Thursday, February 27, 2014

2014 Leader & Ender Challenge! Lozenges!

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This is coming a few months early.

In the past we've wrangled out a New Leader & Ender challenge in JULY – but since so many of us have finished our Split 9-Patch challenges due to those being a much bigger block than either the Spoolin’ Around or the Cheddar Bow-Ties Challenges--4 times as large! They finish at 6” so you can fit 4 spools or 4 Bow-Ties within one Split 9-Patch Block.

Which means --we are in need of a new challenge!

I posted a photo of this quilt on our Quiltville Friends Facebook Page last month to much clamoring for the pattern

"Could we PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do this as our next Leader & Ender Challenge?!?!?!"

I’m all in!

Here is an image of the full antique quilt that inspired all the hubbub from our now more than 50,000+ Facebook readers:


Stained Glass, 1890. Made by Rs. Frances Clarke Westergren. Boston. From the book Massachusetts Quilts, Our Common Wealth.

Just Look at all that sparkle going on in this lovely scrap quilt!

Things that made me fall in love with it:
  • Small triangles with high contrast between dark and light.
  • NON SQUARE blocks!
  • Great for using pieces from our Scrap User’s System! 
I chose which size I wanted the Lozenges to be by the process of elimination.  If I cut my pieces from 2.5” strips –that means my corner triangles would have to come from 1.5” squares…TINY.  Not sure I want to go that small. 

The next size up on the corner sew and flip square in my system is 2”.  That means they would pair with a 3.5” X 6.5” rectangle ---making for a quilt that we could build rather quickly and make good use of some of those larger prints we've been saving.

Of course, if you want to go smaller, or longer – feel free!  This is YOUR Challenge.  You can do the math, I know you can.  Maybe you have a stack of charm packs to use up?  You could cut those in half and build lozenges from 2.5” X 5” rectangles and sew them with those 1.5" sew and flip corner squares – no need to cut them shorter as this quilt is built in horizontal rows.  Your lozenges would finish at 2” X 4.5”.  Whatever is the best use of the fabric you want to see sewn up is what I would go for!

As for me….3.5” X 6.5” rectangles it is!

Lozenges 003

Pieces, Parts and Sew Much Fun!

I cut 3.5” X 6.5” bricks from my 3.5” strip drawer.  Boy, there is a lot of stuff I can use up in there --And then I hit the 2” squares bin.  There are plenty of neutrals, but unlike the antique quilt above I am wanting big time contrast on my dark triangles, so I’m using scrappy tone on tone blacks.  Not so many of those already cut….

Lozenges 004

So I pulled the 2” strip bag from the 2” strip drawer and set to cutting squares.  Some of this stuff is SO OLD I’m happy to have a place to sew it up!

If I fall short, I’ve got these lovely blacks that were gifted for my birthday from a reader:

Lozenges 002

Thanks for these!

But before we start to sew:

Lozenges 008


I can hear you now…you mean I HAVE to MARK!?  Well, it’s up to you.  You can aim and shoot, you can eye-ball it, you can use an angler or a line straight out from your needle, but I do draw lines.

And I’ll tell you why in a minute – but let me show you what I’m using:

Lozenges 006

On fabrics with a black back-side, I like a white General’s chalk pencil.

Lozenges 005

On black fabrics where the white chalk line is not visible – I’ll use a colored fine tipped sharpie or pigma pen.

Lozenges 007

On very light fabrics, I’ll use a push-button pencil with a very fine tip.

Lozenges 009

See that line, corner to corner??

I want you to start thinking of something a bit differently.  Stop thinking of that line as the SEAM LINE.

It really isn't – it’s your fold line!  It’s the line where we "press over."  If you sew ON that line,  you will be pressing over from off the left side of the thread and your triangle will be that much too short.  It will RARELY if ever reach all the way to the outside edge of your base unit.

What I want is for the left side of my needle to kiss up to the right side of that line…so that when I press, the drawn line, my fold line, will fold right next to my thread.  Is that making better sense now?  Try it! I bet you will be much happier with your Sew & Flip units!

Lozenges 010

Attempting to sew right NEXT to the line!

Lozenges 011

Sending the next Lozenge through!

Lozenges 012

Check out this pressing!

If you press two opposite corners IN, and the  two remaining opposite corners OUT Your Lozenges will always nest to each other no matter what!  Just be consistent, use one of your units as your pressing guide and press them all identically.

And yes, I'm one of those who will fold back my triangle, make sure the edges match the edges of my base rectangle, and then trim off the excess approximately 1/4" from the sewn line.  If you leave the whole square and the base rectangle intact, you have bulk, and you can't press to nest like this!

Check this out:

Lozenges 014


Lozenges 016

Half of the Lozenges will have neutral corners, and half of them will have black corners!

When you join these side by side, and then join rows together, the hour glass units that form will dance because they lean in opposite directions.  Check it out in the antique quilt above!  And when you join the units into rows, and join the rows..ALL the seams should nest row to row to row if you trim and press this way!

