Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday Scraps

Do you "Leaders and Enders?"  This clever technique was popularized by Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville's Quips & Snips.

Many quilters use a scrap of fabric to sew onto at the end of a row of stitching.  This allows the quilter to avoid holding thread tails at the beginning of the new seam.  Bonnie, however, stitches onto two small squares of fabric, right sides together.  These are then stored until there is a big batch of them, when they are put together in a variety of quilt patterns.

I use 2 1/2" squares for my "Leaders and Enders," and here is a mini-tutorial for my latest scrappy quilt block. 

Sew two 2 1/2" squares together until there are six, then add one square at the end of each row to make a nine-patch.

Next, add a 1 1/2" by 6 1/2" strip of background fabric (I use Kona Snow) to opposite sides of the nine-patch:

A 1 1/2" by 8 1/2" strip goes on the top and bottom:

Now add a row of four 2 1/2" squares on the right and left:

(Didn't really need to show you how to do this, I just wanted to show off my Independence Day manicure!)

And finish with a row of six 2 1/2" squares at top and bottom:

The block finishes at 12 1/2" raw-edge-to-raw-edge.  As you can see in the first photo, I have enough 2 1/2" squares to make many, many of these blocks!

Remember to comment to win my latest giveaway here.

From the desk of your


  1. VERY fun!!! I love this, and I appreciate you including detailed photos with your instructions. I am a visual learner!!! :) Love the block!

  2. I found a small collection of 2.5" squares on the weekend and was explaining to my BSM (Best Sewing Mate)about leaders and enders - but the idea of putting a frame around it really helps to tie a lot of scraps together!
    PS Love the blue tips - I need to show you my latest nail treatment now...

  3. oh my gawd.... those nails are nasty!

    1. Oh Samantha, you should have seen my bright green nails last Halloween. The matched the label on my Bud Light Lime perfectly!

  4. That's a nice block for scraps! I'm keeping an eye out for scrappy leader/ender projects, and I do like this one!

  5. Nice to meet you. Great tutorial!

  6. I have heard of the leaders and enders but never really thought twice about it. Now that I am reading about it here, it makes me want to cut some squares and give it a shot. Thanks so much for mentioning this technique! By the way, I stopped by from Beth's Link Up!

  7. I just heard about ths technique recently. I'm still not exactly sure I understand it but I think I'm going to try and figure it out,

  8. How brilliant, Aunt Marti! Thank you for sharing that. And after reading this post, I have major scrap envy! It never dawned on me that after all these quilts you make, you must have the best scrap bag EVER!!! I always see great scrap quilts and want to make them, but need to build up more scraps first. I guess in time it will happen, and maybe someday I will be like you! ;)


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