May’s Book Review
I admit it. I wasn’t terribly sure what leaders and enders were when I first saw this book. I learned quickly and realized I had actually done this technique before. Once. I found it cumbersome. That being said, author Bonnie K. Hunter says, “Sewing with Leaders and Enders might feel strange at first, but after a while you will find yourself automatically grabbing for something to feed into the machine before removing your chain piecing for pressing.” (page 9)
That sums it up. If you are a chain piecer (I’m not, at least not right now), you are already using a leader and ender to start and end your piecing. That means you are ending off with a piece of scrap fabric under your foot when you end your sewing session (your ender). When you start sewing again, the ender becomes your leader. What Hunter proposes and describes in this book and in her previous book, is that why not make those leaders and enders worth something. For example, use specific scraps (say 2” squares) as your leaders and enders and trim them off. When you do, set them aside and before you know it, you’ll have enough pieces or blocks to make an entire scrappy quilt. And wow! Hunter really makes some dynamite scrappy quilts using this method. The book includes pictures and directions for 12 scrappy quilts.
Hunter’s quilts are bright, cheery and lively. Unless you do an awful lot of sewing/quilting, however, I wonder how long it would take you to actually have enough to make one or two of these quilts. I suppose it doesn’t really matter. Just keep putting the scraps aside and eventually you will have enough. And I think that is Hunter’s point exactly.
If you love scrappy quilts and if you love chain piecing, this book will be just the ticket for you.
Book Name:More Adventures with Leaders and Enders
Author: Bonnie K. Hunter
Publisher & Date: Kansas City Star Quilts, 2014
The book retails for about $28. Sue’s shop carries the book so stop in the shop or give her a call if you need a copy.
Full color pictures and good layout diagrams, in color. The layout is clear but I found the text could have been larger but that would have meant a longer book. Still, I think it would have been better.
My favorite pattern from this book is noted here. I would love to hear which ones are your favorites. And, if you make any of the patterns, send us a picture!
Betsy’s Favorite from More Adventures with Leaders and Enders
Lucy’s Baskets (p. 31) – I love basket quilts and I love appliqué. I also happen to like the juxtaposition of the scrappy striped border against the more orderly baskets.
– The scrappy nature of all the quilts.
– The good use of color and layout even though the use of such a variety of scraps. was immense so it must have been tough to plan the quilts.
– The use of “cheddar” fabric in the “Cheddar Bowties” quilt. I love cheddar.
– Love the baskets in the basket quilt.
– Hunter’s description of “neutrals” and how to determine how dark a neutral could be. She states the darkest color she will go for a neutral is the color of a brown paper bag. I love that. Everyone knows what a brown paper bag looks like so it’s a great example.
– I felt the directions were a little wordy and would have been served better by lists or bullets.
– “The Scrap user’s System” and the “Scrap Strip Sizes” sections (page 10-11) overwhelmed me. I felt like I was back in math class being told to work out a math word problem (something that continues to make me hyperventilate). I know this won’t be the case for hardly anyone else but it caused me to pause. I thought, “Oh my gosh! I have to do all this before I even start?” I don’t know why it hit me that way but it did. Maybe I’m just not that organized but I’m sure you will be. J
To repeat, if you like scrappy quilts, you like to chain piece and you are good about organizing your scraps, you will absolutely LOVE this book.
Comment and let us know what you think! –Betsy