A few weeks ago, I wrote about a leaders and enders demo I did at my guild. I am not sure if I changed any world views, but it was a good way to clarify the process in my mind.
As I was working on Frolic! this week, I realized that chain piecing and leaders & enders are related, but not the same and thought I should clarify.
Chain piecing is where the quiltmaker sews piece after piece without cutting the thread. Leaders and enders are used instead of a thread bunny.
I got used to using leaders & enders when I made my FOTY quilts. It is not really possible with those projects to chain piece. I have to keep the units in an exact order on the design wall. If I chain piece they get mixed up. Thus, I put two FOTY units through the machine and end with an ender. I go press and replace the FOTY combined units back on the design wall and grab two more units. I put this FOTY set of units through the machine, which means that my ender is now a leader. I put another ender through the machine and cut off the FOTY unit and the leader.
In the above photo, you can see me chain piecing. There are a number of Frolic! units after my leader (the white pieces). I won’t cut off the last unit until after I have sewed on an ender. I adjust how I piece depending on the look I want.
As I have said before, you can use anything as leaders/enders. I have used gift bags, bag parts, other quilts. Most frequently, I use pieces for my donation quilts.
The key is to use leaders and enders to improve your productivity.
I have copied the resources below from a previous post. As I have said before, Bonnie Hunter is the leaders & enders queen.
- Leaders and Enders by Bonnie Hunter – full explanation with photos
- Leaders and Enders: the Whys and Hows by Bonnie Hunter: – more updated info with images
- Gift Bags as Leaders and Enders
- Leaders and Enders by Melissa Cory – good images to help you understand the process
- Leaders and Enders, Color Girl Quilts blog:
- What are Leaders and Enders?, Quilts by Jen – – excellent images to help you visualize the process