Sunday, March 21, 2010

Leaders & Enders

For years I have been starting and stopping each line of quilting with a scrap of fabric.  I was never happy with the thread cutter on my Brother machine since it cut the thread ends too short, and then the needle always came unthreaded when I went to sew again.
So I started using the scraps, aka "the hairy guy" or "thready freddy"!
And guess what?
I have a jar for that!
Yep...I saved these little hairy guys in jars, and have no idea why, except that I am not a well person, but my blog readers already know that!
Since reading Bonnie's new Leaders & Enders book, I was inspired to organize a new project for myself.
I dug around in the closet and found the scrap packs I bought at Paducah last year. These are from Cherrywood Fabrics, which was one of my favorite booths at the Rotary show - click here to see the website and here to see what I bought. They sell hand dyed fabrics that have such a lovely texture that they look almost like suede.  I had purchased 2 of their "Scrap Bags for Crazies" because the title just applied to me!! LOL !

I opened up my Scrap Bags for Crazies and started cutting. First I cut fabrics for 4 patches, since they seemed to be a building block for many of the designs in Bonnie's book. I cut the large squares 3 1/2" because I could get 2 of them out of the size of the largest scrap. But that was way too big for me, so I cut some  a few hundreds of 1 1/4" squares and I love them.
So now instead of putting a thready freddy before and after each seam I sew, I stick a couple of little squares under my needle, and in several years time, I'll have a placemat to show you!!


16 comments:

  1. whoo-hooo!!!

    But it sounds like you're going to be quite surprised JUST how fast those leaders-enders stack up! That place mat could be less than a month away!

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  2. I use a thready freddy also and it drives me crazy because I know I could be more productive. I just don't have my act together to do a leader/ender project. LOL

    I'll be looking forward to your placemat. LOL

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  3. I just started doing this, too but I'm using r/b 2.5 inch squares. a future QOV for me :)

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  4. Oh that's so funny that you've saved your "bunnies" (I don't know where that name came from lol) They do look cute in your jar though :) I love making a project the leader ender way, so cool to get 2 quilts from one!!!

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  5. I used to use a scrap of leftover binding for my leader ender, but I just throw mine away when they got too hairy. I learned about leader/enders from blogging and I too am hooked on them. oh when will our quest for 100% productivity cease!? :)

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  6. I got a kick out of this post, especially about the placemat, but I'm with Amy, I think it will go quicker than you think. I just started doing them, and have 41 16 patch blocks done. I took a break for awhile, as I didn't have anything else cut out, and now I am going to make little pinwheels out of my leftover mini half square triangles from the Carolina Christmas. Hopefully, I'll have a couple of doll quilts soon.

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  7. It goes fast once you get going. I have done this before when I have another project cut out. Otherwise I just use the hairy ones!

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  8. You are going to love L&Es. Before you know it, that L&E projects is going to want to be THE PROJECT and you'll need a new L&E project.

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  9. Oh this would be fun to see this placmat grow into something bigger!! Have fun with it. Happy days.
    Bev.xoxo

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  10. Me too, I always use leaders enders but I toss mine after they are too thready.

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  11. LOL, I had to giggle at your jar of 'bunnies'~ that is what we always called them too. I've been doing 4 patches for a while now and they go together much faster than you think~ looking fwd to your 'quilt'. ;-)

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  12. I can't say I have ever heard of a 'thready freddy'. sounds funky!

    I looooove Bonnie's site and have been working on a crumb quilt for about a year now!

    Quiltingly Yours
    Andrea

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  13. Kathy...those leaders/enders pile up a whole lot faster than you think! LOL....a placemat? Not likely!!! You'll have a quilt before long. I've already finished one quilt (60" square or so) and am well into the next one....65 squares finished out of a 100 needed. It's amazing how quickly these four patches and half square triangles add up.

    Good luck with that...had a laugh over your jar!!

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  14. I also think you will be amazed how fast this way of working yields a quilt (I just posted one of mine on my blog).

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  15. I've never used a piece of fabric at the end of sewing - hadn't even heard of it til I started reading blogs. I've tried Leaders and Enders, but that project seems to take over the original one. Now I just leave the last thing I've sewn under the needle, especially if I'm sewing multiples. I

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