Lemoyne Star has always been one of my favorite quilt blocks. In fact, it is the block I made for my first quilt, a queen-size. I made a cardboard template, drew around it onto the wrong size of the fabric, cut the diamonds out with scissors, and hand pieced the blocks. I also hand pieced the sashing and borders, then to top it off, hand quilted it on a quilting frame. To sew a quilt using the sewing machine was a no-no. It wasn't unheard of, though; I do have an antique quilt top that was machine pieced in the early 1900s.
On with the new. I discovered the Rapid Fire Lemoyne Star ruler designed by Deb Tucker for Studio 180 about five years ago. I loved the results I'd seen with this ruler, but the instructions! It was just too much for me to wrap my head around! Well, now Wendy has been teaching this ruler technique in the Tucker University classes, and it has made me want to give it a try. I found out quickly that when you take the instructions one step at a time, it is very understandable and easy to follow. There are other methods out there now for making Lemoyne Star blocks that work very well, but I really like this technique from Deb.
There are patterns available from Studio 180, but you can easily design your own simple quilt just by choosing the block size you want, the quilt size you want, and then the number of blocks to make.
Then the fun part: choosing your fabrics! Scrappy or controlled colors and prints, modern or traditional, prints or solids. Select your background fabric.
The chart in the instruction folder tells you how wide to cut strips for your star prints and your background fabric. Prints and background are sewn into strip sets in mirror images.
Pressing seams in the correct direction throughout (this is important), laying units out as shown in the diagrams, and reading instructions carefully all make this so simple and something to get excited about when it is all done.
These bright colors are what I used for my first attempt, making 12" blocks. Sashing between the blocks helps eliminate some of the bulk in seams when sewing blocks into rows. In this case I wanted the blocks to float, so I used white. When all is finished the sashing won't even be noticeable.
I completed the quilt with a narrow white border around it. This stabilizes all those seams around the perimeter, yet still gives my quilt that border-less look.
But just this simple block with simple setting can make a stunning quilt. Your creativity might be in the fabrics you choose. Don't like choosing fabrics? Don't trust your selection? Pick up a 12-Pack fat quarter bundle to begin with. I can see this in 1930s prints, 1800s reproduction, solids, French General, Fig Tree prints, Kansas Troubles...the possibilities go on. Try a tone-on-tone group of many colors, or an autumn or Christmas look. I bet you have something in your collection at home you can begin with.
Find the Rapid Fire Lemoyne Star ruler on our website or in the shop and get sewing! Oh, and we will be happy to help you through the steps. Better yet, take a class.