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    Leaders and Enders???

    I have heard about leaders and enders on other websites. What are they talking about? Could someone explain what they are and what a leader/ender quilt is?

    #2
    Re: Leaders and Enders???

    I'm not sure who coined the phrase first, but Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville's Quips & Snips!! brought the phrase into the common usage. A Leader/ender is used to keep from having long threads hanging at the beginning and ending of a series of chained pieces. Some people call them thread bunnies. Rather than use the same one over and over again, Bonnie began designing quilts using these pieces. You can read about it here: Quiltville's Quips & Snips!!: Leaders & Enders! The Why's and How's!

    I liked the idea and ran with it. Here's a quilt I'm working from Leader/Ender blocks:

    2014-01-25 06.24.29.jpg2013-12-05 14.57.05.jpg2013-12-05 14.57.51.jpg2013-12-05 14.59.12.jpg

    The last picture is actually 1 1/2" squares with 1 seam joining them - soon to become 4 patches. All scraps. Amazing what we can do with itty-bitty pieces of fabric
    Kathy Crofoot
    http://kathyscache.blogspot.com

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      #3
      Re: Leaders and Enders???

      It's just a little piece of scrap fabric that you feed under the presser foot before and after you start sewing your project. It takes care of the little nest of thread one can sometimes get when starting to sew. You simply re-use the same piece until it gets too thread-y!

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        #4
        Re: Leaders and Enders???

        Bonnie Hunter does leader/ender projects and I am sure others do as well. Instead of using a piece of fabric as a spider to start sewing on, so that your piecing doesn't get pulled down into your machine and then just throwing that away when full, she puts together pieces of another quilt as the leader and again as the ender while chain piecing. Essentially working on two quilts at once, but the leader/ender project is done slowly, since you only do 2 seams each time you chain piece for the quilt you are actually working on.

        Not sure if I explained it well, but Bonnie has a great blog - Quiltville's Quips & Snips!!
        Lisa

        M*QC forum is full of the best people!

        I'm not just buying fabric, I am supporting the economy...

        A bad day in the sewing room is better than a good day at the office.

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          #5
          Re: Leaders and Enders???

          You mean that little piece of scrap fabric I use to start sewing on has an official name? Huh, the things you learn here.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Leaders and Enders???

            I haven't made one yet but here is the basic idea. You have some small squares, triangles, etc that you want to sew together. You work on them while you are doing another project. So, when you start to sew you put your little squares together then continue as chain piecing to sew your main project together. When you are at the end you again take 2 of your extra pieces and sew them together. This is why they are called leaders and enders. Some people just do this with a scrap of fabric. It saves thread and you keep from having the issue of starting and stopping on your main project. Then you just save these little pieces that you have sewn together until you have enough for a quilt. I hope this makes sense. I know there are some you tube videos out there. Maybe someone will post a link.
            Looks like lots of people are faster than me. Ha!
            Vernona:icon_hi:

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              #7
              Re: Leaders and Enders???

              I throw my "granny squares' - leaders, enders, whatever you want to call them, away when they get full of thread. I can't imagine making a quilt out of them. Usually they're small strips from the salvage edges, etc. They're nothing I 'd want to make a quilt from. JCY

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                #8
                Re: Leaders and Enders???

                Originally posted by JCY View Post
                I throw my "granny squares' - leaders, enders, whatever you want to call them, away when they get full of thread. I can't imagine making a quilt out of them. Usually they're small strips from the salvage edges, etc. They're nothing I 'd want to make a quilt from. JCY
                This is in place of using one over and over again. You sew a regular seam to sew two squares or two triangles for your bonus quilt together and then chain piece your regular quilt pieces and then do another of the sets for the bonus quilt. Then there is no waste at all - thread tails or the granny squares/spiders.
                Lisa

                M*QC forum is full of the best people!

                I'm not just buying fabric, I am supporting the economy...

                A bad day in the sewing room is better than a good day at the office.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Leaders and Enders???

                  I guess I'm having brain block on this one because I just don't get the point of this unless you are using a scrap over and over. Otherwise, if you are sewing leaders/enders to avoid "long threads hanging..." then don't you have long threads hanging on the leader/ender? Or....if you are sewing leaders/enders to avoid the "nest", don't you end up with the next on the leader/ender? Now using the small scrap over and over....that makes sense to me.

                  Quilter's Rules:
                  #1 Buy fabric - no matter how much you already have.
                  #2 Sew all day and all night - no cooking allowed.
                  #3 Start a new quilt before the last one is finished - must return to #1.

