Sunday, July 19, 2020

Leaders & Enders Through the Day -

8 1/2 blocks.

And a stack ready to sew.

It might not look like much – but my production yesterday had me chain piecing LOOOOOONNNGGGG chains of pieces.  So it took a while just to build 8 1/2 blocks ( you can see what makes up the 1/2 block under the presser foot and the pieces off to the side.)

And the fabrics are not the most gorgeous or current if you look at them closely -

But when they are combined with all of the other blocks – the sum of the whole is going to be much more fun than each little humble block appears to be on its own.

And yes - I see the red/brown one is wrong and it is in queue to be unstitched and restitched later.

Not too bad for just starting in July!

Power cutting in the wee small hours.

Well maybe not so wee – but 5:30am rolled around and I wanted to do something a bit on the quiet side before I woke up the rest of the household.

I processed more than 50 block sets – by subcutting using my Accuquilt Studio.

The strips you see here are 1 1/2'' x 6 1/2’’ – they are the ones that were left from our Checkerboard Rails Leader & Ender challenge a couple of years back.  These strips keep giving and giving and giving!

I placed pairs right sides together.  I stacked them 4 pairs high (8 layers), and used the parallel lines I drew perpendicular to the blades as a guide for keeping them straight.

While it takes a bit of time to align things, it takes only a few seconds to crank them through.

Stacks of block parts -

Just waiting for backgrounds!

And those are coming too!

I folded 2 1/2’’ strips long enough to get 4 rectangles 1 1/2’’ x 2 1/2’’ into 4 layers – so each cut would give me enough for one Easy Breezy block. 

I also used the lines drawn across the blades to keep things straight.

Making stacks, ready to sew!

And here we are.

Kits in the bin, extra backgrounds in the baggie.

I’ve been asked how I store these, and really – they just live by my machine in this bin.  I’ll remove one stack at a time and place it by machine and just work on one block set at a time.

You can pin them or wonder clip them, but I haven’t felt the need to do that because they are not being moved around.

If I were to be taking some with me somewhere, I would just take a few stacks of block parts and baggie them.

Have you jumped in to our Easy Breezy Leader & Ender Challenge yet?  It runs from July to July – no specific pattern is given to use these blocks, you can make whatever you want with them.

It’s just a great way to use up small bits of scrap fabrics and seeing what can be built on the side of working on other things.

They add up.

Like a free quilt.

And it is always more fun to work on two things at once, especially when you really don’t have to think about the second thing.  Just use units as “sew betweens” at the end of every length of chain piecing you are doing.

Easy.  Breezy.  Jump right on in!

5 masks for Kelly

I got these done yesterday afternoon as well, and they will go out into the mail on Monday.  Masks have to be changed as they get damp from our breath, so I hope this gives him enough to switch them out as needed.

As I was stitching I was reflecting on these words from Dan Rather:

I sit locked in a self imposed isolation as a deadly virus surges outside. Time frames for returning to any hope of a faint echo of normalcy stretch into the many months or years.

This distant horizon strikes particularly deep for those of us at a certain age and stage of life.

Our nation is adrift amidst rocky shoals with cruel incompetence as our captain and enabling cravenness as the first mate.

What a perilous time to live.

I know I am extremely fortunate. Neither the roof over my head nor the food on my table are in doubt.

I have the privilege of protecting myself and my loved ones more than many.

We don't work in meat processing plants, or distribution warehouses, or even in hospitals.

I strive to keep habits and schedules, but hours bleed and to-do lists go unchecked.

What a moment to contemplate the future.

The basic tenets of decency, truthfulness, and compassion are torn across our political divide.

We see scientists denigrated and charlatans exalted. We see the rule of law and the norms of our democracy debased for personal gain.

We see our allies bullied and our adversaries coddled.

What a time to be an American.

But that's just it. It is a time to be an American, to contemplate our future, and to live.

We have had very dark days in the past. We have had deep, systemic injustices. We have faced daunting odds.

And women and men of courage, of ingenuity, of resolve have stood up time and time again. They have said some version of, "We will not abide."

It is our duty to not abide either.

From the streets, to newsrooms, to online social and political activism, I see countless millions of Americans who are not abiding.

We are living through damage, loss, and sadness that could have been avoided.

Much trauma lies ahead. But I know most of my fellow citizens agree that this shall not be us.

I desperately wished this was not our lot. I wish so many things.

I wish the hospital wards were empty. I wish kids were having a summer and could go to school safely. I wish small businesses weren't closing.

Heck, I wish I was at a baseball game trying to not have the mustard drip on my pants. That's not where we are.

