Happy 2021! Leaders and Enders

Happy New Year! What are your plans for 2021? New projects or finishing some UFO’s? I have some that were started in 2020 and need to be finished. One is the Mariner’s Compass which expanded to be a big bed quilt and needs multiple borders to get to the right size. I also have the pink and white with uneven nine patches. And I’d like to make a quilt for my brother and his wife for 2021.

This past week was spent working on a quilt and pattern for AccuQuilt but can’t show it to you yet. The quilt was shipped on Thursday, but I’m still writing the pattern and hope to have it sent on Monday. Here are the cut pieces:

Have you been following the Bonnie Hunter Grassy Creek Mystery? It’s a lot of fun – I love to follow the clues, but have too much going on here to be able to actually do the stitching. In reading her blog post she talked about a leaders and enders project she has in her free patterns. I looked at it and know it’s more productive to use leaders and enders while finishing other big projects.  After making a couple of Bonnie’s blocks, I realized I would need connector blocks or sashing to make them look the way I would like. And, scrappy just doesn’t always work for me. My friend, Sherry, has suggested that when doing scrappy it helps to stay in a more synchronous color path. I like that idea – it helps my scrappy look a lot better.

So I set out to make a leaders and enders project that works for me. My criteria are that 1) that the blocks can be set side by side, and 2) that the seams will interlock block to block when stitching them into rows and rows into a top. So this is the leaders and enders project for 2021. It is a nine patch made up of four patch units and is a 9″ finished block. The two colors that I use most in quilts are turquoise and purple and there’s enough different ones here that it will definitely be scrappy.

This is the quilt showing blocks and patches.

I am spending some time prepping my leaders and enders so that the parts needed for blocks will be at my fingertips. The four patch units will be made using the strip die and subcut after stitching the long strips together. The plain units will also be made using the strip die.

This is how the leaders and enders will go together.


8 Replies to “Happy 2021! Leaders and Enders”

  1. That will be beautiful. My machine has never done that bunching up at the beginning so I have never tried a leader and ended project.

    1. HI Sherry, For me it has nothing to do with bunching up. It’s just a way to save thread and keep sewing. I would totally wear out my thread cutter if I didn’t run something through. It’s usually just a scrap of fabric, but this way will be more productive.

  2. Hi Marjorie. What is an “uneven nine patch”? Not familiar with that term.
    Happy New Year!

    1. Hi Donna, An uneven nine patch is, for example, an 8 inch block that has 2″ patches in the corner and a 4″ patch in the center. Sometimes people use a four patch in the center and 2″ patches on the corners. It’s not my favorite but since I started one, I feel like I have to finish it – LOL. I’m a bigger fan of regular nine patch blocks and regular four patch blocks.

  3. Marjorie, just love it. Never thought of it with leaders and enders. Will have to do some research on it. But love the nine four patch block. Have seen it before and it was a beautiful quilt.
    Do you use accuquilt dies?

    1. Hi Brooke, it took me a day to figure out what I wanted to do. However, this requires a little pre-prep, but I think it will be easier to work with in the end. It is a pretty quilt and would be pretty with sashing too, but it will also be nice to have blocks ready to go together. Yes, I do use AccuQuilt dies – not sure I could sew without them.

  4. I just started quilting two years ago. At first I was having fun, just buying fabric!? My first goal was to make quilts for Christmas for four grandchildren and two daughters. I started in March, and I was frazzled (is that a word? I don’t know, it just popped into my mind!) by Christmas and didn’t get them all done! So I promised to have them done by the next Christmas. And, guess what! Again I have ufo’s !

    1. Hi Dee, you sound like all the quilters I know. We have such grand ideas and good intentions and somehow we just can’t get it all done. But I have a theory that quilts have to incubate. What you will find over time is that when you start working on that quilt that you didn’t finish last year, you will realize that you recently purchased just the perfect border fabric for it, or the blocks would be so much prettier turned in another direction or rearranged and suddenly you have a much more beautiful quilt than the original idea or pattern. So, just enjoy the journey and let your quilts incubate and birth themselves when the time is right.

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