Boxer Quilt: Patchwork Pieces Ready for Cutting

I started writing this post on December 9th, 2012 with:

I spent a few sessions heading into the Winter on my outdoor quilt made from old boxers.  As appropriate timing as making an outdoor quilt in Winter is, I am hopeful it will be complete in time for our first trip to a park in 2013.  Now I am fearing I won’t have it completed in time.

It is now January 2014 and as I come back to polish off this post for publishing, I am realizing I could have months ago.  The post was complete sans photo that I was going to take when I got home to make the post publishable.  Without any further delay, finally, another post on quilting my boxer quilt!

In November 2012, I began the task of Unboxing Boxers for Quilting a Quilt with a bag full of boxers that I no longer wore and was going to donate.  The task took me several weeks to complete but I finally got to a point where I was ready to start Cutting up the Boxers for the individual pieces needed for sewing the quilt top.

Unboxed boxers for boxer quilt.

After it taking over two hours to fully cut up just two pairs of boxers into the individual pieces needed for doing the patchwork, I decided to switch to just preparing the fabric for cutting which only took an hour for another six pairs.  When I started doing this, I was using the lipped ruler to ensure I was cutting the fabric in a straight line and not wasting any fabric.  As time went on, I was cutting freestyle and hoping to not regret doing so later.  The last four pairs took me not much time at all to trim up in preparation for cutting.  

Two things I have learned thus far with sewing:  iron right before cutting out the pieces and if freecycling fabric, cut the fabric off the areas that had seams.  I learned the latter when I was first cutting up those two pairs of boxers and the former from making My First Quilt.  Even though I had seam ripped those first two pairs of boxers (the rest I cut enough to then use the rotary cutter to cut out the seams), when it came to ironing and cutting out the pieces, I found that there was “pull” not only where there was still thread present but also where I had seam ripped out the thread!

I figured there would be pull if there was still sewn areas but was surprised when I realized that there was pull even where I had seam ripped out the thread.  It was challenging to cut out the pieces in a straight line because the seams, whether the thread was still in it or not, was pulling on the fabric making it difficult to cut out the pieces in a straight line and I kept finding I was having to trim them up after making the initial cut.  I found that if I trimmed it up to remove those, then ironed them, my cuts were much better.

Now that this major task is done, I can move on to cutting up the prepped fabric into the individual pieces for the patchwork.

Do you quilt?  Do you freecycle fabric?  Have any tips for reducing the amount of time involved in preparing the fabric?

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