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                    #10
                    Re: Leaders and Enders???

                    I read somewhere that you can just use a piece of paper.
                    🌺 Lorie

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                      #11
                      Re: Leaders and Enders???

                      Originally posted by sewmuch2learn View Post
                      I guess I'm having brain block on this one because I just don't get the point of this unless you are using a scrap over and over. Otherwise, if you are sewing leaders/enders to avoid "long threads hanging..." then don't you have long threads hanging on the leader/ender? Or....if you are sewing leaders/enders to avoid the "nest", don't you end up with the next on the leader/ender? Now using the small scrap over and over....that makes sense to me.
                      Here's how I do it - for a 9 patch
                      1) thread machine
                      2) put first leader/ender set through machine
                      3) send chain piecing through machine
                      4) put new leader/ender through machine
                      5) snip after chain piecing leaving leader/ender under presser foot.

                      Press what needs to be pressed resume chain piecing at #3 above. This way there's always a leader/ender under the presser foot, and no long thread tails or nests in my piecing. Lately I've been putting half square triangles through the machine as leader/enders for the center of a block that will be a pinwheel, or hourglass (depending on which side I sew).

                      I always have a stack of leader/enders at the ready, half square triangles, the split 9 patch blocks from picture above, dresden plate blades and any number of other things. It's cool to see a quilt take shape when making another quilt.

                      I started wit 1 1/2" squares. I was using some ordering swatches from Keepsake Quilting from years ago, then realized I could do something with these pieces instead of 'wasting' them by sewing two together with one seam. Then I started reading on Bonnie Hunter's Blog about how she does it and I was hooked in a major way. Now I keep a bag of scrap squares in the car for long car trips and build blocks to be used as leader/enders (while hubby is driving of course). Double or triple duty there - I'm using up scraps, I'm making something beautiful from them, I'm not so nervous in the car. Win-Win-Win!
                      Kathy Crofoot
                      http://kathyscache.blogspot.com

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Leaders and Enders???

                        I call them "Thread Heads"...check out this discussion about them.....

                        http://forum.missouriquiltco.com/qui...s-yea-nay.html

                        They are a good little trick of the trade. I wont double my post... I posted there about my use of them and my grand daughters use of them...they are just tiny little scraps that you would normally trash...to small to even use as scrappy quilt pieces
                        Cheri

                        www.fabricandmemories.blogspot.com

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                          #13
                          Re: Leaders and Enders???

                          I think this is an excellent idea!
                          Joyce "She who dies with the most fabric wins!!"

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Leaders and Enders???

                            Originally posted by sewmuch2learn View Post
                            I guess I'm having brain block on this one because I just don't get the point of this unless you are using a scrap over and over. Otherwise, if you are sewing leaders/enders to avoid "long threads hanging..." then don't you have long threads hanging on the leader/ender? Or....if you are sewing leaders/enders to avoid the "nest", don't you end up with the next on the leader/ender? Now using the small scrap over and over....that makes sense to me.
                            I am having the same problems understanding this! I hear the explanations over and over, but I still do not understand how these save anything?

                            The thread nests I get. I have older machines and yes they can create a little nest at the beginning of the seam if you don't hold the threads just right. But my newer machines do not do this, so it is no longer necessary to use a leader with them.

                            But still, if you do have an older machine that creates nests, now that nest is on you leader. Makes sense to me to use a scrap to catch the nest, then chain piece. But if you use pieces intended for a quilt as a leader, HOW is this leader with the nest now a useful piece for a quilt, when the nest was NOT acceptable for your other chain pieces you sewed after it?

                            As far as thread tails go, it is not a significant thread savings to sew an extra piece first. Now that tread tail is just sewed into your leader fabric instead of hanging off. You STILL have to snip it. It is not more work to snip tread tails than it is to snip the leader off. You still used the same amount of tread, so what is the benefit? Actually, if you do use a leader, now you have to snip TWICE. The leader will still have the thread tail at the beginning, then you still have to snip the chained pieces apart. Now you've used more thread and created an extra step.

                            Enders I just don't get at all. They do not prevent nests and they do not save thread, they in fact use MORE thread.
                            Last edited by Cat n bull; February 7, 2014, 07:59 AM.
                            Cathryn

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                              #15
                              Re: Leaders and Enders???

                              I don't get it either. But my sister does it, only she sews on the same leader/ender over and over and over. sigh.

                              Maybe it will make more sense if you try it? I dunno. No thanks.

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