Lemoyne Stars have always been a favorite of mine, although they take a little time I think it is time well spent.
I have gone through some of the pieces of scrap fabrics in my stash, finding some interesting combinations and started to make Lemoyne star blocks. At first just to play with the technique and then because I was having so much fun I kept making them until I had a pile. Now to decide what to make with all these gorgeous blocks.
Have you ever made these lovely stars? I always found them a little intimidating but with a few a steps that are tried and true I found them easy.
Here's how I went about making mine.
Tip #1 First is the cutting, it is important to take your time and make sure your cutting is accurate. Always include the lines on your ruler in the cut piece, So for instance if it is a 2 inch cut make sure the 2 inch line is included and not butted up against the edge of your fabric.
Tip #2 Layout all your pieces beside you at the sewing machine, in the order they are sewn to make the star.
Tip #3 A backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam is important when you press your seams open.
Tip #4 Use a fine piecing thread, top and bobbin. (my preference is a 60 weight polyester)
Tip #5 Press seams as you sew, I press my seams with a dry iron. Then when the block is finished I spritz the block with water and press the block to flatten the seams. Then leave the block under a tailors clapper until it is completely dry.
Tip #6 Don't fuss with sewing Y seams, its only sewing from one point to another.
Here is my block pieces laid out as I am about to sew them.
The first unit I sew together are the star blades and the side triangles. I sew all star blades for the block together, stopping a 1/4 inch before the end and doing one or two backstitches. Press the seams open with a dry iron. Then sew the triangle pieces on one side at a time, starting at the center and sewing to the outside of the block. Backstitching beginning and end in the same manner. Press the seams towards the star blades as you can see in the picture above using a dry iron.
In this picture I have sewn all the parts together for several blocks.
I then lay out the pieces in the order they are sewn and sew two units together for each side of the star. Stopping 1/4 inch from the outside edge and backstitching.
Press seams open with a dry iron.
A stack of Lemoyne star halves ready to sew together.
Piece together the center seam, leaving 1/4 inch at each end and backstitching. I start sewing 1/4 inch from one side of the center and sew to the 1/4 inch mark at the end of the seam, then go back to where I started stitching and sew in the other direction to 1/4 inch before the other end of the seam and backstitch. I think it helps keep the center aligned sewing the seam in this manner. Check the where the center of the seam aligns before sewing the second half, in case you need to adjust it.
Sew the outside squares to the block in the same manner as the triangles to finish the block. Press with a dry iron, then spritz the block with water (or I sometimes use flatter or Mary Ann's best press) and press again. I place a tailor clapper onto the block and leave it until the block is completely dry, this keeps my seams lovely and flat.
I need to sew more stars, but here is my layout so far, thinking about an applique center using this basket as my inspiration.
You can never have too many stars.....
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Many times I end up with scrap pieces that have already been cut into triangles or have a 45 degree cut on the end of a strip that is not useful for anything else. read more about my process.