I don't know how many of you are familiar with Bonnie Hunter's blog and Quiltville and her books. Nancy-Rose at Life is a Stitch brought Bonnie to my attention. Nancy kept blogging about her leader/ender projects and after a while, my curiosity was piqued. I went out in search of information and found Bonnie's website. And, then, I decided to make her Scrappily Happily Irish quilt. I've been working on it for over a year and had made 31 pieced blocks and some of the other pieces preparing for the plain blocks. My leader/ender wasn't going very fast. But, that's because I was really doing it as a leader/ender, which meant only sewing two pieces together at the beginning and ending of anything else I was piecing (like ending a string of chained piecing with a leader/ender).
But, this week, I just needed stuff to sew that I didn't have to think about. So, I sat down and started sewing squares into rows. The only thing I had to think about was light, medium and dark and I have my squares already separated that way, so just reach into the correct bin and add a square. I was chain piecing, not even thinking about leading and ending. I was using the rows I was creating as leaders and enders in a leader/ender project.
Then, I ran out of medium squares and needed to cut more. And, while I had the scrap bin down, I decided to start cutting 2x5 bricks for a Texas Braid quilt from Bonnie's book Adventures with Leaders and Enders. More stuff I could do without having to think about it.
So, thank you Bonnie for helping me find work I could do while I don't want to think. It is really helping me out.
I've been splitting my scraps into strip widths, 1", 1.5", 2" and large scraps. I'm envisioning a string quilt, my Scrappily Happily Irish, a Crabapple quilt and the Texas Braid, all from this book, and all from my stash.
Unfortunately, my stash started as a mish-mash all in the same bin, and while I have tried to stop throwing scraps into it without cutting them down to squares, I started late. The more weight I took from the top of the scrap bin, the more the bottom part expanded to fill the space. I could cut several quilts, just from these scraps. So, I'm going to have to take another of Bonnie's suggestions and cut for a few minutes every time I want to sit and sew.
We'll see if I ever get to the bottom of the bin. But, for now, I'm just glad to have work I can do that doesn't require a lot of concentration. Just pick a size and go with it. Thanks, Bonnie! Hope you had fun in Sisters. Wish I had been there. Maybe next year. Lane