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Saturday, January 12, 2013

What’s YOUR Leader/Ender?!

I received the following comment on a post by Robert K:

I've used my Dresden Plate quilt as a Leader & Enders project.
Have sewed quite a few of the ends closed; after pressing the blades I would sew two together, then four together, then eight and finally sixteen together. 

Didn't take long before a mini-plate was done. Think I'm on my 6th or 7th Dresden Plate quilt. Would you like to see one. Have a good day. From northern Iowa... 


I am always intrigued and inspired by what others are doing to make their own quiltmaking journey more productive and exciting --- so I shot him an email back asking to see what he was working on!
 
I hope you enjoy his photos as much as I do!
 
robert1
 
What would we do without glad ware or ziplock bags?!
 
This is Robert’s set up next to his machine….the cut plate blades in the first container to the left --- then the blades with the ends sewn in the second container ---Turned and pressed blades are in the 3rd container ready to be stitched together one-by-one-by-one until a complete Dresden Plate block is ready to applique --- all sewn in between the lines of chain piecing other things!
More from Robert:
 
Thanks for showing an interest in my Leaders & Enders projects. I've sewn probably about 7 or 8 Dresden plate quilts - the smallest have 9 plates and the one I just finished has 49 plates.
The very first one I did was probably 12 years ago and was a full size (15 inch block) with 20 plates - all blades were different fabrics (I think) and had 20 blades to each each plates.
I did a border sashing of 1/2 inch by 3 inch strips of each of the fabrics around the block. Think it was my favorite until I started doing the mini plates that are sewn down on 7 inch blocks and then sewn together.
At some point I started using the L&E system to sew the ends of the blades.
Once they were turned and pressed, I would lay out 16 blades and start sewing pairs together, then pairs to make 4, 4 to 8 and then 8 to 16. Once I had the sixteen sewed together, press the seams to one side and hand sew them on to the back ground fabric.
A lot of times I would sew 2 blade ends at a time to get a bigger length between the other sewing. It really is amazing how fast you can get an accumulation of blades sewed together when using this system.

Hope you enjoy seeing my Leader & Ender project (and seeing a man's point of view - Love scraps - and his projects. Have a good trip seeing your family -
Robert, from northern Iowa. 
 
 
robert2
 
It doesn’t take long to have a whole pile o’ plates!
 
Take a look at some of the gorgeous quilts that Robert has created with these little beauties:
 
robert4
 
3 X 3 sweetness in 30’s prints!

The nine block quilt was the first of the mini's that I've done. From that one I did the larger quilt  (Below) that has the plates sewn onto yellow fabric. 

 
robert5
 
Beautiful layout in gold and white…look at that feather quilting!
 
robert6
 
The lavender one I have given to my soon to be born granddaughter (mid February). Just love it.

 The most recent with 49 plates, I do not have pictures of (just sewed the final border on last Friday). Will be taken it to the quilter soon. I have the batik plates ready to sew down onto background fabric, but that is my work in progress - need a few more plates
 
Are ideas flowing now?
 
Ana gifted me some baggies of scraps in our workshop in Plano last week ---I spent time cutting them all down in to spool block parts for this years leader/ender challenge for myself ---the little 3” Spoolin’ Around blocks!
 
What are you currently making with YOUR Leaders & Enders?

69 comments:

Pieceful Jane said...

Love, love, love those quilts! I will definitely be adding some plates to my project list. Thanks for sharing.

SandraC said...

I always have a container of 1.5" squares at my side for leaders/enders and sew them together to one day be a postage stamp quilt! Love seeing the dresden plates!

cityquilter grace said...

postage stamps and scrappy 9 patches...

quiltnvan said...

Spoolin' Around!

Faye said...

I am using 2 inch squares as my current L&E work...picked the already cut pieces up at a yard sale a couple years ago - about 2000 of them. I am about half way through them...lots of reds.

I also put together a queen sized quilt this week with a block having only 5 pieces (a real quick job) which was started in the middle of a queen size quilt I was finishing for my cousin. So, when I got done with the first queen sized quilt, I moved on to finish the second queen quilt and used the 2 inch blocks yet again for L&E through the second one. Going to be using those 2 inch blocks for quite awhile....then into 4's, may be 8's or even 16's before I decide which block to use. Thanks Bonnie, for such a wonder way to make a second quilt in between a first.
Faye in Maine

katie z. said...

Spools for me! I have around 80 done, and my girls love to sort them!

Frog Quilter said...

Does Robert have a blog?

Ann Marie @ 16 Muddy Feet said...

