June 4, 2018

Leaders and Enders

Two weekends, Two awesome quilt shows.
Am loving textured backgrounds and the large dots with the giraffes. 

Kathryn and I happened to see each other at this scrappy quilt made of 2" log cabin blocks. We were talking about how long that it would take to make. I mentioned that this would make a great leader and ender quilt. A What? A Leader and Ender. 

Normally I use a Thread Dog. What? A thread dog. It is a piece of fabric that is a 1.5" to 2" wide piece of scrap fabric folded in half. The length can be any size. Instead of having threads at the beginning of your chain piecing or any piecing, you stitch across the width of the thread dog. This helps prevent the threads from balling up at the beginning of the stitching as well as the fabric getting caught in the feed dogs. When you are finished the stitching, cut the thread dog off from the beginning, leader, and stitch across it, ender, then cut the pieced pieces off.  

So, instead of using the Thread Dog you can stitch together pieces for another quilt that are small, mindless and tedious to make, ie 4-patch units, tumbler blocks, flying geese, even these little log cabins. I have 160 small flying geese to make and this is the perfect way to get them done by using them as leaders and enders.

Here I am using the flying geese for leaders and enders. As I press the chain piecing I also press the flying geese. Even when sewing the rows together in goes a flying goose as a leader and ender.

This is a great technique if you are not in a hurry to make the second quilt. Before you know it you will have all the pieces together and a second quilt completed.


  1. I make leader-enders all the time, and have made a lot of quilts I wouldn't otherwise have. My friend always used thread catchers, what you call a thread dog. Just think of all the extra quilts she could have had for her children to fight over when she died! =)