Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bento Box Leaders & Enders

Many of you are familiar with Bonnie's Leaders and Enders way of eliminating the problem of the "thread bunny" that hangs off at the end of everything you sew. She keeps a stack of 2-inch squares by her sewing table and uses those.

I don't have 2" squares sitting around, but I thought this would be a neat way of making the Bento Box blocks without feeling guilty about taking time away from "The List" of things I have to do.

So now each evening when I go into my sewing studio I prepare a few Bento Box pieces. I cut 2 6-1/2" pieces from each of my long strips, set those aside, and place the long strips by the sewing machine. I'll sew the two strips together in between the patches of the Child's quilt I am currently sewing up. Then I'll iron the long pair and cut it into crosswise blocks and match them up to use as leaders and enders the next time around.

In the picture above, you can see one Bento Box piece under my sewing machine needle, and two pieces ready to be used next time. While this requires a bit of planning and a slight change in working habits, I find I really like it. No more tossing threads away all the time, and no more finding them all over everything.

And I have assembled 10 of my required 63 Bento Box blocks already!


DKM said...

coming along nicely!

Quiltdivajulie said...

I love the leaders/enders system - but it does not work well with curved piecing (miserably failed in my attempt with that).

Good for you!

Can't wait to see the boxes appear.

T said...

I'm all about efficiency, and the leaders/enders is a great way to do two, two, two projects in one! If I hadn't done them that way, my recent log cabin blocks would never have been finished, and I've recently finished blocks for (Bonnie's) Boxy Stars.

It does take a little bit of pre-planning, but that, too makes me feel like I've accomplished more than I would have!

Susan said...

Great idea!

Linda said...

I love leaders/enders system of sewing! Not only do I not have to worry about the cats eating the threads that are all over, I also save money :D
Your bento boxes look great! Keep up the good work! :)

Clare said...

Leaders and enders are great. The only trouble for me is that I've got to try to plan ahead and my quilting tends to be spontaneous!