Quilting and Stuff by Knitnoid

Return of the Leaders/Enders

Or, how I solved two problems at once.

I’m a big fan of Bonnie Hunter and her Scrap User’s System.  I really like Leaders & Enders.  I’ve used these two systems to get rid of my scrap basket, waste less thread and make more quilt tops.  I  have one quirk (ok, many, but only one I want to talk about today) which I haven’t been able to overcome — I don’t like sewing leader/enders unless I know where the patches will end up.  I haven’t been able to just make light/dark 4-patches and throw them in a box to be used in some quilt yet to be identified.  As a result, when the new year started, I didn’t have any leader/enders sitting by my sewing machine when I started working on UFO #6.

Although I  have a lengthy list of UFOs which are still in the piecing stage, there is nothing which mindlessly lends itself to Leaders & Enders.  So, as I worked on my Sister Choice blocks for the UFO Challenge, I tried to keep the chain going.  It wasn’t entirely successful,  but I wasn’t clipping thread tails every 6 or 12 inches either.

Now I’m sewing the blocks together into rows.

There’s no getting around it, I’ve got thread tails much more frequently and it’s driving me crazy.  I’ve got to find a Leader & Ender project.

I pulled out my 2″ Brick and Block box.  It’s stuffed.

Look at all of these 2″ x 3 1/2″ bricks.

Next, I  visited Quiltville.com to look for a pattern.

I found Fun with Bricks! It uses 2″ strips sewn together and subcut into 3 1/2″ squares.  I’ll just sew two bricks together — and worry about the 3 1/2″ light square later.

So there is just one question  left.

When do I count my Leader/Enders as a new start?

4 Thoughts on “Return of the Leaders/Enders

  1. Quirks? they make us unique! leader enders are so much better than the pieces with threads all over, some call them spiders. I don’t like ‘spiders’…
    But I use them to save the long threads. I have a bunch of the cut-off triangles from joining binding strips that I sew together for tiny HST’s. I should have just thrown them all away. I now have a basket over-flowing with them needing to be pressed and trimmed so they can be a scrappy sawtooth border, huh? If you just put them back into a box it’s not a new start

  2. My rule is leaders & enders don’t become a project till you know what block they are going to be.

  3. OH My, you need Bonnie’s Leaders and Enders book! Not really but I know what you mean about needing a project to know where they are going. I think you have chosen a perfect project. So just sew your pairs until you run out of singles, then move to the next step. I like to pin my things into groups of 10 when I am pressing. That way I don’t make myself crazy by counting all the time. I know I need this many of this, make a note and tape it to my basket. When that is complete, make a new note for the next step. But this is what works for me so may not work for everyone. That’s my quirk 🙂 We all have them.

    • I have her first two books, but nothing was speaking to me. My pre-cut boxes are horribly short on light fabrics and I didn’t want to think too much. I too pin 10 together. Under my sewing table is a rolling shelf my husband built. It hold a plastic set of drawers for scrapbooking paper — I throw my completed pieces in the bottom drawer. When it gets full I press pin 10 units together and move them up a drawer until I get what I need.

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