How Small is Small
I always enjoy finding ways to use up all of the remnants and scrap pieces when working on a project. While sewing I place 3 bowls next to the sewing machine, I don't throw ANY of the pieces away, they are sorted into three different piles.
The first is for the very narrow strips which will be used to create fabric beads and those that are really tiny I used to move to the pillow/doll stuffing box but now they go to the Fabric boho box and the tiny tiny pieces go to the Scrapfabric box.
The second, for the slightly larger pieces which will go into the mosaic fabric box and the one inch pieces to the one inch magic fabric box. They can't be used as leaders and enders they are so small that there would not be room for a seam allowance.
And the third for crumb qulting. The pieces will be used as leaders and enders while working on other projects.
People have been asking me what leaders and enders are.
What are leaders and enders? Leaders and enders are bits of fabric that are used to start and end your sewing on. It saves one the hassle of continuously lifting the presser foot and cutting the thread. When you get to the end of your stitching you slip 2 remnants under the presser foot and sew on them, this way creating a continuous line of sewing and are creating something else at the same time.
You are accomplishing a number of things when creating leaders and enders
Your fabric doesn't bunch in the throat plate
Your sewing thread never jams.
Your thread doesn't nest - create a bundle - under your fabrics
You are not wasting thread.
The thread won't pull out of the needle and you don't have to rethread all the time (preventing lots of cursing) and as a bonus
You are creating 2 projects at the same time.
After sewing on the machine
take 2 small pieces from your leaders and enders pile next to you and sew them
so that you don't have to pull the fabric out and cut the thread like this
I also strip piece some of them inbetween working.
The pile is growing
Little hands helping me to sort. She loves the colors. I am teaching her to sew and she really enjoys the no rules crumb patchwork.
Some of the scrap pieced pieces so far
The pieces are really small and I have many of them. I plan on constructing and then heavily quilting a long narrow abstract piece for one of the walls in my home.
I know that I will have even more pieces left over and those I will save for some practical projects such as zippered pouches which I always find useful. They serve as containers for many items and are great gifts to give so I always have a pile of them at the ready.
I looked at the pile today and realised that I had enough to create something.
I sorted the pieces into same sized piles and placed them on a table to the left of my sewing machine.
Sewed them together
Into one big piece
Ironed the large piece
Really small pieces this time
Now to back quilt and bind
This technique is very versatile. One can make fabric for many products using the leader and ender technique.
Bed quilts, pillows, curtains and more.