Thursday, August 21, 2014

Quilt Math!

Those of you who have been following my blog, know that I am a devoted Bonnie Hunter fan!  She traveled here and taught classes to our local guild in 2011!  What a thrill ... we all learned sew much from her!
Drum roll please!  I finished my first "Leaders and Enders" quilt top!  Envision me doing back flips!  That is how excited I am!  Plus ... I love the results ... and not a single fabric was purchased for this quilt!  Yep, it all came from my stash!  Whoot!  Whoot!
Basically the concept of "leaders and enders" allows you to piece quilt block units while working on other quilts or sewing projects.  This quilt used a 4 patch unit ...
... and a half square triangle unit!
Together they create this block.  The only block necessary to create Bonnie's Blue Ridge Beauty quilt.  For more info on this process visit her website here.  This process really does deliver and I will always have one in progress!
I decided early on that I was going to use the technique as intended ... I would piece the units as I worked on other projects ... occasionally sew them into blocks ... and allow them to add up over time.    This is where my exceptional math skills play into the scenario!
Early this spring, I decided to pull out my blocks and determine where I was on this journey.  Part of my math genius is that I leave mathematical notes for myself ... helps me stay on track!
I took the units that were available and pieced them into blocks!  Counting as I went ... or so I thought!  ;-)
Life got a bit crazy as the school year came to a close ... but I kept counting.  When things settled down ... I only had 12 blocks left!  Easy peasy!
Finished those final blocks ... checked the pattern ... yep, I was 44 blocks short.  Quilt math ... go figure! ;-)
No problem ... back to the bin of pieces.
In no time, those blocks were done and it was time to lay the quilt out.  Sew exciting!
Loved the results ... however there was one problem ...
... I had 76 blocks left over!  Obviously another example of my amazing math abilities!  Yikes!  That was too many to leave unused.
Flicka and I began exploring other options that would incorporate those additional blocks.
We thought about making two smaller sized quilts ... but I didn't want two of the same quilt.  I eventually decided that I wanted to stick with the idea of a generous queen sized quilt.
Yep ... more blocks were going to be necessary!  So grateful for those quilt math skills ... ;-) .
Finally!  All the blocks were done!  The layout was complete!
And ... most importantly, Flicka gave her final approval!
Time to begin sewing the rows ... yep, 18 rows of 14 blocks is exhausting for the Supervisor!
Meanwhile, I began piecing the next leader and ender quilt in the process!
Love how the Supervisor gets to nap her way through the entire experience! Such a silly kitty!
Progress on the next quilt is going well!
Half way there!
Finally ... the last row!
Yep ... Flicka was alert for this one!
We celebrated!
The next decision was to add borders or not ... without borders it was 84 x 108 inches ... a generous queen!  It just seemed to look unfinished ...
So I took some of my leftover 3 1/2 inch strips and pieced together a scrappy border!  I can't begin to express how happy I am with this quilt!  It feels so good on so many levels!  All of my math issues were entirely my own ... Bonnie's pattern is completely accurate!
I packed up my remaining 2" and 3 1/2 " strips.  I have plans for them in a future "Leader & Ender" quilt ...
... but for now ... look how these little units grew ... this is what was accomplished while piecing the top ... I love my quilt math!

Do what you love.  Love math!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Sorry, just one more pic!  I can't help myself, I just love this quilt! 


  1. It is absolutely stunning! You SHOULD be proud and love it!

  2. Beautiful!! And I so understand about quilt math. I think gremlins get involved somehow. And such a wonderful supervisor. Keeping an eye on all aspects.

    1. Love your concept of math gremlins! I completely agree and am sure they are alive and well in my sewing room!

  3. Congrats! Don't ya just love Bonnie! I remember when she visited with you all. Enjoy your beautiful quilt. G

    1. I do love Bonnie! She taught us so much while here ... and has done the same for thousands! She is so generous with her talent!

  4. What an accomplishment! Your quilt is stunning; love your use of the reds and the math. Flicka obviously approves. I just finished a much easier baby quilt using enders and leaders four patches. It is such an fun way to use up scraps. I am a Bonnie fan too and have it on my bucket list to someday take a class with her.

    1. Gladys, you would love spending a day with Bonnie! Check her schedule on her Quiltville site and watch for a class near you! She is so approachable and inspiring!

  5. Your quilt is B-E-A-Utiful. I love the reds and the scrappy style of Bonnie Hunter. The Math Story within the story is a hoot. Keep on sewin' and postin'!!!

    1. Thanks Karen! Feels so good to make a quilt using only fabrics in my stash! As you well know ... ;-) ... I am a fabric collector! Hugs!

  6. about getting your Mojo back! This quilt is absolutely stunning and to think it all grew from your stash. (I recognize some of those fabrics LOL ) Congratulations on a beautiful finish.

    1. Thank you for your kind words Ann! I love using random fabrics in scrap quilts ... happy to hear you recognize them as well!