Tumblin’ away

It took me a long time to realize what a leader/ender was, or why I would want to use them. But now that I’ve started, I can’t imagine not having one to finish off a line of stitching and save my spot under the needle. In between other projects, I’ve been sewing together tumblers which is the leader and ender challenge this year with Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville’s Quips and Snips.

Bonnie is using 2-1/2″ tumblers but I’m not crazy. I drew up my own templates for a 5″ finished tumbler (then messed up by forgetting to add the seam allowance, so mine are 4.5″ finished). Inspired by the vintage quilts that she often shares, I am using recycled men’s shirts and novelty prints featuring gingham and plaid patterns from my stash. My target is for a quilt 75″ square, I’d like to make a picnic quilt to take to the beach or the park.

Tumbler quilt pairs progress

I’m almost through the batch of tumblers that I cut, sewing up pairs, then I’ll have to count to make sure I have enough. If you would like to join in, you can follow Bonnie’s instructions, buy a template, or you can use the ones I made here (4″, 5″, or 6″ sizes). You’re welcome.

Linking up to Sew Cute Tuesday with Blossom Heart Quilts and Let’s bee Social with Sew Fresh Quilts.

2015 Tumbler L&E Challenge!


  1. Did you know there is a Leader/Ender linky? Button on my blog.

    They do take preparation though. I’m currently sewing “bonus” triangles.

    1. Awesome, thanks for the info! These are all fabrics that were languishing in my stash, so preparing them as leader enders served dual purpose! On Feb 16, 2016 2:37 AM, “Lisa in Port Hope” wrote:


  2. I have so enjoyed watching these tumbler quilts come together. Yours is so pretty! Thanks for linking up!

    1. Me too! Sometimes I sew together a whole batch of pairs….

  3. That’s quite a stack of pairs. You’ve done really well. I couldn’t sew without leaders and enders either. It’s just how I sew now.

    1. Exactly, just keep at them and before I know it, I’ll have a whole quilt 🙂

  4. You are sewing with dual purpose. Love that too. I am tempted to start the tumbler challenge, but have so many other quilts that need finishing that I’m choose to go that route this year.

    1. I know what you’re saying, but more quilts=more fun! One day, someone may wonder at all the different colours of piecing thread I used on this quilt. On Feb 17, 2016 12:42 PM, “Lisa in Port Hope” wrote:


  5. I like your tumbler size much better too. I love shirting quilts and good idea to use them as leaders and enders too.

    1. I think it’s going to look great, I’m debating about adding some red polka dots too. On Feb 17, 2016 4:09 PM, “Lisa in Port Hope” wrote:


  6. What a great idea for a leader ender project! Your tumbler size sounds much more reasonable. And great fabric choices. This is going to be a very handsome quilt!

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