A friend of mine has been following advice from Pat Sloan (she is one of the ladies who is responsible for The Splendid Sampler), about using starters and enders. She starts with squares of 2.5 inches, and starts and ends her patchwork sewing with this – this helps to save thread, and makes chain piecing for blocks very easy and helps prevent that annoying gather that jams your machine from time to time.. It also produces another quilt – for free! Here is the link to the article that inspired my friend: http://www.ilovetomakequilts.com/2-square-quilts/

My suggestion goes a little further than this. I have a large number of half square triangles, that I cut when making flying geese units. I have kept all these triangles together in a bag (all the same fabrics I used for the quilt), and have started using these as my starters and enders. To my mind, it doesn’t matter that the triangles I start with are not so evenly cut, nor that the squares produced are not all the same size at the moment. Once I’ve finished sewing all the half-square triangles together, I will press them and trim them to size, and hey presto – blocks ready to be put together to make another quilt. Mine will be a quilt for Project Linus.

The remnants from Flying Geese units
The collection of pieced units – my starters and enders


  1. Corinne Curtis

    You can do so much with leaders and enders, and its a great way of organising and using your scraps. Thanks for posting about these. Bonnie Hunter (check out her Quiltville blog) has an annual leader and ender project that is great to join in with.