Well this past week as I was sewing together a really big star block with LOTS of pieces in it, I also sewed 4-patches in pink as a LE, then when I got the 15 4-patches done, I went back to the blue HST that are piled on the table and in the way of getting bindings done.

Quilter Kathy said...

I'm sewing little Alamo Stars which I adore. They take a lot of prep cutting but they are so sweet I don't mind!

Ann Parks said...

I just finished 42 twelve inch churn dash blocks to be part of a utility quilt. Now I've started on the HSTs for Jamestown Landing. I feel lost if I get to the end of some chain piecing and don't have an "ender" to add!

Carol said...

I recently won two mini charm packs and was gifted two more, so I'm going to leader-and-ender them into four patches and see where it goes from there! Did you know that "leader-and-ender" is a verb?

HelenMarie said...

i am working on Orca Bay as a leader/ender. I'm only making half of each component, but with limited me-sewing time I am only on step 4! It wil get done eventually!

Aileen said...

I am doing Spooling around. I have approx 80 so far. Most were done while sewing Easy Street. I get 2 spools per Easy Street block. I was wondering why during Quilt Cam you said you were aiming for 700 Spools. Then I counted the 3 inch blocks in Easy street. It is approximately 700 to give you an 84 x 84 inch quilt. Interesting? Method to your madness! LOL

Have a wonderful weekend
Aileen in Florida

Theresa Litz said...

I'm working on a Tennessee Waltz quilt top as my leader/ender. The pieces had all been cut out immediately prior to me attending your "My Blue Heaven" workshop. When you explained what it meant to have a leader/ender project...it made total sense. So, as I finished my version of "My Blue Heaven"...I sewed the Tennessee Waltz pieces. Several projects later, I'm still using the Tennessee Waltz as my leader/enders and I'm happy to say that I'm almost finished! WooHoo!!!! :)

banjo795 said...

I used to participate in an online "nickel" swap. Since fabric is about 42 inches wide, I usually ended up with little 5 inch strips that were about 2 inches wide. I saved them (of course!) but wasn't sure what to do with them. Then I saw a Bright Hopes block that used 2 X 5 inch strips around a center square. BINGO! I'm making scrappy Bright Hopes blocks as an L/E project with the 2 inch strips.

Linda Meekins said...

Easy Street is my current L & E. It was the only way I could justify doing it and I just HAD to join in.

julieQ said...

Robert is a wonderful quilter!! Love that idea for leader and enders!

KaHolly said...

Wow! He is amazing. I never thought to use dresden plates as my leader/ender project. I am working on blocks called Scrap Tease for my leader/ender project. Have enough blocks now to put my third quilt togther and it's going to be the prettiest of them all!

regan said...

A scrappy reds & whites tumbler quilt!

Kelly said...

I haven't made a Dresden plate and so I am curious as to what he means be "sewing the ends together". I can only envision sewing the seam down the side.

As for my L&E project, I had leftover strips from a log cabin. I have cut squares from the strips which are in purple and creams and have been making 2 patches from them with the intent they become 4 patches. Some of the strips may also become rails that will go between the 4 patches to create a sashing or the outside of a block with a big square in the middle. Don't really know yet.

Betty said...

Robert's quilts are lovely! I would've never thought to make Dresdens as a LE project.
I am currently using Easy Street parts as my leader-enders for Easy Street blocks! I got waylaid by a nasty virus in December, so I'm playing catch up. This is my first mystery quilt and I've really enjoyed working on it. I have been making a lot of simple patterns lately, so this has forced me to revisit and practice my piecing skills.

Luann said...

I'm doing a log cabin as my L&E. Will finish at 3". I've also got 1.5" squares for a postage stamp quilt top.

Kristy said...

Those are gorgeous quilts! I love the 30's one. I guess I should think about a leader/ ender. I have never really done one though I know you have challenges about it all the time. I do have lots of triangles from doing Lori Holt's row a long. Now the wheels are turning. Thanks for the inspiration. K-

Nonnie said...

I have been wanting to make several quilt but these are long term project so I am turning them into leaders and enders just to get the patches made with the idea of putting them together later.

I need 400 NINE PATCH BLOCKS to make a SKYWARDS NINE QUILT from McCalls 2009.

http://www.mccallsquilting.com/mccallsquilting/articles/Skyward_Nines

The Nine patches are scrappy and I cut a 1-1/2 inch strip anytime I cut fabric... Hopefully it will not be needed in the future. I then sub cut my fabrics into 5-1/2 in sub cuts and I sew them mixed and matched to my hearts content... THEY ARE SO CUTE.... I get two Nine patches as I work my way thru.

