I adore the idea of leaders and enders. Make progress on a second scrap quilt while working on your main project – what could be better than that? After all two for the price of one what is better than that? I will happily suggest to anyone who asks, that they should try doing leaders and enders. But when it comes to my doing them it just doesn’t happen.
I try to do them time and time again. But it seems like my brain only focuses on one project at a time. I chain piece and and use my main project as its own leader and enders. Call it tunnel vision or the inability to multitask, it doesn’t matter, I only focus on one project at a time.
I started making Bonnie Hunter’s 2020 leaders and enders project. Such easy and fun blocks! What could be better? But it didn’t take long before I was obsessed with them and unable to stop making them. Everything thing else was put aside and before you know it I was using them as their own leaders and enders. There was always a piece on the machine but only on that one project.
I couldn’t see making an entire project out of that one block so I decided to make friendship star blocks as an alternating block. Of course once I started making them I was fixated on them and using them as their own leader and enders too.
I ended up with a top centre that looks like this:
Now to figure out borders. Piano keys, I thought and I promptly auditioned two different sizes of them:
I liked them both so I split the difference.
Then I started second guessing the inner border. So I auditioned both black and white inner borders.
Black won out there, so unless I change my mind (again) that’s what I’ll be going with.
I’m looking forward to the top completed being completed! I better move myself away from the computer and get at it.
31 thoughts on “Leaders and Enders are not for me.”
I hear you on L/Es. I don’t make 2 quilts at a time. I do however: 1. Stitch up HST pairs, 2. Stitch up squares twosies from my squares scrap box. Something simple like that.
I do use Leader/Enders and really like them, though many times they do take over. Now I know why – you put my feelings into words: It’s hard to focus on two different projects! Thank you for sharing!
For me too! I tried enders and leaders – and this is not for me!
I’m with you on the L&E! They either take over my project or move into the UFO category. I like your choice of black sashing. Beautiful scrap quilt coming up!
I love it! It’s beautiful. I love Bonnie Hunter but also can’t get used to using leaders/enders. My new machine automatically cuts the thread so I don’t have wasted thread. But aside from that, I always forget to put a leader/ender so it’s hit or miss with me.
LOL!! I fail at Leader/Ender most of the time, too. Your quilt is going to be SEW cheerful and cute!
I love this quilt! I wasn’t interested when I saw Bonnie’s project, but I love friendship stars and this is a great combination. Now it’s going on my list of future projects. I have lots of scraps just waiting for a project like this. I’m with you on the leaders/enders. I chain piece my quilts, so each project is its own leader/ender. Also like you, I get sucked in and start focusing on the leaders/enders project and before I know it I have 2 partially finished projects!
This quilt is so joyous! LEs work for me sometimes, and sometimes not. The best here is that you have a winner!
The same thing happens to me, I get started and then I just keep on sewing the L&E block. I’ve finished 1 easy breezy quilt already but I added sashing and cornerstones to my quilt.
Bonnie can piece quilts her way and we can piece them our way. She’s always telling us there is no quilt police. Happy stitching!
I love your background fabric. To me, it makes all the colors really Pop. Will have to put this on the bucket list.
Fabulous quilt ! It does not matter if leader/ender is not your thing. Love the combination of blocks and the bright colors. Great job.
I always use Leader/Enders. Trying to figure out what blocks to do next. I figure anything that gets me sewing like a banshee is great in my book. My Wonky Stars were my last quilt. I am sewing 4 patches right now until I decide on another one. I am so glad I found out about Leader/Enders. Your quilt is a bright, sparkling one.
Your quilt is awesome! No doubt about it! The main idea of leaders and Enders is making something usable instead of a scrap of fabric that you sew over during chain piecing ( some call it a spider) and then toss away! That is all! If you do something else! Good for you! If you do Leaders and Enders, good for you!
You have a fabulous stash! I too, like the black inner border! Looking forward to seeing the finish.
Brilliant quilt top, no wonder you found it a distraction from your main project!
I do use leaders and enders. I sew pieces of scrap fabric together (I keep a bin of scraps next to my sewing machine). I don’t find these distracting as they are so scrappy and not following a formal pattern. Eventually I pay attention to the collection of scrappy pairs and make a Scrap Vortex quilt.
I also love the concept of leaders and enders, but find they interfere with my main project(s). I love the way you mixed the friendship stars in with the original leader/ender project. The quilt looks amazing! Maybe, in the end, leader/ender projects are just another way to find a quilt we can become passionate or obsessed with.
I can work on several projects at a time, but only one at the machine. So I use the project as the L/E. Love your range of colors! And the black was the right choice.
Such a gorgeous quilt, well done!
I am kinda glad you pushed straight through on this one!! It is really pretty and a great way to use that block!
Love what you did with this quilt!
No finished quilt top is a fail, especially not one as bright, cheerful, and lovely as this one! I’ve tried and “failed” at leaders and enders projects, too. I’m strictly a One-Piecing-Project-at-a-Time girl, too!
Your quilt is so much fun. Love it.
I’m with you. I can’t concentrate on two projects at once but I can’t sew without a leader-ender pieces by my machine. Usually they are simple units I need for another project but my L-E are never a project on their own. Does that make sense? I’ll sew units needed for the pieced border to another quilt, or 9-Patch blocks or HSTs blocks that are needed for project X. Usually, the quilt I am working on is its own L-E. When I get to the assembling of blocks or rows, than I will use a “real” L-E. I just can’t sew if I don’t have something prepped as L-E. I really hate wasting thread now. But that’s just me. ;^)
Leaders and enders have never worked for me either. Your top is beautiful and the black border was definitely the right choice. Nicely done!
Well, if this used up scraps, it doesn’t matter how you accomplished it! 🙂 It’s a striking quilt. Those colors are to-die for!
Excellent! I love the border, too. (I’m with you – I like the L&E idea, but could never do them in the middle of working on something else!)
I totally get it the temptation to shift your project from leader/ender status to main focus project. Keeping your quilt in leader/ender status may be a fail but your quilt certainly isn’t! It’s so pretty, great work!
I get impatient with L&E so I just crank ‘em out. My sewing machine has a button to push to cut thread. That cut is really close, so I don’t have long thread tails the way one does with older machines. Your project is so bright! The back inner border is just right.
I’m like you, I can only concentrate on one quilt at a time!!
Your quilt is great, lots of colors make it jive!!
This is one of the happiest quilts I’ve seen in 70+ years of sewing/quilting! Love, love , love the bright colors! Wonderful mix of the colors. Definitely the black sashing. (I don’t do L/E either)
The black truly was perfect for this quilt. It looks so happy. Thank you for linking up to Put your foot down.
Leader and Enders are not for everyone. Itsn’t it wonderful that we get to choose what we do with our quilting! Thanks for posting a secondary pattern. I AM doing Easy Breezy as L&E but don’t like losing the block when they are pieced together. All my eye sees is 4 patches! I want to see the Easy Breezy block. I have a couple choices but your cute star is leading the pack
I like L/Es. I always have some little bit of scrap (1” piece) on hand, ready to use as a L/E…even if I sew over it again and again. No wasted thread, and no “strange” knots that the machine thread cutters leave.
The only way L/Es work for me, is if I prep a pile of them ahead of time, I put the 2 pieces together, PIN to hold them, and make a stack of them…ready to grab & use.
I wouldn’t be able to do them using a stack of light & a stack of dark and only put them together WHEN I needed them……THAT created brain mush.
Prep ahead……ready to go….. then it’s a no-think thing to use as I need them. And for this, I use the pins that are not my favourite pins….. so I don’t miss them if it takes a while.