Boxer Quilt: Sew it begins!

I have been chronicling my adventures of freecyling boxers into what has become known as the “Boxer Quilt”:

Boxer Quilt: Patchwork Pieces Ready for Sewing
Boxer Quilt: Patchwork Pieces Ready for Cutting
Boxer Quilt: Cutting up the Boxers

Since clearing out and cleaning up our office, I have been making a lot of progress on my quilt.  Two weeks ago, I finished cutting out the pieces for the patchwork from my old boxers and chose the colors for the borders of the blocks and for the quilt itself: 

Boxer quilt picking out the boders.

It felt really good sitting down at the sewing machine for the first time in almost two years:

Boxer quilt pinning the pieces for sewing

I tried unsuccessfully to finish off the first of 12 blocks before class but instead had to complete it after class:

Boxer quilt first block completed.

Two Saturdays ago, I completed three more blocks for the quilt which means I am almost a third of the way through making the quilt top:

Boxer quilt first four blocks completed.

I say almost because there is still two more pieces I need to add to each block before they would be ready to be sewn together.  In piecing just these few blocks together, I am being reminded of how much fabric can stretch – especially when being ironed.  I wonder (and hope) that better fabrics does not stretch.  

There is a definite benefit to ironing the material before sewing it.  My logical brain thinks that the heat would make the fabric softer but the fabric actually becomes stiffer which thankfully makes it easier to pin and sew.

There has been a lot more ritual in sewing this quilt. As much as I love running the material through the sewing machine, I am coming to love the steps in between trips to the sewing machine.  I can stagger the starts of each block so that I am working on more than one at a time.  Based on recommendations from the book I got the pattern from, I have been opening rather than ironing the seams to one side.

I have unfortunately not sewn in two weeks and look forward to spending more time at the sewing machine this week!