Sunday, July 12, 2015

Leaders and Enders-It's not just for scraps

Most quilters are familiar with the Leaders & Enders concept and apply it only to piecing scraps.  I use the concept a little differently.

Leaders & Enders are pieces you run through the machine at the beginning or ending of chain piecing.  Leaders let you get your needle on fabric before your "main pieces".  It's helpful if your machine has a habit of pulling fabric into the bobbin case.  Enders let you get your "main pieces" out from under the needle.

Some stitchers run the same fabric swatch through over & over & over again, reusing the leader/ender.  Others piece scraps for a later project.

I approach L&E in 2 ways.  I have a basket of binding trim-off triangles.  I will willy-nilly match those up & stitch them into a HST.  I don't mark & I take whatever trimmed size I get.  See yesterday's post.

But more often than not, I am stitching up 2 or 3 projects at the same time.

What I do is stage my projects at the machine.  I do all I can from the first project, then get my "ender" - the second project, and then a third.  When I am out of things to chain piece on the 3 projects, I clip off project #1 and #2 pieces and leave all of #3 at the machine (the last piece under the needle) and head to the iron.  I press & repeat the process.  Eventually one project is done & then a second.  When it is down to only one project left, I get that basket of 'trash triangles' and use those for my Enders.

Staging and planning my time at the machine is key.  Since my piecing time is limited, as is yours too, I imagine, this gives me more time enjoying the process of piecing and less time matching up scraps for Enders.

You'll see in the pic that the first stack has my HST squares already matched up & ready to sew, and the yellow squares in the second stack has the diagonal lines already marked.  These are great recliner activities (just sayin').  Those first 2 stacks are my pieces for our Dreaming in Fabric Mystery QAL & that last stack is to test a new pattern (woohoo).

See you Wednesday for the first block reveal of the QAL!
Dreaming in Fabric Mystery QAL


Missy Shay said...

I have recently started doing leaders enders also, clipped off HST is one of my favorite leader enders also

Rosa said...

Great idea and will try do it.First time I`ve heard about L&E.