We must be true to ourselves to recognize that much of what we are seeing now is not only the product of the last few months or even the last three-plus years.

We have big problems, wherever we look. But we see them now.

And we must do the hard work to fix them, not only through the ballot box but through the energy of our hearts and power of our imaginations.

Whatever despair I might feel is tempered with a hope that is growing within me.

I will not abide, and I believe most Americans will not abide either.


What Dan has stated above embodies so much of what so many of us are feeling right now.  We are teetering on the brink of futility and weariness.

Keep up the courage my friends – We may not have an effect on other’s choices – but we can choose how we will care for ourselves, our own families, and stay away from situations that put us at risk.

We will see this through.

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Or in the infamous words of Marilyn Monroe - "Sometimes things fall apart so that better things can fall together."

Vintage Pine Burr variation found in North Carolina.

Have a peaceful Sunday, everyone.


  1. I am doing Easy Breezy as a QOV. Kitted up a bunch and am leader endering my way through them. They are so much fun to make!

    1. Oh that is going to be such a great QOV!!

    2. That's my plan, too. I have to get a couple of things completed before I can get my QOV scraps out and kit up. This is going to be an Easy Breezy QOV.

  2. Thank you Bonnie. Just thank you for remaining hopeful, logical, stable.

  3. Bonnie, I so look forward to your daily blog. If it weren't for the fact that my husband is an awesome mate, and my sewing and knitting, this whole situation would be so much worse. I rarely make anything for myself, giving it all away which brings great joy to both the giver and receiver.

  4. Yes, I had read this piece by Dan Rather. Courage!

  5. Thank you for having the courage to post that, Bonnie. I have to believe that more and more Americans are mustering up the courage to speak up as well.

  6. Thank you for posting Dan Rather's powerful words and thoughts on our country's situation right now. It's nice to hear the voice of reason and the call to action. We need to "be the answer, not part of the problem". As you said, if we all do what we can for ourselves and our family, hopefully there will be a solution through sheer numbers of people doing the right thing.

  7. Wise words from Dan Rather. Thanks for sharing them. On Easy Breezy, I’m hoping to get a couple of test blocks made tomorrow from my Scrap Users System drawers. Starting those drawers several years ago, and adding to them every time I cut fabric, has been the most amazing shortcut to making quilts. Thank you! The last two (three?) mystery quilts have been started largely from those drawers.

  8. Thank you for the dan rather piece i had not read that and felt it was very good reading. Much to contemplate

  9. you will probably take some heat for speaking your truth. It is mine as well. Thank you.

  10. No need to publish this, just wanted to ask are you doing 8 1/2 as well as 4 1/2 blocks.

  11. Thank you, Bonnie. There's so much I don't understand, but unselfishly giving to the greater good and uplifting those around us seems right to me. I appreciate your daily dose of good sense.

  12. Thanks for the Leader Ender pictures! I did another round of masks yesterday and now the leftovers can be run through the Studio cutter. Bonnie, thanks for helping me with the never ending scrap pieces and the motivation of the LE projects.

  13. Thank you for sharing your Accuquilt tips, I really like the idea of marking the perpendicular lines to make it easier to line up the subcuts. I am hoping to attack my scrap boxes soon, actually have a bit looking for bits big enough for Gypsy Wife. I have cut a few squares for this leader ender challenge, but hadn't gotten the rectangles cut yet. I just got my GO Big, but do have those strip cutters. The Dan Rather piece is powerful, saw it yesterday, but a refresher is good. Have a great day!

  14. Hi Bonnie, I don't know if you noticed or if you care; but one of your blocks has the outer rows colored squares switched around. Second row from the bottom, left side.

  15. What very smart masks I’m sure Kelly will wear them with pride, and thank you for the tips for cutting easy breezy components. I never think of using my accuquilt even though it sat under my desk.
    Also thank you for those wise words from Dan Rather, although I do t live in the USA they are quite applicable to us all.
    Stay safe
    Love and quilty hugs
    Anne xxx

  16. I've spent the better part of last week accumulating my scraps, cutting them up and I keep finding more, lol. Your posts just get better every day, thank you, hugs, stay safe.

  17. Thanks for sharing the Dan Rather piece!

  18. Once again you have provided just what we need to hear♥

  19. Thank You Bonnie for the new Leader/Ender blocks. They are cute, and I can see using them in QOV Quilts, too. Maybe not a whole quilt of them, but in borders, corners, etc. How nice.

    Thank You for being you and doing so much for us and the quilting community!

    Donna Endresen
    Kasilof, AK
    Where it is rainy today, with a little sun peeking through!

