Monday, October 5, 2015

Design Wall Monday and Leaders & Enders

By special request, today's "Design Wall Monday" also includes a bit of a tutorial on using Leaders & Enders.

Bonnie Hunter of popularized this clever method of making a second quilt while chain piecing. Many quilters stitch off onto a scrap of fabric, sometimes called a "spider," to avoid having to hold the threads at the beginning of the next row of stitching. Bonnie took the idea and made it productive -- why not use pre-cut squares, rather than a scrap of fabric that you will throw away?

She calls her method "Leaders & Enders." Leaders, because you sew from the small squares onto your quilt piece. Enders, because you stitch from the quilt piece onto the smaller square.

And the Leaders & Enders don't have to be squares. Each summer, Bonnie proposes a different quilt block design as the year's "Leaders & Enders" challenge. This year, it's tumblers. I cut up a lot of scraps into light and dark tumblers and stacked them in a plastic shoe box:

The note on the side of the box reminds me how many tumblers I need to make each row, and how many rows to make a lap-size quilt. 

Each morning when I sit down to sew, I stitch a light and dark tumbler piece together. 

When I've stitched across the tumbler, I place the first block of the day's project under the presser foot, and off I sew! 

It is amazing how quickly these little "Leaders & Enders" become a whole quilt! Storm is lurking in the doorway, nervous because she knows I don't like dogs in the bedroom!

I'm also using the cut-off triangles from a Flying Geese project to make tiny half square triangles.  When I get them all stitched, I'll square them up using my littlest Bloc-Loc ruler to make 1" HSTs. Then I'll stitch them together to make a little bag.

I just a week, I've collected quite a few HSTs!

The "A Quilt Block a Day" Facebook group is making "Birds in Flight" blocks this season. October 2 was the 10th day of Autumn, so I'm right on target with my block count. I haven't decided which layout I like better -- but it's early days, yet!

This diagonal set will require setting triangles, but it will also make a larger quilt.

Which layout do you like?

From the desk of your auntmartisignature