Tiny Scraps

Two years ago, my mom and I stumbled into a quilt shop in an old railroad freight station in central Virginia - Rachel’s Quilt Patch.  Rachel, the owner, was working on the most magical quilt made from the teeniest tiny scraps.  Rachel explained it was her “leader-ender” project and she had been working on it alongside her other projects for years.  

A “leader-ender,” she taught me, is used during chain piecing.  To avoid wasted thread and the mess of threads (the “birds nest”) sometimes created when starting a new seam, some quilters feed a scrap through their machine before and after chain piecing.  This way the thread never has to be cut with a long tail.

Of course, instead of using a scrap and discarding it, industrious quilters use their leaders and enders to make a separate project.

Rachel handed me a worksheet with directions and a starter bag of scraps, no charge, and I’ve been making my tiny scraps into a quilt ever since.

This quilt uses 2 inch fabric patches and the corners so often created and discarded with modern quilting patterns.  I keep a container for each on my sewing table.

I sew the triangles to the 2 inch squares with a quarter inch seam allowance, finger pressing as I go.  

This is a scrap quilt so I don't worry too much about which fabrics are together or getting my seam allowances exactly right.

Once all four triangles are attached, I press and trim the block to 2.5 inches square.

I sew the 2.5 inch blocks into strips, then join the strips together

RIght now, my quilt is 15 blocks by 13 blocks.  Every time I finish 13 blocks I sew them up in a row and attach them to my quilt, using lots of pins to get the seams to line up.  

This quilt has patches from all of my past projects. I love looking at it and remembering the things I've made for my family and friends.