  20. Thank you for this pattern, I'm having a blast just doing them while work is being done on my kitchen. We had a leak in our ceiling so it keeps me out of the way so they can work.

  21. Thank you for posting the Rather piece. I hadn’t seen that yet and it is an excellent reflection of our times.

  22. I read J. D. Robb, a pseudonym for Nora Roberts. She writes a Sci/fi murder mystery series. She started this series in 1995.So much of what she wrote as futuristic has come to pass, communicators where we see each other's faces, can look up things, etc, (that was when the cell phones look like those on Saved by the Bell). One of the things she wrote about were Suburban Wars, taking place in the early 20th century her books are based in 2050's. While the warfare is not as active as her wars, Ithink we are seeing what could be called Suburban Warfare. with all that is going on, no one but a sci/fi writer would have thought of what we are living through as normal. BUT... here is one thing I love. We who create are still creating, we sew, design, paint, draw, carve. I believe that we are what will hold civilization together. IT is the dreamers and artists who remember and tell in words, pictures and cloth. Peace be with all of you.

    1. Rochelle, is this the same Nora Roberts on the nightly news?

  23. I started the Splendid Sampler with Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson back in 2016. I am trying to finish some of the projects already in process and decided to make some Easy Breezy blocks in a specific color way to see how they would look as alternate blocks with the Sampler blocks. They look great so I will be using these leader/ender's in two separate quilts this year. I'm so pleased! Thank you.

  24. I cut my leaders/enders are a different size as I have lots of 2.5 in pieces. I am using 2.5 x 4.5 and 2.5 x 2.5. I put them together as I cut and move to machine area as needed. We are in trying times. I think as more people are tested, we will have more positive results as you don’t have to have symptoms. We will make it through this. Thanks for your blog.

  25. Thank you for your thoughtfulness.

  26. Thank you for posting Dan Rather's words. My grandchildren live 9 hours awa. I just finished looking at pictures of their 5th birthday party. They even had a waterslide and cupcakes but no one was there. It broke my heart.

  27. That quote made me tear up a bit. You have quite a bit of a situation across the pond and we too have had our own experiments go wrong - badly - but on the advice of "experts"! Oh to be in New Zealand where it seems to be under control! Hang in there, I do hope common sense will prevail.

  28. I love your stitchery,and I learn, but most of all I love your words of wisdom about life.

  29. Thanks for the Dan Rather essay, Bonnie........and I do like the sparkly blocks!

  30. Thank you for the Dan Rather piece. I had not seen it, but agree with it.I live in an area where it is not safe to speak out against the current regime in the White House.It is with trepidation to go to our local polling place to cast a ballot where you have to declare your politcal affiliation.

  31. You are so brave to repost Dan Rather but many of us are thanking you for it!! Be safe, and be brave.

  32. I so admire Dan Rather, he has a lot of gravitas to back up what he says. He's saying what a lot of us are thinking and feeling. It is a time to abide, to have patience and look forward with hope. It will be helpful to set goals, even small ones, and follow thru to completion.

  33. Yes. We must abide, and we must cultivate courage. I will continue to follow the best science we have and dismiss the Facebook/YouTube University conspiracy theory addicts. These sheltering times offers unique opportunities to pursue learning and I am not letting those opportunities go to waste!

  34. Thank you for publishing the wise words from Dan Rather. I think we have to remember we should all be in this together. We have to remember our actions impact others. We choose whether we want to have a positive impact or a negative one. I thank you, Bonnie, for believing in choosing to have that positive impact. Plus, I have been having fun doing some of these challenge blocks and mixing them in with other projects I have been working on. By the end of the year, I will feel like I've made a free quilt(s). Going through my stash, I just found a baggie full of small pieces from a quilt I made at least 15 years ago. It was from the Dick and Jane line and I swear I will never get rid of all of it. Time after time, I find it in my stash and use it in a scrap quilt. I think it is all gone. Then, a few months later, more pops up. I'm sure it will outlast me.

  35. I have not been a fan of Dan Rather over the years but I do appreciate his comments on what we are experiencing now. None of us will ever forget it.

  36. Very thoughtful words by Dan Rather. Thank you for sharing.

  37. Thank you, Bonnie, for sharing the wise words of Dan Rather. As a new follower of yours, I was not sure if I would be comfortable with your beliefs or not, and I am relieved to see that we are "cut from the same cloth." Just a few short months ago, I wondered if quilting could be a neutral zone. The act of quilting, yes. The acts of quilters, no. Thank you, Bonnie, for sharing encouragement.

  38. Thank you for posting that from Dan Rather. He has such a way with words.


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