Friday, September 21, 2018

Jewel Box Star Table Runner {Finished Scrap Project}

This post could also be titled "I am bad at leaders and enders."

I absolutely LOVE the idea of leaders and enders -- a side project that you have going in an effort to save thread and use scraps. Bonnie Hunter is a leader and ender pioneer and I decided that I wanted to join in on her "leader and ender challenge" for this year making Jewel Box Star blocks.

Instead of pure scrappy-ness, I decided to do a controlled scrappy color scheme for my blocks. I picked out reds and greens for my four patches and a fat quarter of an old Basic Grey floral print for my half square triangles. Four blocks later:

As you can see, I arranged my four patches so that one diagonal of the block has green squares and one diagonal has red squares. All of my HSTs use the same blue background floral.

But backing up -- I am not good at leaders and enders. Instead of what you're actually supposed to do with leaders and enders, I tend to just use it as a "filler" project when I have a few minutes here and there to sew. I guess maybe this is just what works for my brain and my tiny sewing space.

I decided that instead of working on more blocks to add to a quilt, I would just turn these four blocks into a long and skinny table runner. I also had this great zig zag print hanging out in my stash that I chose for the backing and binding.

I did have to piece the backing since this table runner is 48" long. I used my tutorial for matching prints to make the necessary seam a little less obvious. I also was able to use the batting scraps left over from my Pansy Garden quilt.

For the quilting, I did more swirly flowers in white Aurifil thread. I used the leftover fabric from the backing (I had a whole yard of this fabric) for the binding. Because the runner is 48" x 12", I needed four WOF strips for the binding -- three strips was *just* too short. I top stitched the binding with a dark green Aurifil thread that is similar to the darker green in the zig zag print.

Here's a close up of one block in the table runner -- the binding and backing fabric is a perfect pair with my navy floral print star points.

And just for fun -- lots of stripey goodness when I rolled up the runner.

Happy Friday! Sharing at Brag about your Beauties and Finish it up Friday!

Project Stats:
Name: Jewel Box Star Table Runner
Pattern: Jewel Box Star from Bonnie Hunter/Quiltville
Size: 12" blocks, runner is 48" by 12"
Fabrics: scraps and stash
Quilting: swirly flowers in white Aurifil
Future: Might be a gift, might not, haven't decided!


  1. I like controlled scrappiness. Your table runner is beautiful.

  2. I love how the binding looks applied and the backing is such a fun compliment. I also am pretty horrible at leader and ender projects: they take over and so I've kind of abandoned using them. :)

  3. Oh wow, that is beautiful! Table runners are such fun projects.

  4. This is very lovely and so good that you were able to use up some small pieces of fabric!

  5. I'm not good at leaders and enders, either! I cut them out, set them up, and then I get obsessed and just want to work on that project endlessly instead of squeezing them in. Rather than being an "inbetweener" project, it winds up pushing aside whatever I was working on already. (Sigh.) So I have to approach those quilts as individual projects instead of gap sewing. Just doesn't work with my personality, although the concept is sound.

  6. Oh, your stars turned out so great in that color combo! I love the zig zaggy backing, too. I know what you mean about leaders and enders. I get distracted by them and want to finish that project all at once instead of one. seam. at. a. time. But hey, whatever works, right? :)

  7. Hi Alison! What a great table runner. I just turner 10 blocks into a really wide table runner or more of a topper I guess. I adore the stripes on the binding and it sure does look great with those star points. All in all, I really enjoy your choices for fabrics and this block! It's a beautiful finish. ~smile~ Roseanne

  8. Love it! I've tried leaders and enders and it doesn't work for me either.

  9. Beautiful! I know I am not the only one who uses leaders and enders as BH intended! But I am in the minority here. I Have a boxful of 9 patches that now have to be put together. One of my next projects. I have tumblers going now........Slow and steady!
    I wasn't taken by the jewel box stars this year, but yours are great! Maybe I need to rethink the scrappiness and go more controlled scrappy! Hmmm????

  10. I always tend to forget to use leaders and enders, I think because I am so use to my thread cutter! Beautiful runner.

  11. I, too, like the idea of leaders and enders, but it's just not the way I work. Congratulations on this pretty finish, and good for you for cutting into that PB&J floral!

  12. I'm not sure I can sew without a leaders and enders project in works. It's a very fun and colorful table runner. Is this one residing on your table, or did you also manage to get a jump on your holiday gift stitching?

  13. Congrats on your finish. Since I usually sew with a single hole plate I've gotten out of the leader ender habit .

  14. This is SO fun! And the quilting looks amazing. What a great finish! :)

  15. Your runner is lively and pretty and just fun! I have yet to have leader/ender success- that container of pieces keeps migrating, so I just sew a spider... Love the stripey binding picture!


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