MY SECOND leaders and enders project is 1000 PYRAMIDS. When reorganizing my stash I cut 10 inches off every fat quarter I have purchased. I am now in the process of sewing white KONA 2 inch strips to the pyramids on both sides. One day I will have a cutting session where I cut out my pyramids then the fun begins and I will sew Kona White pyramids to my colored pyramids. When I have bunches of twosies.. up on the design wall they go and the fun begins.

I am learning to do more of my projects as leaders and enders... since I learned Bonnie's method I get a lot more done.

Nonnie

Nonnie said...

I have been wanting to make several quilt but these are long term project so I am turning them into leaders and enders just to get the patches made with the idea of putting them together later.

I need 400 NINE PATCH BLOCKS to make a SKYWARDS NINE QUILT from McCalls 2009.

http://www.mccallsquilting.com/mccallsquilting/articles/Skyward_Nines

The Nine patches are scrappy and I cut a 1-1/2 inch strip anytime I cut fabric... Hopefully it will not be needed in the future. I then sub cut my fabrics into 5-1/2 in sub cuts and I sew them mixed and matched to my hearts content... THEY ARE SO CUTE.... I get two Nine patches as I work my way thru.

MY SECOND leaders and enders project is 1000 PYRAMIDS. When reorganizing my stash I cut 10 inches off every fat quarter I have purchased. I am now in the process of sewing white KONA 2 inch strips to the pyramids on both sides. One day I will have a cutting session where I cut out my pyramids then the fun begins and I will sew Kona White pyramids to my colored pyramids. When I have bunches of twosies.. up on the design wall they go and the fun begins.

I am learning to do more of my projects as leaders and enders... since I learned Bonnie's method I get a lot more done.

Nonnie

Scrapatches said...

My leader/ender is 3.5" dresden plate fan blades ... as of today!!

Got a big bunch of fan blades cut from scraps and all organized next to my machine and ready to go!

Thanks sew much for sharing this, Bonnie.

Thanks to RobertK for the wonderful idea and sharing his beautiful quilts!

:) Pat

Nonnie said...

Sorry for the double post...do not know how that happens... I meant to say ... all the projects are kept in separate project boxes so they can be hauled out to work on whenever I need to. Start with little boxes that grow into bigger boxes as the projects progress. Helps keep me organized and easy to stash out of sight when I need to .. not get things lost.

Nonnie

Nonnie said...

I have been wanting to make several quilt but these are long term project so I am turning them into leaders and enders just to get the patches made with the idea of putting them together later.

I need 400 NINE PATCH BLOCKS to make a SKYWARDS NINE QUILT from McCalls 2009.

http://www.mccallsquilting.com/mccallsquilting/articles/Skyward_Nines

The Nine patches are scrappy and I cut a 1-1/2 inch strip anytime I cut fabric... Hopefully it will not be needed in the future. I then sub cut my fabrics into 5-1/2 in sub cuts and I sew them mixed and matched to my hearts content... THEY ARE SO CUTE.... I get two Nine patches as I work my way thru.

MY SECOND leaders and enders project is 1000 PYRAMIDS. When reorganizing my stash I cut 10 inches off every fat quarter I have purchased. I am now in the process of sewing white KONA 2 inch strips to the pyramids on both sides. One day I will have a cutting session where I cut out my pyramids then the fun begins and I will sew Kona White pyramids to my colored pyramids. When I have bunches of twosies.. up on the design wall they go and the fun begins.

I am learning to do more of my projects as leaders and enders... since I learned Bonnie's method I get a lot more done.

Nonnie

Sewgreen said...

I am actually working on your bowtie challenge from 2011!

http://sewgreenm.blogspot.com/search/label/bowties

Andrea S. said...

Right now I am using scraps for L&Es - really truly scraps! The little left over bits. I am turning them into crazy blocks. They can be a real puzzle and sometimes they take over the actual project as I try to fit chunks together. I am making them into 6.5 unfinished blocks, and someday I will have a quilt made out of the trash!

Debbie said...

I am making great granny square blocks as my leaders and enders. It is a great method for getting things done. Love it.

Quilting Nonnie said...

I'm toggling between L&E. My long term is Sister's Choice. Right now I am doing the border for my Spider Web. Instead of piano keys I am doing a 2.5 x 3.5 brick with an assortment of cream 2.5 squares sewn to each. I'm starting a DWR soon and will be doing a very easy quilt for daughter #1 who has never gotten a quilt for me.

Heather said...

