Friday, March 6, 2015

Leaders and Enders - Many Many Half Square Triangles

Vintage sewing machine users quickly learn the importance of starting with fabric under the needle.  Nothing will instill this habit better than having a leader and ender project going.  I really love leaders and enders!  When I find myself sewing on a thread bunny because I do not have a leader and ender project prepared, I feel as if I am wasting valuable time.

I am in the process of making 1024 half square triangles out of three inch squares.  I have not done a counting lately, but I think I am nearing the halfway point. There is no rush on this project, I do not even have the design finalized, so leaders and enders is really the only way to go.  It all started a number of years ago when I inherited lots of old smokey black prints.  Lots of them!  When I ran them through the scrap users system, most came out at 3" square.  I also had a gracious plenty of 3" brights; this, I decided, was a match made in heaven.

I think they look terrific together.  I have used up the original black scraps, but I have found that bargain bins of scraps, and on-sale fat quarters nearly always contain black fabrics.  You can get forty-two 3" black squares out of a $1.00 fat quarter.  And you get two 2-5/8" squares (yes, these are that tiny) out of each pair of 3" squares (2-1/8" finished).  I really enjoy working with them; it is always fun to pull back the black for the big reveal. 

Sometimes there is not quite enough black showing; those go into the scrap basket for the next project.  The only thing I do not enjoy is ironing them.  I am mostly caught up now, and I am trying to stay that way.  I keep ironing the ones I just finished, along with whatever else needs ironing.  1024 seems like a huge number of units; I could never do this without using leaders and enders.

Happy quilting!

1 comment:

Marie said...

These patches look wonderful!

I just discovered Bonnie's system a few weeks ago and I've been slowly sorting my stash. Leaders and enders are one of the most brilliant things I've come across in quilting.