Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Leader and Ender Plans

Do you use leaders and enders? I have been watching a lot of Bonnie Hunter's quilt cam archives while I sew lately and she got me interested in trying a leader/ender quilt. Right now she is doing tumblers but I wasn't feeling it so I have been trying to come up with something that would work.  If you haven't heard of it before leader/ender quilts are made while you work on other projects. You have the pieces set up next to the sewing machine and when you get to the end of what you are sewing instead of cutting the thread you take two pieces of fabric from you leader/ender quilt and sew that leaving it under the presser foot. The piece then becomes your leader for the next bit of sewing that you do. It saves thread because you don't have big pieces hanging off that need to be clipped and you don't end up with those nasty thread nests.

I was watching a video of Amanda from 3and3quarters and she had her Happy Quilt behind her. I love that quilt and decided to do something similar. Mine will have 100 5-inch blocks with 1-inch sashing. I figured these little blocks would be a perfect leader/ender project.

I still have a lot of white to cut but at that point I needed a break and decided to just cut more white fabric once I needed it. The print fabric came from 10 fat quarters. The pieces on the left of the picture are the leftovers. I decided to cut them into pieces I could use in a second leader/ender project and they are the perfect size for a split nine-patch. I have quite a few fat quarters that are similar to go with them. The pieces all the way to the right of the picture are just itty bitty 1.5-inch squares so cute and tiny. There are four quilts on my list of quilts that need to be done soonish so I should make some pretty good progress on this quilt along the way.

Do you make leader and ender quilts? If so what is your favorite pattern to use?

Linking up with Blossom Heart Quilts.


  1. I do not do leader / ender projects, but the idea is really thrifty. I love the colors of the fabrics you have chosen, too. :)

  2. I have sort of been doing this but not quite in the manner described. I always try to plan ahead so that I have my next step in the quilt or the next block organized and ready to go. Or I may be piecing different sections of different blocks to keep things moving along. I try not to break thread at all costs, doing so just annoys me :) I hope that kind of made since.

  3. I have been a fan/follower of Bonnie Hunter for quite some time. I always want to do a leader/ender project but usually totally forget about it. I can not remember where on her site, but there is a link to some if not all of her other leader/ender projects. Have fun thought with the one you have chosen. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful creative day!

  4. I've been wanting to do a leader/ender project but haven't been able to get my act together and get things cut and ready to go. I hope to get one figured out and ready to go now that school is back in session.

  5. I will chain piece steps within a single quilt, but I don't work on stitching two quilts at the same time. I would probably end up with pieces interchanged between the two and be left wondering where things went screwy! Lovely colors. Tiny pieces! Can't wait to see your blocks.


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