Wednesday, January 12, 2011

When is a leader/ender a real project?


I'm sure many of you are familiar with Bonnie Hunter's "leader/ender" technique. It's a way to make your scraps usable, keep thread waste at a minimum, and also helps to avoid having your machine "eat" the corners of your fabric when you start to sew. She has great articles on her website about this concept, so I won't waste a lot of time here explaining it. :)

After quite a few years of telling myself "I'm going to do that one day," I finally jumped on the bandwagon (or was I pushed by my good buddy, Robin? I'll never tell.) Either way, I'm completely hooked!

My question is...when does a leader/ender project jump over to the "real" project list? The easy part is blissfully adding little twosie and foursie squares to my ever growing stash, but now I think I'm ready to start assembling these babies into a full fledge quilt project! While working on the RRCB, I started sewing some of the 4 patches and HSTs together and before I knew it, I had these!

I plan to make this quilt 60"x 72", before borders. I'll need 120 of these 6" blocks. I'm almost positive I have enough of the 4 patches already sewn, but I think I'll have a few more HSTs left to sew.

I know I'm going to love this quilt! I love to see little squares of fabric from other projects. There are even some fabrics that belonged to my Nana in there...and at least one calico print from a dress I made for my daughter when she dreamed of being Laura Ingalls Wilder. sigh....Where did those days go? Awww...the memories.

I'd love to hear about your leader/ender projects!

Happy Quilting!

p.s. Just want to say thank you , thank you for the kind comments on my RRCB quilt top!!

14 comments:

  1. Very cool! I don't currently have any leader/ender projects as I'm not quilting - just dreaming about quilting...

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  2. Wonderful "free" project! I haven't started a leader/ender project but will someday. I've been cutting scraps into Bonnie's system and that is going well.

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  3. Your leder and ender project is amazing.....

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  4. Your project is lovely.

    I've been doing enders & leaders for years, before they were even called that. :) For me they stay that way until I either get inspired to just work on it or I've made all the blocks. I find it hard to assemble a quilt as an ender & leader. (Though, I have tried... :)

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  5. Gotta love those scraps :) Great job Michelle!!! I guess MY leaders/enders become a full fledged project when I can't bear to keep working on it as just a leader/ender! LOL I think at some point you turn the corner and just feel compulsed to see what it's going to look like and just keep on sewing at it! Great job on the quilt though..can't wait to see it fully assembled!

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  6. Your quilt layout looks great! I'm joining little squares together as my first leader/ender project and eventually they'll become a scrappy Irish chain quilt. I hope! LOL

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  7. Your quilt is looking wonderful. This is something I keep meaning to do and some how always forget to do it. I just need to get into the habit.

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  8. Hooray!! Another quilt from all those leftover fabrics. Somehow it feels like you're getting something for free when you can make a quilt a beautiful as this, and not have to go to the fabric store to buy fabric!!

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  9. that looks great, i love those blocks

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  10. This is wonderful! I didn't know there was an actual "leader-ender" movement out there. I was giving myself credit for years of thinking I was the only one doing this and calling it "starters-stoppers" -- LOL! You will have a beautiful quilt!

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  11. I love your leader/ender project! Just this week I was telling someone that the Jewel Box block looks great in scraps and that it's one of my favorite blocks.

    I find that I get the most bang for my buck with Log Cabin leaders/enders. I love the look of log cabin blocks, but they bore me to TEARS! If I pre-cut and then just sew them as leaders/enders, there is much, much less whining to be heard!!

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  12. Most of my quilts start as leader/enders while I'm piecing the one before them. They all kind of overlap. When I get most of the units finished, I start concentrating on putting units together to make blocks, etc., and before I know it...**poof**...there's another leader/ender quilt!

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  13. Oh, Michelle, that is beautiful! I love that it has some special fabrics in it. I think about starting a leaders and enders project, but I haven't actually done it. Maybe Robin needs to give me a push, too!

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