I’m so excited about this project--can you tell?  If you piece a quilt with 30 blocks across and 15 rows down, for a total of 450 Lozenges you will have a quilt center that measures 90” X 90”.  I’m just using this size for perspective to give you reference.  Make it ANY SIZE you want.  

There is no time limit on these.  Just cut some pieces, set them by your machine, and when you need to use a leader or an ender, you are READY!

For more information on what Leaders & Enders are ---click the Tips & Techniques Tab at the top of the blog and scroll down to Leaders & Enders.  You'll wonder why you waited so long!

And for those who follow me on Facebook, I have started a new GROUP for us called Quiltville’s Open Studio!  A place to Sew, Share & Grow! If you are a member of Facebook, you should be able to just click JOIN and you will be added, if not on Facebook, we invite you to sign up, it’s free!

Feel free to share photos of whatever project you are working on at Open Studio! Ask questions, leave answers for others -- treat Quiltville’s Open Studio as an online guild full of fabric, friends and fun!  Please SHARE and INVITE all your quilting friends to join us! ♥

Of course, you don’t want to miss my regular postings on my Quiltville Friends page.

Isn’t this exciting?  A New Book Cover– A New Leader & Ender Challenge Project, Lozenges!  And a New Facebook group to show and share and grow with.  Could life get any better?

Yes.  Yes, it can!

After The Hubster approached me with puppy dog eyes asking if we could go up to Quilt Villa TODAY instead of tomorrow ---how could I say no?

So I’m packing – and we’ll be heading out this afternoon.

Quilt-Cam will now happen MONDAY Evening, and I know that will be okay with y’all ---and I thank you for that!

Have a great Thursday, everyone!

Update:  My Completed Quilt!

I finished the binding 8/8/2015

I love all of the scraps it helped me use up!

And it was a FREE quilt built during the year!

Click Here to like our Quiltville Friends Page on Facebook for more fun!
You do not need a Facebook account to read the Facebook posts - They are viewable to all! Feel free to read & quilt along with us!


  1. Love this quilt! Gonna print it out as soon as hubby leaves for work! Thank you! So excited about our new Quiltville group! :-)

  2. Anonymous7:28 AM EST

    I recently finished a similiar quilt like this, but took the blocks horizontal and vertical around a square! Then the flying geese will form a star if you put a smaller square in the middle. Wish I could post a picture here for you. It turned out beautiful!

    Kay Hanneman

  3. Gotta love Millenium prints!

  4. Would look gorgeous in batiks!

  5. YAY - Quilt Villa a day earlier than planned. Girl, grab your bags and GO!! You need a break. An awesome book cover and a great new Leader/Ender project! THANKS!! I'll be joining in the L/E's for the first time this year - great antique inspiration.

  6. You have done it again. I love love love this. Can't wait to get started. Just need to decide on a size.

  7. Soooooooo glad you are doing this , Bonnie! Was hoping this one would be next on the leader/ender list. Tap, tap, tap.....thats my happy feet a dancin' !

  8. I have found that if I use a sandboard to draw the lines on my squares, I don't get the dreaded fabric drift and end up with missing the opposite corner.http://maggiemayquilts.blogspot.com/2014/01/celtic-solstice.html

  9. Another great project! I'm in but using a small size.
    Have a great weekend and we are looking forward to Monday!

  10. Fantastic leader/ender challenge! For those who love math, the top and binding will bust 13 yards of fabric! I knew I was saving those 2" squares for something!
    Joyce in Oregon

  11. I LOVE this one! I don't have many 3.5 inch strips so it looks like a smaller one for me. BUT, I'm still on the bow tie leader and ender. Looks like I sound sew more and work less to keep up with everyone, Lol!

  12. Fantastic!! I love this one, it will be so fun to do! Thanks Bonnie!

  13. You know you're a serious quilt nerd when Bonnie, your favorite quilter and quilt blogger, posts a new leader ender project for the year. This seriously made my day. I have soooooooo much to do right now, and all I want to do is sneak off and play "leader/ender" games. :) THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING!!!

  14. My 3.5" scrap bin is overflowing and I can no longer get the lid to shut on it, so I have been trying to figure out a project to do with them!!! So happy this came along!!! Count me in!

  15. Nice quilt.. I am thinking about all of my 2.5" x 4.5" precuts!!!
    You know, this would make a WONDERFUL border too.

    Thanks Bonnie!
    Smiles, JulieinTN

  16. Thanks Bonnie. I need a new quilt for the couch in my sewing room. I think I will make all the cornerstones red to match it and get busy using up some scraps!

  17. Bonnie, you've done it again! I don't know how you do it all, girl. You are amazing! This is such a cute idea, I just may have to come out of my quilt-funk and join in.
    Oh, I have a lot of those black fabrics, too!

