Leader & Ender Challenge 11! Triple Treat!

It’s TIME!

It’s finally time to pull out ALL the stops and issue our next Leader & Ender challenge – Triple Treat!

Did you know this is our 11th Leader & Ender challenge?

Yes! We’ve been doing it that long. Our first one was in 2012 with Cheddar Bow Ties, and all of our previous challenges are still found under the Free Patterns Tab at the top of the blog.

I get just this much giddy when I think of all of the beautiful quilts that have been made in between the lines of chain piecing other things, simply by using pre-cut pieces and making simple blocks, instead of sewing over and over and over that same folded piece of garbage scrap and then throwing all of that time (and thread) away.

Click HERE for Printer-Friendly PDF Version.

I LOVE having a Leader & Ender project under way, and I can’t wait to see what you do with this one!

For the newbies amongst us – here’s a visit to the post I wrote about Leaders & Enders back in 2005!

(Yes, the internet is forever!)

Fabric styles and tastes may have changed, but the basics are still the basics.

This challenge runs from July 2022 to July 2023. It is not a race. (And you are cheating if you have this done by next week. Seriously. It’s a Leader & Ender project!)

As with ALL Leader & Ender projects, there are no rules as to how many you must make, or the size of quilt/project you make from them.

What you do with your blocks is up to you. Make as many or as few as you like. Turn them into runners, pillows, wall hangings, baby quilts, or fit whatever size bed you envision.

My job is just to give you the block idea, show you how I put it together with pressing directions so everything nests, and let you go for it.

Because of all of this – NO YARDAGE INFO is given. Capeesh?

It all starts with 4-patches!

My 1 1/2” scrap squares drawer was very full and needed some sewing up – so I started here.

At the end of any line of chain piecing on the project you are currently working on – instead of ending your stitching by ripping your work out of the machine leaving long thread tails, or sewing on a discarded piece of fabric to use as a “thread bunny” or “sew-between” or “spider” (these things have many names, don’t they?) simply sew a 1 1/2” square of neutral to a 1 1/2” square of color using your regular 1/4” seam allowance.

Leave that pair under your presser foot and continue with the next line of chain piecing for your current project. Your “Ender” just became a “Leader!”

Press sea toward the colored square.

2 squares are now a pair! Your pair should measure 1 1/2” X 2 1/2”. If it doesn’t – adjust your seam allowance NOW before you get too far down the road or problems may compound.

When there are two pairs of squares, sew the two pairs into a four-patch the next time the need for a Leader & Ender comes along.

Oh goodness, it’s time to clean the fuzz from my needle bar!

(It’s been crazy busy and productive here – no shame.)

For seams to play nicely – position four patch pairs under the needle with “colored square leading” and the seam allowance pointing UP toward the needle as you sew.

This will help the feed dogs work with you, instead of against you as you sew, keeping that center nested seam area tight together.

Make ALL of your four-patches the same way with that seam allowance pointing UP so that the seams on the back side of the unit will all spin the same direction to facilitate nesting of blocks when they are rotated and joined when setting the quilt together.

Spin those four-patch seams!

If you are new to seam spinning, visit my tutorial HERE.

Again, it’s important to have all seems going around in the same direction – so that seams will not fight each other when blocks are joined to each other.

Square four-patches as needed to 2 1/2”.

Each block quarter requires 3 four-patches.

Along with the 3 four-patches cut:

1 rectangle 2 1/2” X 4 1/2” and 1 square 2 1/2” from both fabric A and B.

Arrange block quarter pieces as shown, with neutrals chaining from bottom left to upper right through the block. Place ALL blocks in this orientation, so seams will play nicely when rotating block quarters into the BIG blocks shown below. Keep all block construction THE SAME.

Join units into rows, pressing seams away from four-patch units. Join rows to complete block quarters, pressing seas away from the center row.

Block quarter units will measure 6 1/2” square and finish at 6” in the quilt.

Honest Cutting Table!

With every Leader & Ender Challenge comes the desire to comb through the most overlooked areas of my scrap stash and determine what can be sewn up rather than thrown away.

In this case – I found a WHOLE bin of leftover charm squares and 2 1/2” X 4 1/2” rectangles that I could happily sew up into Triple Treat.

If there were 2 matching rectangles I could easily trim one of them to 2 1/2” square (with a 2” square left over for the 2” squares box) to use in these block quarters.

A 5” charm square could yield a 2 1/2” X 4 1/2” rectangle and a matching 2 1/2” square with an extra 2 1/2” square to go to the 2 1/ 2” scrap squares box.

Of course, I can cut matching rectangles and squares from 2 1/2” strips when I’ve sewn my way through the above and am completely confident that no Fat-Quarters or yardage will be harmed in the making of Triple Treat. LOL!

Dig into the depths, pull forward what you can use. It will be GREAT!

Joining block quarters to big blocks.

Big blocks measure 12 1/2” and will finish at 12” in the quilt.

Four block quarters rotated and sewn together as a four-patch will make the large block. Notice that there are no seams lining up in the center L-shaped areas – seam fall in the center of the rectangles. Nice!

And if you have spin your four-patch seams all the same direction as above, and pressed your block quarter rows away from the center row, these seams will all nest as well. Oh happy day!

Make as many blocks as you wish. Here is a sample layout in Grayscale so you can see what things may look like with a 7 X 8 layout without borders.

Simply fun, no borders needed!

84” X 96”

I have a feeling this quilt will go fast – my own stack of block quarters is growing quickly. I am waiting until I have enough variety to start sewing the block quarters into big blocks.

While I am going completely scrappy, Triple Treat would work great in any color plan you desire.

Here I’ve shown it in Red While & Blue.

What other color plans can you see it worked up in?

I’m really excited to see your progress over the next year. If you are on Instagram or Facebook please use the tags #leadersandenders and #triplettreatquilt so I can find your posts and follow your progress!

Okay! Now go attack those scraps and have fun!

Just a few days left to save!

With the upcoming Independence Day holiday, I’ve marked Solidarity (including the Hearts of Hope quilt as a Bonus) at 25% off through 7/5/22

Unity and Courthouse Square are also discounted 25% – no coupon code needed.

Patterns are available in both the Quiltville Store and the Quiltville Etsy Pattern Shop.

Quiltville Quote of the Day –

I’ve been holding my tongue on quite a bit lately. Loved ones don’t always agree on everything and we may find we are not on the same page.

This is where counting my gratitudes come in.

There is still much to be grateful for. Always.

Vintage 9-patch quilt found in Kentucky.. I really love the soft muted colors and how everyday ordinary scraps became something so beautiful.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

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