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:
It felt really good sitting down at the sewing machine for the first time in almost two years:
I tried unsuccessfully to finish off the first of 12 blocks before class but instead had to complete it after class:
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:
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!
I am finally ready to start sewing together the top for my Boxer Quilt!
I am contemplating whether or not I will use the fabric from my boxers for the bottom of the quilt as well. There is plenty of fabric left and I am not sure what else I would use the fabric for. The quality of the fabric from the boxers is not the greatest and by using it on both sides, it would wear out at around the same time and I would not feel I was wasting newer and better fabric on it.
Once I finally had all the pieces cut out from freecycling my old boxers, I looked through our fabric stash to pick out the fabric for the solid colored borders of the quilt. I used my cell phone to take pictures as I tried laying out the patchwork onto different colored borders to see how they went together:
I do like the burgundy both as the window piece and for the outer border but felt it would be too dark for the quilt and wondering if it would clash with any of the other boxer patterns. I have decided on black for the window pieces and a cream color for the outer border as I feel it will best highlight the boxer patterns.
Little Miss Mew was of course eager to help me out as I was cutting up the fabric and placing the long stringy pieces either into the garbage can or my scraps bag:
One of the tips in the book I am using the pattern from recommends collating the pieces onto index cards for each of the quilt blocks. This makes it easier to just sit down and sew the pieces together.
I have not sat down to use the sewing machine since February of 2012. As I write that, I am trying to grapple with it coming up on two years since I last used our “new” sewing machine. I may dust off and finally watch the DVD that came with the sewing machine.
Running the pieces through the sewing machine (and trying to keep a straight line with my 1/4″ foot) is the part I like the most because I find the process therapeutic. The part I probably like the least at this point (especially with this quilt!) is getting up to the point of actually sewing the pieces together. I am sure the added chore of doing this from old boxers is not helping at all!!!
Wonder how long it will take me to sew together the quilt top. Time will tell.