  18. Oh, darn, forgot to sign my post!
    Vickie in Cleveland

  19. This looks like a great project! Looking forward to the new book and to seeing you in AK again next year. I am also glad you made a FB group. It is fun to connect with like minded ladies.
    Christy in Delta Junction

  20. I'm in!! This looks like a fun project. I think I'll use all those 2 1/2 inch strips and the pile of 1 1/2' squares that never disapears no matter how many I use. I think I have quilting elves that leave me more every night. You have to love those elves.

    Judy S in Tennessee

  21. I've been having a really, really sad morning, then I saw the new leaders/enders. Doesn't actually change anything that's going on around here, but it sure perked up my mood a bit!

    Thank you!

  22. Oh yay! Happy dance. Love this one, and happen to have a bunch of 3.5" strips leftover from something else to start with. Fun!

  23. I love those turn of the century (20th) quilts and their colors. Have a relaxing time up at Quilt Villa!

  24. Having quilt cam on Monday works better for me :0) I have a school strings concert to go to tonight so I would have had to catch it when it archived. But now that it will be on Monday I can watch it live, Yeah!!! Thanks Bonnie...enjoy the extra time at the cabin.

  25. I'm going to be snowed in on Monday so quilt cam will be great. Something to look forward to.

  26. This looks like fun! And I just happen to have a box full of 2 inch squares I'd love to use up. Although cutting charms in half is appealing as well. Might have to do two of these. As soon as I finish my current Leader/Ender, a Strip Twist.

  27. Looking forward to Monday night and this new challenge! Thanks Bonnie:)

  28. The FB ladies have spoken, I guess. I will play along. I am thinking my CW fabrics would be great for this L/E since I don't have a stash of 3.5" bricks yet. My 2.5" strips have been depleted so they are out as a possibility too. Not that I NEED a new Project...

  29. Started cutting some 2.5X5 strips from my strips and sorted out some 1.5 squares. We'll see how big I make it. I have one to complete and then I will start this one.

  30. Anonymous1:47 PM EST

    I have just started making up 2.5" 'crumb strips'from my scrap box. This would be a great way to complete them into blocks. Woo hooo! PosyP

  31. Sigh... I guess I am destined to always be a challenge or two behind LOL... I love this one and will definitely add it to the list.


  32. Oh! I just finished Split 9 Patch, am now working on Cheddar Bow Ties.....and you know I'm going to do this one too...Always behind....still want to do Spoolin around too...plus texas braid, talkin turkey, my blue heaven done in greens, carolina christmas, etc, etc, etc.....

  33. Always looking for a new inspiration. This looks like a good one!

  34. Anyone notice on the antique quilt how the quilt maker placed the triangles at the corners to make it look like an hour glass. Pretty cool.

  35. Celine K.1:06 AM EST

    Great quilt! I'm in on this one...using repro scraps.
    Congratulations on the book cover (prior post). I'm sure this book will be joining my collection of all your other scrap quilt books!

  36. I am going to jumo on the 2.5 inch wagon. I have a ton of those 5 by 5 'nickels' that we used to swap.
    Thanks for the inspiration!
    I am goint to go get cutting!

  37. I love that antique quilt. Have lots of 3.5 inch strips so that will be my choice. Thanks for the concise directions.

  38. I love this. It looks quick and easy to put together..and just the thing for that bin of Christmas Fabric.

  39. I'm in for this new challenge, but I'm going to use larger blocks. Being a newbie, I don't have many scraps yet, and no 3 1/2" strips. But I have started a collection of 2" HST and I'd love to get more bonus HST.
    So I've decided to make the corners out of 2 1/2" squares, which mean the rectangles' width must be 4 1/2". That is, they'll be 4" wide finished. So to keep the proportion, the finished length must be 8", and therefore I must make them 8 1/2" long to allow for the seams. I'm going to cut them out of some FQs I bought without any specific purpose. They are not that ugly that I should cut them smaller :D

  40. Thank you for doing this for the leader/ender project this year--great idea. I really like the look of the more elongated lozenges in the original quilt--could (did you?) you tell us the size of the lozenges in the original antique quilt?

  41. Everything in me is saying you have to do this challenge!!!! The back part of my brain is telling me are you crazy.
    LOL I'm still going for it. Beautiful quilt challenge. Got just the scrap's in mind for it. Thank Bonnie :)

  42. Kathleen10:48 PM EDT

    I'm just getting ready to start, but my rectangles are 2.5" x 5" and I'm wondering what size the squares for the corner triangles should be? I'm math challenged, so any help is really appreciated!
    Thank you!!!

  43. Lozenges is fun and what a great way to use those scraps that are too big to throw away. The scrap-scraps now can go into shelter pet beds and NOT back into the Land of the Lost. Thank you Bonnie, for all of the fun here on your site and at the Facebook page. Pedal to the Metal, everyone.

  44. I guess I am always going to be a L/E project behind! Aauuuuggghhh! I fell in love with Wonky Stars ( star blocks are my favorites) and have been using those as L/E. I throughly enjoy everything that you do Bonnie. So I will continue with my W/S ( got almost 20 made!) and am delighted with them . Thank you for all your shared creativity.


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