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Question About Leader/Ender Quilts

Question About Leader/Ender Quilts

Old 12-18-2019, 04:07 AM
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I do as feline fanatic posted...i have a couple of bins of colorful 2 1/2” squares at my sewing table to feed through my machine as I am working on other projects. I have made 2 scrappy Arkansas Crossroads quilts with leaders/enders and have a growing pile of 4Ps for another quilt. https://beeinmybonnetco.blogspot.com...-tutorial.html
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Old 12-18-2019, 04:11 AM
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For me, it's not so much about my machine "eating" the beginning of a seam, it's about not having to trim miles of wasted thread. And in the end, two quilts for the "price" (of my time) of one!
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Old 12-18-2019, 04:46 AM
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I've made 6 large lap quilts out of leaders and enders.
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Old 12-18-2019, 05:10 AM
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I agree the big advantage is that using leader/enders is that you do not have bits of thread to trim and discard constantly. And...you get through tedious tasks easily over time.

I have one friend who cuts all her scraps into 2" squares and keeps a basket of them at machine side. She just stitches two together every time she ends a seam and leaves them under the needle.

I like to make 8 and 16 patch units so my leaders/enders are strip sets (from which 16 patches eventually emerge): I cut a 1" strip and a 1 1/2" strip off every fabric I buy and put those strips into baskets. I sew two strips of the same width together as a leader/ender. They go into another basket and....then I sew two sets of those together. And so on!
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Old 12-18-2019, 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by QuiltE View Post
And keep re-using it over and over til it's a hairy mess.
Sometimes I trim the hairs off and keep using it a while longer!
Oh my gosh. I thought I was the only one who kept on using the same spider. But sometimes I actually pull some of those threads out. I do that when I'm thinking. Thinking of what I'm going to do next.
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Old 12-18-2019, 06:34 AM
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The quilt Bonnie Hunter shows in that post is beautiful. I may try starting this method. I never heard of it until someone on the board mentioned it.
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Old 12-18-2019, 06:55 AM
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doesn't have to be a scrappy quilt on the go, you could just have a stack of whatever size you most often use in quilt blocks in black and white. Before long you'd have a utterly striking inner or outer border all ready to insert.
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Old 12-18-2019, 03:22 PM
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I used to use a leader after it was recommended by "I forget who" but once I found that putting in the single hole needle plate works just as well and without the fuss and bother. I stick with that method and prefer it.
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Old 12-18-2019, 05:23 PM
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I use my UFOs as leaders and enders. If I've lost all inspiration or motivation on a project, it is super easy to just do it one seam at a time while I am working on things I actually want to do.
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Old 12-18-2019, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by feline fanatic View Post
The way I do "leaders and enders" is I really don't have a "leader". The leader that is in my sewing machine at the start of the project is actually my "ender" from the last project. So every time I finish a sewing session the last thing I do is stitch a scrap "ender". I then cut off my actual project and leave the ender in my machine until the next sewing session. But on the occasions I don't do an "ender", (like when I just attached a binding) I will start my "leader" by physically holding both my top and bobbin thread while taking the first stitch of my scrap leader. This avoids any thread bird nests, which is what I use leaders and enders for. So I can chain stitch without hanging on to those threads each time I start a new unit. My machine typically does not "eat" the first bit of fabric. Even when starting with a triangle. But if your machine typically does that you have few choices. You can get a single hole needle plate, you can religiously, without fail always use an "ender" which then becomes your "leader on the next sewing session, or you can use a spider.
One more option, assume you forgot to use the ender. Start your leader scrap at the midway point to avoid the fabric munch. Then when you need the ender, snip off your half sewn leader and complete it as an ender.
Very well written, exactly what I do and learned this from Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville.com. Check her web site for lots of free patterns too. I've made many of her quilts this way - a good use of scraps. using 2 1/2" or 2" squares before you know it you have lots of 2 patches and then they become 4 patches all using them as leaders and ends. It is great!

Last edited by love to sew; 12-18-2019 at 06:47 PM.
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