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Thread: This may be a dumb question but . . . .

  1. #1
    Senior Member smcfadden's Avatar
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    This may be a dumb question but . . . .

    Can someone tell me what leaders and enders are and what they're used for? I've seen passing references to them, but have no idea what they are.

  2. #2
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    Use Google to search "Bonnie Hunter leaders and enders", and you will have your answer.
    Last edited by DebraK; 01-24-2012 at 08:45 PM.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  3. #3
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    Yes, Bonnie Hunter has a whole book on them. I believe she cuts her leftover scraps into uniform sizes. She then uses these spare pieces at the beginning and ending of a regular strip pieced quilt row?

  4. #4
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    oh neat idea! Thanks for asking this question - now I have something to learn and read about. I hate to get rid of scraps!

  5. #5
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    Yes, Bonnie Hunter has a whole book on them. I believe she cuts her leftover scraps into uniform sizes. She then uses these spare pieces at the beginning and ending of a regular strip pieced quilt row?
    That's correct, that way you don't waste a lot of thread and it helps to feed the beginning of the fabric so it doesn't get stuffed down into the machine when you start to sew.
    Bernie

  6. #6
    Super Member quilt queen 2's Avatar
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    I cut scraps in 2 1/2 inch squares then I sew a light to a dark then I sew 2 together for a row when I have enough for 4 rows I sew them into a block. I start and end my sewing doing these . Often I will en up with enough to make a block while putting a regular block together. The one i am doing now is separated by navy sashing and will post a pic if I ever figure out how. Iuse 16 squares for these scrappy blocks.

  7. #7
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    don't overlook the longarm leaders.... we use canvas attached to the machine frame to pin our quilts to inorder to produce tension and control the quilt backing and top...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Kat Sews's Avatar
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    I call my leader/ender quilts "the quilt that makes it's self"
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
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    Smile

    That was a lot of little blocks to keep straight! Excellent Job! You deserved a Blue Ribbon, that's for sure.

  10. #10
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    Bonnie's book is really inspiring.
    Linda

  11. #11
    Senior Member pinkberrykay's Avatar
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    what a great idea with the leaders and enders and saving thread. I hate how much thread I waste when I am sewing.

  12. #12
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    Wow. Pure genius!

  13. #13
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    My left over binding pieces make great leaders and enders.

  14. #14
    Super Member Grace MooreLinker's Avatar
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    i HAVE LOTS OF LITTLE SCRAPIES ,THIS IS A GREAT IDEA TO USE THEM, THANKS
    Freedom is costly and quilting keeps us busy...

  15. #15
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    A leader is a small scrap of fabric. You sew a seam across it, line up your real seam, sew it and then sew another scrap - the ender. Why bother? It saves thread and it keeps the machine from eating small corners like triangles - some zigzag machines like to eat bigger corners, too. I rarely use them because I can strip piece almost anything. I have my next seam ready before I stop sewing my last one, so my good fabric is my 'leader and ender'.

    My 13 year old GD made her first quilt using leaders and enders. She reused the same few scraps over and over . She found it helped her start and finish each seam straighter and she had one less thing to do because she didn't have to remember to hold the threads as she started sewing. I like not having any extra threads to trim when I'm done when I use them.

    Bonnie Hunter's idea is great, but it's not the only way to use leaders and enders.

  16. #16
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smcfadden View Post
    Can someone tell me what leaders and enders are and what they're used for? I've seen passing references to them, but have no idea what they are.
    Before machines came along that had needle up/down when you stopped sewing the take up lever just stopped where ever. Then when you started sewing again if the take up lever was at the bottom it would unthread your machine. So people used a "thread bunny." A "thread bunny" was just a scrap of fabric that you sewed over at the beginning of a seam and put back on at the end of the seam to keep the machine from coming unthreaded and to keep from getting thread snarls at the beginning of a seam. Thread bunnies evolved into leader enders. Instead of just using the same scrap over and over you use a new pair of cut fabrics at the beginning and end of your stitching.

  17. #17
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    Ther are no dumb questions...we all might learn something new with the answer to your question so keep asking.

  18. #18
    Super Member CorgiNole's Avatar
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    I'm making a pieced border strip for one of my quilts. So I stacked the 2.5 inch squares next to my sewing machine and used them as leaders/enders while strip piecing another project. That border came together must faster than it might have otherwise.

    Cheers, K

  19. #19
    Senior Member Sandi's Avatar
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    What a gorgeous quilt. You have inspired me! Thank you for showing your excellent work
    Creativity is the essence of the soul
    Sandi

  20. #20
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    Thanks for asking the question. I'm learning something new everyday!

  21. #21
    Junior Member homebody323's Avatar
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    If you ever get a chance to go to one of Bonnie's classes, DO, they are good and she is just a wonderful fun person.
    Sally Dolin
    Rock Island, IL

  22. #22
    Super Member lynnsim's Avatar
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    I agree that there are no dumb questions! Otherwise, how are you to learn anything new? I'm doing a 2" postage stamp quilt and sew my squares together as "leaders & enders"; so far, I have about 20 blocks. Since I want to alternate with solid muslin squares, I might end up with 2 quilts, lol.

  23. #23
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    quiltville

    Bonnie Hunters website is www.quiltville.com has a ton of free scrap patterns and alot of articles

  24. #24
    Senior Member Tudey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smcfadden View Post
    Can someone tell me what leaders and enders are and what they're used for? I've seen passing references to them, but have no idea what they are.
    I was always told that the only "dumb" questions were the ones you DIDN'T ask!
    Who needs therapy? I quilt!

  25. #25
    Senior Member roadrunr's Avatar
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    There is no such thing as a dumb question.

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