Red and White Chair Covers

Remember when I was cutting up all the red and white scraps from this pile?

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The next photo I showed you was a red and white tile pattern that was very easy.

I was making two chair covers for the two red recliners that the dogs love to lay in. I finished piecing them over the weekend and now I’ve got to get them quilted before I want to decorate for Christmas.

Rectangles were cut 2-1/2″ x 4-1/2″. Ten across by 15 down. Oh, so so easy! And while I was cutting the rectangles, I also cut red squares and light squares measuring 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ and sewed the squares together as a leader-ender project.

Most of you are probably familiar with Bonnie Hunter’s leader – ender technique. But for those who don’t……..

Each time I finished sewing rectangles together, I sewed a pair of red and light squares together instead of using a scrap of fabric to start sewing with. We call that scrap of fabric a Herman. When I finished I had this many squares already sewed together and now I’ll press them and make 4 patches. It’s a great way to work on two projects at the same time. Tell me – do YOU use this method? You can’t believe how much thread you save!

Update – my eye is good – no problems. There’s sure a lot of eye drops to deal with however.

I have enjoyed knowing more about CCC from readers who commented- I’m going online to read more – SO interesting!

It’s a nice afternoon – I guess I’ll go out and mow some leaves.

38 thoughts on “Red and White Chair Covers

  1. mary

    Linda McCann is an Iowa author who has written several little books and she is currently working on one on the CCC in Iowa. I heard one of her talks and it was so fascinating.
    We were at Starved Rock State Park last week and their big lodge and cabins are CCC projects- really great place.
    Reading Where the Crawdads Sing and it is such great writing. I know, I know, it’s not book list time. But best one I’d read in awhile.
    Yes, cataracts mean lots of drops. I did that a couple years ago. You’ll be glad when both are a matched set!
    Enjoy the nice day.
    I do love red and white fabrics. My Juki machine has such a good auto thread cutter so I am off the hook for needing leader and enders. Love that feature on the machine. For the first time in my life, I’ve been sewing PINK, for our little first grand child- can’t wait for her appearance. Plus she will be named after my mom, Ada. Be still my heart. Ada June, June being another great grandma, neither are still with us. Is that not a sweet baby name? Our family is heavily weighted with boys, so boy howdy, this will be fun.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Mary- loved your pictures at the park! Went online to look at CCC and there are only two listed for Iowa and neither one is Pilot Knob or Starved Rock! So it’s a good thing Ms. McCann is working on a book.
      Did you read The Rent Collector? What did you think? I’m going to get Crawdads on my audible right now! Next week I’ll be asking for book titles again. A month gone already!

    2. CountryThreads Post author

      Mary – forgot to say that the name, Ada June, is simply lovely- reed named one of his hens Ada and his little sister’s name is June. We both love these names!

      1. Mary

        Yes, I read Rent Collector and liked it. Did You see the pix of the family?
        Crawdads also has a storyline about a girl learning to read. I like the writer’s style.
        The CCC had gobs of Iowa projects and the majority were for soil conservation. There is a little museum in one of their old buildings in Eldora @ the fairgrounds.
        Starved Rock is in Illinois but only 3 hours from us.
        My mom was named after her grandma. Mom was the most kind humble lady and would be so unbelievably touched that my Phillip is using her name. She would have cried and said “Oh my stars!” I am a baby nurse x 40 years and nobody uses this name- or Mary for that matter😂

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Mary – I did not realize Starved Rock was in IL. I was very disappointed in the Rent Collector. Plot got so twisted, I had to reread and still could not follow the thread.
          So sweet about your mom’s name!

  2. Kathy

    I love the red and white chair covers. I used your idea last spring and sewed 2 1/2” strips and made a loveseat cover that my dogs use. Now I want to do a holiday update in creams and reds after seeing yours. Is the bulls eye quilt along you wanted to do going to be in reds and creams? And yes, I also have a second project under the pressure foot too. Sunny day here too in NY. Rain coming in for Halloween though.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy – my Bullseye project after Christmas will be in brights but red and white sounds fun, too!

  3. Phyllis Briggs

    Love leader ender process. Have used it for years. Phyllis, Nicholasville, MY. I am Judy Link’s Kentucky quilting sis. Love, love all your adventures. Thanks for sharing life with all if us.

  4. Launa

    It was 26 this morning way up in Idaho and instead of rain we had fine scattered flakes of snow. Thankfully nothing accumulated on the ground; won’t be long though! Our Border Collie got her fur trimmed a bit as she loves snow and gets snowballs hanging on herself once winter deep snow arrives.

    Thanks for the great tip, Mary! Your two recliner covers look great. I plan to sandwich Cobblestones today after I finish some 9 patches for a sew along. It’s been waiting quite a while!

  5. Jody R

    I always save small scrap rectangles to use as a leader. My machine will nest underneath if I don’t. I have a little basket next to my machine that I occasionally fill up with these.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jody R – you understand that I was sewing 2 squares together. Are you using just one scrap or 2 scraps together?

  6. Diana

    I know what you mean about lots of eye drops! 2 bottles, 4 times a day, but today I can reduce one to twice a day. So confusing! I cannot see much out of my right eye, so sewing is a problem right now. Was home the whole weekend recuperating, and coldn’t sew, GRRR!!

