16 September, 2014

Y2K Charms as Leaders and Enders

My oldest UFO is finally turning into something! Serious progress here, folks.

These are the the Y2K swap charms I found in the garage this summer. I spent a lovely day - in between snack making, diaper changing, water balloons, and policing - getting these sorted. I decided to go for a simpler version than my original sketch. In part, because I knew I would never get it done if I got all fancy. And, in part, because the light/dark distinctions became pretty obvious.

There are certainly some special fabrics in the group! Predominantly calicos because that's what we did and what was available even in the 90s. Some novelty prints too. And a few special Australian fabrics in the mix. Anything goes.

That is how I am approaching the quilt making too. Simply sorted by value, that's all. I found a box lid that fits all the charms. It sits on my sewing table, at the ready. As I sew on other projects I grab from the box, as needed, to start and finish a seam. These have become my leaders and enders. So, instead of cutting threads at the end of the seam I feed a set of charms under the presser foot. Then I snip the growing chain off every time I finish another seam and add a charm. I prefer to make whole rows this way, rather than simply sewing pairs. It helps me keep track of the length and nothing is likely to get lost.

Each row will have 40 charms. Somewhere around 25 I switch from darks to light. That's because I have about two thirds dark and one third lights. I change it up and don't worry too much about the exact number. In total there will be 50 rows. That will finish out at an 80'' by 100'' quilt. Pretty big!

I have no idea how long it will take me to get to all 50 rows. I'll just keep at it. That is the good thing about a leaders and enders project, you end up making most of a quilt top without really thinking about it. I can say that these Round and Round blocks end up with me making progress on a row because there is a lot of stopping and starting with each strip added individually. As I make those blocks one at a time (although you could certainly chain piece them) I use the leaders and enders a lot.

Just keep sewing.


Suzanne said...

I can't wait to see what this looks like. I appreciate the reminder to use leaders & footers. It's like making a free quilt when you are not looking.

id said...

Leaders and enders are a great idea.
Question though--when you sew your leaders and enders quilt--do you use leaders and enders?
And when you sew your leaders and enders, leaders and enders quilt, do you also use leaders and enders--and when you sew leaders...

Patsy said...

I came across your blog and found you are doing the same as me. I have not heard of Leaders and enders but my quilt is like this.
I could not handle a quilt as large as that 50 -50 blocks. Mine will be more a lap Quilt with 41/2in blocks. Yours look about the same size blocks?