Leaders & enders scrap quilt progress

We’ve passed the half-way mark on the yearly calendar which makes it a good time to check the progress on my leaders & enders scrap quilt for 2023. I started this project in February and hopefully I’ll have a rainbow scrap quilt by the end of the year.

Leaders & enders scrap quilt progress @ The Crafty Quilter

Leaders & enders

If you’re unfamiliar with leaders and enders, you should definitely read my blog post on efficient quilting with leaders and enders. They are a great way to keep thread nests from forming at the beginning of your seam, they save thread by eliminating those long thread tails and much more. I love using my scraps as leaders and enders, especially when I can turn them into useable units.

Leaders & enders are a great way to prevent thread nests, eliminate long thread tails and make use of your scraps.

Cutting & storing scraps

I started by cutting my scraps into 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangles. I have scrap bins for each of the major colors: yellow/orange/brown, red, pink/purple, green, blue/turquoise, and black/white. You can see how I made my scrap storage bins here. I keep them under my cutting table and just toss my scraps into the correct color bin when needed. It’s not very glamorous, but it works for me!

My scrap fabric bins are sorted in rainbow color. I have a full tutorial on how I made them at The Crafty Quilter.

If a scrap bin starts to overflow, I will either sort through it and discard what I don’t like anymore or I’ll focus on a scrap project in that color range. Last year, I had an overabundance of black and white scraps. I started making a black and white scrap quilt using Pat Sloan’s free Traffic Jam pattern. Lesson learned: you never use as many scraps as you think you will! But at least it’s something. Also worth mentioning is that I’m still working on this quilt. All of the blocks are made and now I’m sewing them into rows. My WIP list continues to grow!

My black and white scrap project from last year is Traffic Jam (pattern by Pat Sloan).
Black & white scrap quilt in progress. Traffic Jam pattern by Pat Sloan

Leaders & enders scrap quilt progress

It’s been slower than I thought, but I’m almost finished with the warm colors. I just cut up the rest of my red rectangles, so those are what I’m currently using as my leaders and enders.

Leaders & enders scrap quilt is made from a rainbow of 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangles.  Full details @ The Crafty Quilter.

I used EQ8 software to create a coloring page to plan out my rainbow scrap quilt. I keep it hanging next to my cutting table for reference (and motivation). This gives me a general idea of how many units I’ll need for each color of the rainbow. I’ll probably have enough to make two quilts!

My plan for my 2023 Scrap quilt using leaders and enders in a rainbow of colors.

Collecting scraps is a habit I formed a long time ago, and I’m glad I’m able to use them for various projects. How about you? Do you save your scraps?

Leaders & enders scrap quilt progress @ The Crafty Quilter

Thanks for reading and happy quilting!

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  1. I do really like the black and white Traffic Jam quilt. I wonder if any has offset every other row? Also do you cut any scraps into strips or squares, etc? If you do how do you keep them organized? Do you keep them organized by color or put for example all strips together? I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks.

  2. I love seeing your progress on your leaders and enders quilt. I cut up some scraps this week and started randomly pairing them together. Such fun!

  3. Julie,
    I think I need to put my leaders and enders project right next to my sewing machine and leave it there. I put it away and promptly forgot about it! Back from vacation and I am ready to sew again.

  4. Love that you are using leaders and enders. I too am making a quilt using Pat SLoan’s pattern for traffic stop. It is a great way to use the 4 patches(leaders and enders) and I applied an ice cream fabric for my bigger squares where you used blacks. I do find I have way more than needed also, but again, I can use them on a baby quilt or doll quilt. I still use smaller leaders and enders for my quilt blocks or just sewing as it saves on thread and keeps my machine purring..haha..
    Thanks for sharing and Happy quilting!

  5. I have made two quilts from Pat Sloan’s Traffic Jam pattern. One green, one blue for two different grandsons. Great leader/ender project! I like the looks of your current leader/ender project, too. It will be fun to see the end result! 🙂

  6. This is so pretty – love your design and can’t believe you can make two! I do have scraps and am beginning to cut them up…thinking I will use more of them when I get a chance to play. Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. This is really going to be beautiful.
    I’m a new quilter and have started saving scraps. Although there are a lot there is not a lot of variety yet. I do have big plans though.

  8. Nicest solution seen yet for those who have more than precuts stash sizes!
    Thank you Julie…my sewing room is far messier than yours and I want to get organized this year too!

  9. Great idea to stitch a quilt with your leaders and enders. It would never work for me, my leaders and enders are never neat and tidy after I’ve stitched over them several times They definitely remain as scraps

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