Sunday, July 28, 2013

We've got spool fever!

I don't know how I missed it first time around. Apparently last year Bonnie Hunter introduced a Leader/Ender Spool Challenge.  As I understand it the idea is to use your scraps. The spool unit could not be any simpler. Just start with strips of 1.5 inch fabric. The smallest piece possible is 3.5 inches long. Next kit up some blocks, and when you have a spare moment or two you are ready to sew. Just keep sewing and collecting spool units. When you tired of it, make a quilt.  It's not a contest, there is no end time or number. Just you and your scraps. I love it! You can click on the Quiltville link in this blog to see the instructions, or try this link. If, and that is a big if, I did it right it will take you to the post  You can also see a link to the original challenge in the Quiltville block post. Go head give it a click! .Leader Ender Spool Challenge. 

I thought the spools where cute, and I have some scrapes. So Friday night I started to make some kits. It I didn't like them, I figure I could make a few mug rugs. Regardless there is nothing lost, and a good use of scraps. I made my first few units and I was hooked. They are so easy, and did I mention they are cute.

Spool Kits
Saturday it was rainy. We are caught up on our Crafts BOM, and I am waiting for the recent issue of Quiltmaker to finish my Bonnie Hunter, Lazy Sunday Mystery.  So what's a girl to do, beside sew?
I try to to an even number each time I sit down to sew, 2, 4 8, whatever. . I pieced off and on Saturday. My granddaugther Jana arrived in the afternoon. At first she was not excited about these, but helped pick out fabric scraps to cut into 1.5 inch strips..

Start with 1.5 strips. I cut strips and have them  ready in a zip lock bag

Curiosity finally got the best of Jana and she gave it a whirl. It took a few tries to get it right, but she did. And there is nothing like success to reinforce, so before long she was off to the races. Since she is learning we did things a little different from the instructions. She put a pencil line to help her know where to sew, and she clipped the extra fabric and ironed the outside pieces before sewing them to the center.

Aren't these adorable! They are Jana's first four spool blocks.

We sewed like mad until it was time for her to go home. We completed 82 units. We laid them out for the picture and decided that it going to take a whole lot of these to make a quilt, at least four or five hundred. We decided we didn't care. There is no hurry, in between projects we will keep making spools.

Our rainy day accomplishment.
As we played with our fabric and searched bins for scraps we noticed we where laughing and sharing memories of how some of these fabrics where used. We are calling it our quilting memories quilt. We will be sure to set a strip or two aside from each project we make to ensure it is represented in the quilt.  Hey, this could go on forever. So I guess we make spools until they can't fit into the bin. Then we make a quilt.

P.S. I am not sure I really understand the Leader/Ender idea, and how it works, but I do understand having scraps. And that is really all you need to do this fun and simple project.


  1. I've never made the spool pattern, but I love the leader-ender idea. I always have some pieces by my machine and make leader-ender blocks even when I'm sewing something other than a quilt. It's surprising how fast you can accumulate blocks.

    Jana has done such a beautiful job with your great fabrics. So nice that you two can work and have fun together.

  2. My youngest grandchild/daughter loves looking through fabrics in my scrap bins and picking out fabrics that go other and coming up with ideas for using them... I hope to get her into sewing/quilting when she's a little older.

    Love how your spool blocks are looking and yes... it's going to take a lot of them to make a quilt! But wonderful memories you two will have...