Bonnie Hunter, scrap queen extraordinaire, introduced a concept to us quilters a couple of years ago that was one of those "duh" moments. Many quilters will use a strip of scrap fabric at the end of a chain of patches. This is the Ender. It saves you from pulling out the last piece, having 3 or 4 inches of blank thread hanging out there. Then when you start the next chain of patches you have that 3 or 4 inches hanging out the beginning of the chain. It needs to be cut off eventually and tossed. Just more work and a waste of thread.
When you sew on to that scrap of fabric it also keeps the thread ends from tangling and becoming a rat's nest under your first piece. I would have two, one for the beginning of one chain and one for the beginning of the next (so I wouldn't have to cut that first Or, if only using one, I would cut the beginning off and use it to start the next chain. A "leader" and an "ender".
Somewhere in there Bonnie Hunter began to use scrap pieces from her scrap bucket as her leaders and enders. Duh! We all said: How come we didn't think of that?
If you keep a stack of small pieces by the side of your sewing machine to use as Ls and Es you will be amazed at how quickly you can sew them together. And in no time you will have a "free" quilt!
Bonnie has a book called Leaders and Enders to help you get ideas about putting the pieces together and how to set up your workspace to make it easy to just pick up a set of blocks and use either as a leader or an ender. You can see her book and the discussion of this technique at: