Mandolin Blocks – 7 out of 20 | Leaders/Enders Project

Welcome to a snowy Friday in New Hampshire! I was expecting to wake up to much more snow but plenty seems to be on the way today. Colton’s school preemptively closed last night so we’re not expecting to go anywhere and we have a big pot of chili ready to get us through. I hope you’re able to bundle up and settle in if you’re also in the path of this storm!

My recent Scrumptious finish motivated me to pull out my other handsewing project: The Mandolin Quilt. I started working on this project in 2018 and am so happy to have made a bit of progress on it over the last month or so. Let me show you!


This is my most recently finished block. I love that yellow! And that little house in the center is so sweet and feels sort of Japanese to me. There’s a small problem with this block though. I should have fussy cut the motif so that a point of the center hexie is facing UP like they are in this post. It should be easy enough to fix because I still have the fabric, so I can baste another hexie and then rip this one out and replace it. No biggie.

I am using all Liberty of London Tana Lawn in this quilt because no one does florals like Liberty. To build up my Liberty supply, I briefly joined the Fat Sixteenth Liberty Post at Duckadilly last year and then cancelled after a few shipments. I’m hoping that short membership will be enough to get me through most of the 20 blocks needed for this quilt. And they have excellent Black Friday sales, so I’ll buy the yardage for the connecting blocks during a sale and when I’m closer to finishing — and that’s unlikely to be anytime soon!

And here’s all of my completed blocks together. My heart is going all pitter-patter! I decided to rotate them all so that a flat side of the center hexie was one top for this picture and the little house on my newest block would shine in this photo. But it will definitely be fixed before I finish the next block in… six months or so??! Just kidding – I’m hoping to have another one finished within a month. That feels like a good pace to me because there are a lot of seams in this 15″ block! And I’ll probably end up replacing the blue squares in that bottom block because it looks so muddy. That was my first Mandolin block and I had a very small amount of fabric to choose from. Maybe I’ll have that done before my next update, too!?

I can’t wait to see what those dark borders are going to look like next to the connecting blocks. I’m planning to make those gray to make sure the blocks really pop in the quilt. But honestly – how could they not pop? Look at them! I love Liberty fabrics!


I’m also trying to decide on my next leaders/enders project. I finished my last one back in January (a year ago!) and can’t believe that I haven’t started a new one. I’ve got a giant basket of 1.5″ strips that I’m slowly cutting into 1.5″ squares and can’t decide if I want to do a simple postage stamp quilt (like this one) or broken dishes blocks (following this method).

I’ve started making 4 patches for the Broken Dishes quilt but then I remembered how simple a postage stamp quilt could be and found this beautiful example done over at Gigi’s Thimble. So now I’m second guessing myself! I’d be curious to know if you have a preference?

I love quilting, you guys. Why don’t I make more time for it? I have recently discovered the art of Loré Pemberton and am in love with the little scenes of domesticity she portrays and so many of her pictures include pictures of pretty patchwork quilts. These cozy little vignettes are what I want my own home to be like! And then I remind myself that I’ve made a ton of patchwork quilts already and that I do a lot to make our home as cozy as possible. Those pictures ARE our life! So really, there’s nothing to pine over and I can just keep enjoying the process, however slowly it moves. It’s quite a relief!

Okay friends, that’s it from me this week. I’m not sure if I’ll be back on Monday, but I hope you have a snug and warm weekend. Take good care!

And I’m linking up with Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching this week. I’ve been eying this linkup for a while but haven’t taken the plunge yet. Please visit the other stitchers who are also linking up!


28 thoughts on “Mandolin Blocks – 7 out of 20 | Leaders/Enders Project

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  1. I am amazed at your quilting … all those fabrics and tiny pieces (and so many stitches)! The Mandolin is really coming along and for those little squares I love the postage stamp quilt. I think it’s the scale … the abundance of all those tiny squares really shines in that design.


    1. Thank you, Mary! The Mandolin quilt is such a fun project and I’m always amazed by each unit once they’re finished. I’m always surprised that it was created by me??! And thanks for your vote on the leaders/enders quilt. I think I am going with the postage stamp. It requires a lot less planning!


  2. Mandolin is beautiful! These lovely blocks are EPP’d, right? I’d make the postage stamp quilt, so much faster than HST’s. Happy stitching, have a great snow day at home!


    1. Thanks, Gretchen! Yes — the Mandolin is EPP’d. I love this process! And thanks for your vote about my leader/ender quilt. I think postage stamp has won!!


  3. I really admire the tenacity required to sew all those tiny pieces together and then do it again and again. I would probably enjoy making one piece and then be done with it! I had to look up leaders and enders, not being a quilter myself, and I do love the idea of making something useful out of those scraps of fabric!

    Enjoy the snow and the cozy day at home!


  4. The mandolin pieces are gorgeous! I have some projects that are so old that I’m embarrassed to say. I saved them for when I retired and now that I am, well… Never give up right? (Mine projects are cross stitch and needlepoint.)


  5. Another way we are alike: We both love cozy. We live in a 1969 ranch, and I have done my best to make it cozy. I think I have succeeded. Anyway, I
    absolutely love that sweet little block. Also, really taken with Pemberton’s work.


    1. I think you’ve succeeded in making your home cozy, too! I can tell just from the pictures you’ve shared on your blog. Thanks for your kind words about my quilting — it’s been fun to do lately. And I’m so glad you’re enjoying Loré Pemberton’s artwork. I think it’s lovely!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, Katie! That mandolin block is stunning! Wow!

    I am another vote for the Postage Stamp Quilt… my goodness all those little squares are just so fun!


    1. Thanks, Kat! It’s such a fun project. And thank you for voting for the postage stamp quit. I think it’s won out because it’s going to be the easiest!


  7. That mandolin pattern is so pretty. I have long admired Liberty fabrics but have never sewn any into my quilts. I like the idea of the Postage Stamp quilt. All the little scraps just sing. I hope you enjoyed your snowy day.


  8. Your Mandolin blocks are beautiful! My heart always goes pitter patter when I see pretties stitched with Liberty fabrics.


  9. Your blocks are gorgeous – I am not a very advanced quilter so my brain is breaking a little bit on the sorcery it must take to assemble those. Personally I love the broken dishes pattern, but go with what your gut tells you – you’re the one who’s going to be doing the sewing!


    1. Thanks, Sarah! The process is deceptively simple, especially considering the complex shapes you can make while paper piecing. You’re so artsy, I bet you could do some amazing things once you learn the process!!


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