  7. Diane in Ohio

    I have about 50 leader and ender square pairs that will be eventually one, or two, or more I Spy quilts. I just fussy cut leftover fabric that has something interesting on it and use them as leaders and enders. I read about it a few years ago in a magazine and love the idea:) It got up to 60 here in Central Ohio, but the next five days are rain and flood warnings. Ugh.
    I love all of the red and … quilts you make. Red and anything is fine with me:)

  8. Sue in Oregon

    Awhile back I went to all the trouble of cutting small pieces for leaders to keep near my machine. But, do you think I can remember to use them? No. Plus my cutter does not work well. So….I just hold the theads for three stitches and then it goes just fine.
    Where The Crawdads Sing sound good.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sue in Oregon – think how much thread you’ll be saving if you remember to use them.

  9. Sue in Oregon

    OH…I forgot to say that your red and white tiles look great. I can’t wait to see the end results. I hope you will show us.

  10. Michele

    I just started using what you call a Herman, and thought I was making such progress with my quilting knowledge (LOL) but now that I’ve learned your latest trick I don’t feel so smart and will have to start the leader/ender idea. But, then I’d have to have 2 projects going at one time and that is quite against my ‘one project at a time’ rule. May be I can change :-). Thanks for sharing another great tip.

    1. Brenda archambault

      Michelle, don’t you know that you can start 5 new projects for every one you finish! Works for me.

  11. Beth T.

    Mary, I love leader-ender projects. My only problem is that I tend to get excited about them and then throw myself whole hog into them, so that they become not just leader-enders but full-time projects. I can’t help myself!

  12. Pat Smith

    Oh my goodness, there are so many things I don’t know. I have never heard of leaders and enders. I finally Googled this technique and there it all is. Now I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks for mentioning it.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Pat Smith – you will find that not only will you save thread, you’ll be piecing another project while working on the current one. It’s just so efficient!

  13. Donna Campbell

    For Phyllis Briggs. I am in Nicholasville, KY as well! I also follow Marys’ blog. It’s a small world.

  14. Ann Barlament

    I have a shoe box next to the sewing machine, with 1-1/2 inch square. I believe I have 3 different projects started with those leaders/enders.
    Hopefully they will survive my house down-sizing / clean out!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Ann Barlament – oh, they’re so valuable! I hope they don’t succumb to the downsizing.

  15. Donna Sproston

    You told me about the leader ender trick when I visited your shop, but you did not tell me about Herman! Now I can yell, “Hermans, where are you?” when I cannot locate the stash on my cluttered table top. Mine looks like yours btw but no cats sitting there.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Donna Sproston – well until I learned about leaders and Enders, Herman worked great. Now if I have to resort to Herman, I consider it a wasted opportunity. Haha!

  16. Marsha from Kansas

    I really like your red and white chair covers. I’m working on a couple of projects using Edyta Sitar’s blue collections. Then she came out with the red and white fabrics. So – I had to tackle her block of the month with the Fat Quarter Shop with that collection. I’m a long-time Thimbleberries quilter and Lynette introduced me to the “flippy corners” as Fons and Porter calls them. Years ago, I started sewing the triangles left from the flippy corners together not knowing what I was going to do with them, but I just disliked those “Herman” wads of threads on fabric. Then Bonnie Hunter came to our guild in Wichita, Kansas, in 2014 or 2015 and I knew what the names of my flippy corners had become – Leaders and Enders! Using her common measurements, they have been getting trimmed down to 1-1/2 inches. I’ve been keeping my eyes out for patterns using scrappy half square triangles. Lots out there, just need to decide on one. First official leader-ender project I have the blocks done for is Garlic Knots (Bonnie Hunter pattern). Still not put together, but the blocks are made. Then I got her leader-ender project for last year I think it was called Rail Fence blocks made, but again needs to be put together. (See a pattern here? LOL) Now I am also working on 9-patch leader-ender blocks. Still a work in progress. Enjoyed your animal pictures a couple of blogs back. I wonder if we have any CCC projects in Kansas. I’m going to look that up! I had never heard of them before. I learn so much from you!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Marsha from Kansas – and I say the same thing about reader comments – I learn so much!

  17. Helen Jane

    Hi Mary…it is fun learning about your State. I enjoy the field trips you describe and pictures. You, Reed,Becky and the dogs all seem so joyful to be outdoors. All the farm pictures so colorful. I do remember my mother saying her younger brother worked in a CCCamp Program. CCC was implemented for a purpose (to help people and much needed). Enjoy ALL your tips and shortcuts to save time plus thread. Good to know your eye is improving. Again rain on the way in our part of Texas.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Helen Jane – you don’t need more rain! I’ve loved learning about CCC and will go online to learn more. Pilot Knob is not even listed as a CCC project in Iowa, I’ve learned.

  18. Kaye

    Hi Mary, I’m not sure why I don’t receive your newsletter, but I’d like to try to get back on your newsletter mailing list. My email had changed almost a year ago so maybe that’s why I’m not receiving them any longer. Your day to day adventures, trials and tribulations, joys and celebrations fill my imagination with love and good feelings all around! Hope you can add me! Thank you…happy Halloween and happy fall! Kaye

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kaye – I cannot add you but you can resubscribe and then confirm the email notice.

  19. Norma

    I do use leader/enders. Saves thread, saves tails,makes all neater as my machine does require a Herman! Love that second project growing too!

  20. Becky from IA/TX

    Yes, I do the leaders/enders but I do a 2 1/2 squ……great ideas she has….

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