My leader/ender project this year is your Bow-Dacious! I'm also working on it as part of the RSC13 challenge, so my goal is to complete 16-17 bows a month in one color. this month I finished the pink bows!

Material Girl said...

What a great idea, and the quilts are very pretty. thanks for sharing Bonnie! I need to get sewing some L & E's together, no sewing for me today, I'm taking my Christmas Tree down finally... then bookwork and then maybe some sewing tomorrow!

Heather said...

My leader/ender project this year is your Bow-Dacious! I'm also working on it as part of the RSC13 challenge, so my goal is to complete 16-17 bows a month in one color. this month I finished the pink bows!

JaneB said...

I've been sewing 2" squares into twosies, then foursies, then 16-patch blocks. I need a plan for a quilt now. I had been thinking of doing a postage stamp quilt, but now I'm considering an Ohio star with the 16-patch blocks as centers.

Nann said...

My current L&Es are hourglass blocks. I started with 5" squares (red + white and green + white). The finished blocks are 3.5". I'm considering a Christmas quilt.

Nann said...

P.S. My compliments to Robert K. in northern Iowa. I really like all his Dresden Plate quilts!

Vic in NH said...

Thanks for featuring Robert K.'s beautiful work, very inspiring!
I like to keep a stack of both light and dark 2 1/2" squares right handy to make scrappy 4-patches. Then I saw a cute baby quilt on Stashbusters where they added an extra "twosie" onto the 4-patch (to make a 2/3rds of a 9-patch) plus a unifying color strip to make a scrappy modified fence rail. They used a constant yellow for the rail, but your influence on me made me choose solid cheddar!
Also, when I met you at that dreadfully hot/humid heatwave in Vermont, you implored me to wait no longer to start my Ocean Waves. My bonus HST's have been L&E's and I have 12 blocks done already!

valerie boudier said...

My leader and ender project is crumb blocks, which then turn into very colourful peg bags for our craft co-op shop

Jen Vangsness said...

Awesome! Does he have a blog?

stashoverflow said...

I'm doing your little spools for leader/enders. They're so cute!

Lis Martion said...

The quilts all look awesome..

Vickie Blose said...

time to stop for the day made the same mistake 3 times,

Jennifer said...

I am putting together a bricks and stepping stones top for charity as my leader/ender. I love how it just grows a little at a time.

norma v said...

beautiful! thanks for sharing!

Susan said...

I don't have any leader/ender projects going right now but I did want to thank you for sharing Robert's work. He is obviously a very talented quilter!

Ellsie320 said...

I made two scrappy four patch quilts this weekend for Safe Motherhood Kits with my L/Es. WWW.imaworldhealth.org. in between I was making layette shirts. I'll send pix if I can.

Ellsie320 said...

I made two scrappy four patch quilts this weekend for Safe Motherhood Kits with my L/Es. WWW.imaworldhealth.org. in between I was making layette shirts. I'll send pix if I can.

knitnkwilt said...

I make a lot of flying geese, so have a lot of triangles. Instead of seaming the triangle as I make the "goose," I use them as leaders/enders. Usually I make pinwheels from them, also doing stages of the pinwheel as leaders and enders.

Annie Perry said...

I have not read your posts since Friday so I am up early with my coffee, and your inspiring words. You have me hooked on the vintage machines, I have three with various projects next to them, running smoothly. Last week I found a red eye treadle which has consumed my nights, her and I are still on the bobbin area,decrudding,poor thing! I bought another this weekend, 1889 fiddle base with shuttle, she also needs attention, her name is Jenny . Today I need to focus on easy street putting all my blocks together! Thank you for making the winter months filled with creativity.

cottonreel said...

Absolutely wonderful quilts . I have just put a quilt on my blog made out of the bigger ends box . I's blue . Last week I put one on thats red . I love my boxes of scraps . I will be doing a dresden ,

Carolyn Sullivan said...

Thank you Bonnie and Robert for sharing those quilts! stunning.
I have not done a L&E project until doing Easy Street. Some time while putting those fabuloous HUGE blocks together I decide to also start working on a stack od square triangles. The grand Teen wants a quilt she picked out the colors, fabrics, and pattern. Then has not been here to help! I have a lot of them marked and am sticking them in to the L&E as I connect the Easy street blocks.
I finished the 16 main blocks and need to find some time to get the last 9 sets compiled.
I can only seem to find a few hrs aday to sew. (I'm retired!) Still w the L&E project I feel more productive when I have limited time!

ANudge said...

