As a child, I had done some sewing in 4-H, but I learned to “quilt” from my neighbor, Arzetta Poole. Mrs. Poole taught me not only how to piece and applique, but more importantly she instilled in me the love and appreciation for quilts and quilting. One of the more practical things she showed me was to always keep a “feeder” piece of fabric in my machine, to save thread and to keep the sewing room floor tidy (no excess threads).
After my children started school and I began making quilts more rapidly, I had an epiphany. Why waste scraps of fabric, not to mention time, when I could be running pieces for another quilt through instead. So for over 20 years I have been piecing two quilts at one time. A few years ago, Bonnie Hunter came out with a wonderful book (Leaders and Enders) on this subject. I didn’t really think I had invented it, but it is nice to know others do the same thing as I do.
So here are some of the 300 plus 9 patches I made during the piecing of my little Jane blocks. I keep a stack of pieces around for my “feeder” blocks so I never run out. I don’t always know what I will use the blocks for but it is nice to have a stack of them when I feel the need to whip up a quick quilt.
BTW – (totally unrelated to this post) if you are at all interested in quilt history, Karen Alexander(Quilt History Reports) has compiled a wonderful list of websites and Blogs on quilt history on the Internet. Of course, if you are like me, you will lose a whole day of quilting while enjoying some of these sites!