unlike any she has ever made.

The 88-year-old Melcroft woman memorialized a collection of her deceased husband's ties in a unique quilt this past year that ended up winning her the blue ribbon and cash prize at the Bullskin Township Community Fair.

Robin Beck, her daughter-in-law, said Dorothy Beck entered it into the fair without even telling her family.

“We were all surprised to find out she had won a blue ribbon,” she said.

Her husband, Merle Beck, passed away in 1991 and Dorothy Beck said the idea for the tie quilt was something she always wanted to do.

“I had seen some different patterns and circles for quilts made from ties, but I decided to go with my own idea and make a ‘crazy quilt,'” she said.

She used all different sizes and shapes of ties, including the really wide ties that she cut in two to add to the design.

Robin Beck said most of the ties used in the quilt were Merle Beck's, but there is also a tie or two from her sons, including one from her son Paul Beck of Scottdale that he wore when he was in the Marine Corps.

The project was a labor of love for about three years, beginning shortly after Dorothy Beck had hip surgery.

“One day (in the spring) I tore all of the ties apart and then throughout the summer I pressed them,” she said. “It was the beginning of 2012 that I decided to start putting them all together and I just worked at it when I could.”

When she finished it earlier this year, it was big enough to fit over a double bed.

It became a labor of love, although Beck said she really isn't exactly sure why she did it.

“I don't know what I did it for,” she said with a chuckle. “I guess I did it so my kids would have something to fight over when I die.”

Dorothy Beck added that her daughter told her it was something she always wanted to do.

“I do feel like I accomplished something,” she said.

Dorothy Beck isn't sure what her next project will be, but she's sure it will include the different fabrics and things that people have given to her over the years.

Rachel Basinger is a contributing writer.

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