I'm just going to start a log cabin quilt as my leader and enders. Thanks for the post from Robert. What great eye candy and good idea.

Abigail Dolinger said...

I am making Nine Patches from 2 1/2" squares. Whites/ecrus in the 4 corners with 4 red tone on tone fabrics making a cross and a multi colored print in the center.

Abigail Dolinger said...

I am making Nine Patches from 2 1/2" squares. Whites/ecrus in the 4 corners with 4 red tone on tone fabrics making a cross and a multi colored print in the center.

Lynn Markley said...

I am starting a 1" postage stamp quilt. Something I have always wanted to make, but don't think I would spend the time sewing them w/o the leader, ender option. Thanks for being so smart!

Grammy's Quilting Studio said...

I am doing the spooling around blocks and have quite a few. I find them fun to do between my chain work. Can't wait to see what they become. Still putting together my Easy Street blocks, but it won't be long til I am ready to assemble.
Mona in Melbourne, FL

Bunnie said...

My Leader and Ender is . . out of your Leader and Ender book . . . Blue Ridge Beauty from the class I took from you October 2010 in Smithfield, VA. People comment on the wierd fabric under my presser foot when I'm sewing out-and-about or at a class. I'm also thinking about starting a 1.5" postage stamp quilt like the one you showed just a few posts ago. Hmm.
Bunnie in Chesapeake, VA

Robert said...

Kelly - when I refer to sewing the end - what you are suppose to do to get the pointed end of the blade is to have the fabric folder in half, sew a quarter inch from the edge acrossed the blade. Once done, clip the end, turn inside out and press. This makes it easy that you do not have to applique a raw edge turned under - the edge is folder under by the initial seam. Sounds difficult and awkward but works slick.

Debbie Kelly said...

I love the blocks and how he made some very pretty quilts Thanks for sharing them Bonnie as always quite informing.Debbie Kelly sewgal49@yahoo.com http://somewhereinstitches.blogspot.com

Sue Hilton said...

I have a lot of CW fabrics "left over" from my Dear Jane quilt. I have cut 4.5" squares and 6" squares. Pairing light and dark, I have marked an X on the light squares and am sewing on both sides of each line. Then putting them aside. Someday, when I figure out a project so I know what size I will need, each of those sewn squares will yield 8 HST's ready to be trimmed to whatever size I need. Thanks for YOUR inspiration to make something of leaders and enders instead of just using scraps!!!

Karen Kluwin said...

oh my heavens....too many choices as to how to make L&E's. but i see that many of these quilters have multiple L&Es going at once. robert's organization is great to see, and yes, we all have a "few" pieces of gladware around.

Karen Kluwin said...

oh my heavens, there are too many ideas for the L&Es!!!! I love Robert's dresden plates, and his organization is wonderful. if he needed to clear a space, all he has to do is stack those wonderful gladware containers. ta-dah!
some of the other quilters that have posted seem to have multiple L&Es going at once, or rather, in between other projects.
such inspiration---thank you one and all!

Susan said...

I just started working with Leaders and Enders after reading the article on your Quiltville site. I can't believe how much wasted thread I had with ends and how many more quilts I could have made in between the ones I did. Makes me ill... LOL!

Robert's quilts are beautiful!

Millie said...

Wow! both of you two are and inspiration to me. I do leaders and enders and am working on Blue Mountain Majesty. I have 3 more rows to go to complete b4 I can start laying out the blocks. I have been wanting to start a dresden for my daughter, and this is a great way to do this. Thanks to both of you.

Millie said...

Love the ideas you guys have for leaders and enders, I am currently working on Blue Mountain Majesty as a L&E. Three more rows to go before I can start laying it out.. Like Robert's idea for doing a dresden. Thanks for all you do Bonnie.

Millie said...

Love the ideas you guys have for leaders and enders, I am currently working on Blue Mountain Majesty as a L&E. Three more rows to go before I can start laying it out.. Like Robert's idea for doing a dresden. Thanks for all you do Bonnie.

Natalie in Maine said...

Wow, Robert has done an amazing job with those dresden plates. They are wonderful. I especially love the 30's and the batik ones. I haven't had a leader and ender project going for quite awhile now, and my spider is getting fat and now I feel that I really need to use that little bit of time and thread for a better purpose. Need to get a project figured out and set it beside my machine and be more productive with my time. Thanks for sharing your dresden project, I love it. I did one for my daughter when she was born 20 yrs ago and some of he scrap red, bled in the wash. I have always loved them though. I love the purple and lime strip pieced and cut on the diagonal. Need to find which book that is in, love it. Have fun, I know you will..