Louisa Enright's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘leader/ender method

Turkey Tracks: The Red and Green Quilt Is Taking Shape

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Turkey Tracks:  March 25, 2014

The Red and Green Quilt Is Taking Shape


Looky, looky:



I’m loving the interesting secondary patterns that are forming.

This quilt started as a “leader/ender” project–an idea pioneered by Bonnie Hunter as a method to work on two quilts at once.  Basically, when you get to a point while sewing where you might cut your thread, you feed a “leader/ender” block through the machine instead.  So, for some time I sewed together dark and light green half-square triangles cut from my 3 1/2-inch strips–until I had sooooo many of them.  Then I fed through four-patches of light and dark reds and greens from the two-inch strips. This quilt is being made entirely from my stash that I cut up this summer.

The block is a “Contrary Wife” block–and was inspired by Bonnie Hunter’s “Blue Ridge Beauty” quilt, which I made in green shades last year.  (It remains one of my very favorite quilts in the whole world.)  I think I had a lot of light/dark green half-square triangles started so just continued to make this quilt.  I’ve wanted to make a red/green quilt for some time.



You MUST have the light square in the upper left corner when you put this block together for the light and dark rows to line up within the lattice pattern.

I’ll do some borders, of course.  Probably a dark red thin border at first–and maybe a wider bright red border next.  Who knows?  The fabrics will come out of my stash.

Turkey Tracks: “Songbirds in My Grandmother’s Garden” Quilt

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Turkey Tracks:  January 6, 2014

“Songbirds in My Grandmother’s Garden” Quilt


I began to realize sometime during making this quilt that it reminded me of my grandmother Louise Phillips Bryan of Reynolds, Georgia.

Although she had fabulous gardens with flowers of all colors, Grandmother loved the color brown best.  She had brown eyes and fine, curly dark hair.  Her laugh was HUGE–a belly laugh from deep inside.  And she knew how to have fun and to laugh.  She loved life and loved her life.  She sewed and she knitted.  She gardened, as I said above.  She put up food and set a nice table.  She welcomed guests.

I am named for her, and I spent a lot of wonderful time with her at all stages of my life–especially as we were an Air Force family and moved a lot.  When my father had an overseas deployment, mother took us back to Georgia, to Grandmother and Pop.  And, as I make this description of her, I am realizing how much of her ways I have adopted and believe are good ways to be in this world.

I had a lot of fabric pieces left over from the “Earth” quilt–and I wanted to keep them together as I was enjoying how they played with each other.  And, to tell the truth, I have enough for one more quilt besides “Songbirds,” especially as I have lots of fabrics that will work well with this bunch already cut up in my stash.  I am working on Bonnie Hunter’s current  “leader/ender” project with what’s left of these earthy fabrics–a block with light and dark sides–allowed by strategically placed half-square triangles.   Here are four of these blocks–and they can be combined in countless ways.

Bonnie Hunter's LeaderEnder Project

(A leader/ender project lets you work on two quilts at once–the one you are piecing, and when you need to cut your thread, the one that’s your “leader/ender” project.  You always have blocks for the second quilt ready to stitch so you do not break your thread but just keep on chain piecing.  Sometimes I make the half-square triangles and when I have enough, I make a few blocks as I sew along.)

Well!  here’s “Songbirds”:



It’s another “Dancing Nines” from Bonnie Hunter’s web site, quiltville.com, where she has tons of free patterns.  I made this one with 2 1/2-inch squares though, as that was the size of the strips I had.  Bonnie’s pattern starts with 2-inch squares.  The piano keys border though is from 2-inch strips.

Here’s a close-up so you can see why Bonnie says these blocks “dance.”  They are off-set.  The pantograph is “Check and Chase” by Lorien Quilting.  I ordered it from Urban Elementz which has a huge selection of pantographs.


I love the borders on this quilt.  the binding is a very, very dark muddy red.


And, here’s where the  “songbirds” came from.  I fell in love with this very contemporary fabric–and think it works with the more traditional front of the quilt.  These little guys make me want to cup them in my hand.


Here’s a block close-up:



I loved making this quilt–which reminds me so much of my grandmother.