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!

Boxer Quilt: Patchwork Pieces Ready for Sewing

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:

Boxer Quilt - picking out the borders

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:

The mews

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.

Unboxing Boxers for Quilting a Quilt

Around the time I met my partner, I discovered boxer briefs and have hardly worn boxers since.  After several years had passed and I kept seeing them in bins of clothes, I finally took them out of the bin and placed them into a bag to donate.

We were literally leaving the house with me picking up the bag when I looked at my partner and said, “that’s an awful lot of fabric.”  For well over a year now, they have sat in a bag and made their rounds around the house and finally, last week, I pulled out the seam ripper and started the task of ripping them apart in preparation for making them into a quilt.  This was after a friend of mine inspired me to start working on a quilt again.

A few weeks ago, I had sporadically decided on which of the fabrics I was going to use for the metaphysical/mystical quilt I have been procrastinating starting.  I pulled out all of my quilting books to look for inspiration on what to make.  I selected a few projects out of a newer book I purchased and decided that it was an awfully large quilt for me to make for my second quilt (and first one in well over a year).

I turned around in my office chair remembering that I had this large bag of fabric that I was going to quilt for us to use when we are at the beach or at the park having a picnic.  I had to chuckle when I started going through the bag when I came across a pair of yellow boxers that have ants all over them.  Perfect for a picnic quilt!  (and yes, perfect timing to be making an outdoor quilt as the snow has started to fall here.)

I have a few pairs left to rip apart.  I will need to remember how to do math in hopes that I have enough (and large enough) pieces for the quilt.  Then I will need to iron and cut out the pieces and start putting the sewing machine to work!

Does anyone else have any projects they are starting on now that it is getting colder outside?