Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Scraptastic Stars for my Leader and Ender WIP

 I have shared here in the past how much I like Leader and Ender projects.  They are such a great way to work with scraps, and make "bonus" quilts while working on others.  But this last year, I have been kind of slacking on the whole Leader and Ender thing.  Here's what happened . . .   In this post  (a year ago!!!)    I decided my new Leader and Ender Project for 2018 would be my  Scraptastic Stars Block . (pattern can be found here)   I gathered my squares and decided that  I was going to use 2 1/2"squares instead of 2" squares so that the blocks finish at 16" and planned on making 16 blocks. When I went to sort my stack of 2 1/2" squares into 16 piles I found I was needing more squares.  Quite a bit actually, as I was trying to stick pretty closely to tone on tone prints.    So the new plan was to just cut some extra 2 1/2" squares when working on other projects until I had enough.   Well here we are in 2019  :)


Seriously, if I just needed blues or greens, I would have been ready to go in a month as I cut a whole lot of fabric!!!! But there are just some hues of colors (like that gold one on the bottom) that you don't cut a lot of.  So last week I saw all these squares sitting on my desk and I thought, "why in the world am I still waiting to start this project on a few squares."  I pulled out the scrap drawer and after a bit of digging, found the colors I needed to finish the few piles of missing squares.   And TaDa!!   Bring on the Leader and Ender stitching!!!


I decided in way back to make this project more Leader and Ender Friendly I would change the pattern to do Stitch and Flip triangles for the star points instead of traditional HST's.  That way every piece is the same 2 1/2" square size to start with. (which meant more squares as well, 48 of each color to be exact :)  I have found that  I like grouping my squares into the three types of Leader and Ender I need for the project, then I don't have to think about what I need to sew, just pick up two from a group and stitch.


And after I had made everything into 2 patches, I figured I might as well continue on with the block.  So I added a third patch onto the two patches for the corners and then it was just sewing the Three Patches into the Corner Units and the 2 Patches into the Side Units. And then just finish the block.   I did all of this still as Leader and Enders.   This is a little different for me as I would normally do all the two patches for all 16 blocks, but I am thinking where this block has a few more "moving pieces" it makes it easier to do one block at a time.   And I have to say, it sure makes the process more fun to have little finishes along the way.  1 down and 15 to go!!!  (You knew I would start with the purple one ;) 


So I am hoping to share more Scraptastic Stars blocks over the next few months.   I am just loving getting back into the swing of Leader and Enders and I can't believe I let a whole year go by without these "free" quilt blocks :)   I think it is a good lesson for me to remember, just stop and cut so you can sew!!!!

How about you . . . do you have a Leader and Ender project that you are working on???
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15 comments:

  1. My plan is to always have something that I'm using as a leader/ender project while working on my primary quilt. But right now I'm actually working on two quilts at the same time. They were both kits and are simple blocks to piece. I do a bunch of one and then switch to the other and they're both progressing really fast. Love this process to get more done!

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  2. I have the same problem with getting the cutting done. I started one l/e project, ran out of cut pieces, found a substitute l/e project for community service, went to retreat and started a 3rd l/e project, need a pieced border, and started a 4th l/e project. As you can probably tell, I also have a l/e organization problem, or maybe a persistence problem.

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  3. I haven't been able to stick with a leader and ender project. I tend to just sew the one project I decide to work on.

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  4. I tend to use whatever quilt blocks I am working on for it's own leader/ender as much as possible. Whenever I try to work on a leader/ender that is different, I get really psyched about that quilt and focus on that one entirely. I did that with Bonnie Hunter's Checkerboard Rails, which is still waiting for quilting. Also, I have a hard time deciding what to use for a leader/ender as all my fabric is not cut up into usable sizes. I started cutting bigger pieces up at one time and then didn't have a big enough piece for another project. Problems, problems.....

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  5. You're funny Melissa! With both of us and our love for purple everything, we are very different. You chose to start with the purple block, whereas I would force myself to wait to do that one last so I would have something to look forward to getting it finished and MAYBE, just maybe it might help me get it done faster. LOL

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  6. I love this star with these colors ... I am a leader and ender sewer as often as I can. Sometimes it works with the quilt I am working on and other times I just save them up. Hope to see even more stars. I am working on an all star quilt atm. I tend to scrap quilt. I love the feeling and look of them. ..

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  7. Pretty project and block. None for me at the moment.

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  8. I love this whole concept of leaders/enders but do I have one in the works? No! Why in the world not? It seems like the last time I did, the project happened very quickly and I had a finish before I even knew it. Thank you for reminding me about this. I need to go pick myself a new project! Get the pieces all cut and laid out ready to use!

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  9. Best of luck with the whole Leader/Ender thing! I tend to get distracted and it suddenly morphs into the MAIN project. Oops!

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  10. I don't have a leaders enders project, but I do want to sew more from my stash this year! This is such a pretty block - I tucked it away the first time you offered it - now I need to pull it out again :)!

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  11. This is a perfect 'Scrap Buster' block. I ran out of ideas for my scraps, but this star is going to reenergize me. Thanks for another inspiring block. D. Weeks (aka Momma Llama)

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  12. Great block! I'm trying to use leaders and enders to work on my version of your super scrappy Irish chain, that I've been working on for at least two years now... hey, there's no rush right?

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  13. I've had this block on my Pinterest board for years - it is fabulous! I had forgotten it was your block though! I've always pictured making it with bigger 5" blocks for a baby quilt. Someday!

    Anyway, I'm working on the border of a quilt - a double wide row of 2.5" blocks from scraps of all the fabric in the quilt. A lot of it is getting a bit big for leader/ender, so it got put away, but I really should pull it out again. It really is such a great method!

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  14. I love a leader ender project, particularly one which at the same time uses up my scraps. I'm currently doing one which uses up 2.5" squares and white strips. Still seem to have plenty though!

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  15. Love your little project. Yesterday I was making star blocks using the sewing diagonally on the square, suddenly I was sewing the cut off triangles together. I thought maybe I could use them some how in the border since this is a make it up as you go project.

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Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I just love hearing from you!!
Have a Happy Quilting Day :)

Melissa