Stars from the Past
Classic LeMoyne Star blocks in reproduction fabrics shine against a blue background. Each block showcases a different fabric combination and color placement for nine distinctive looks. Fabrics are from the Vintage Shirting & Dress Prints 1880–1910 collection by Barbara Eikmeier for Paintbrush Studio.
Inspired by Ageless Beauty from quilt collector Tara Lynn Baisden of Sew Unique Creations
Quilt tester: Laura Boehnke
• 7⁄8 yard blue floral (sashing, border)
• 3⁄4 yard total assorted medium and dark prints (blocks)
• 3⁄4 yard total assorted light prints (blocks)
• 3⁄8 yard binding fabric
• 1-1⁄8 yards backing fabric
• 39" batting
Finished quilt: 30-1⁄2" square
Finished block: 6" square
Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42" of usable fabric width.
Measurements include 1⁄4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.
Choose Hand or Machine Piecing
We recommend piecing the blocks by hand because of the many set-in seams. Hand-stitching from dot to dot on seam lines also ensures that seam allowances aren't sewn down, allowing you to choose the direction to press each block after it is completed. If you prefer to machine-piece the blocks, stitch carefully between matching points, sewing from dot to dot.
Cut pieces in the order that follows. (The light, medium, and dark prints will be cut in the next step so you have the matching sets of pieces necessary for each block.)
From blue floral, cut:
• 2-4-1⁄2 ×30-1⁄2" border strips
• 2-4-1⁄2 ×22-1⁄2"border strips
• 2-2-1⁄2 ×22-1⁄2" sashing strips
• 6-2-1⁄2 ×6-1⁄2" sashing rectangles
From binding fabric, cut:
• 4-2-1⁄2 ×42" binding strips
Cut and Assemble Blocks
In a wonderful example of a make-do quilt, the quilt tester used light, medium, and dark prints in varying combinations in the LeMoyne Star blocks. In some blocks, light prints alternate with medium or dark prints in the stars; in other blocks, medium and dark prints alternate, resulting in stars with less contrast. Light prints make up the background of most blocks, but medium prints are used for some. To duplicate the look of this quilt, gather a scrappy mix of light, medium, and dark prints and use them in various block positions.
These instructions are for hand-piecing a block with one light print in the background and two medium or dark prints in the star. Click on "Download this Project" above for tip for hand piecing.
Click on "Download this Project" above for pattern pieces. Be sure to transfer the dots to the templates, then to fabric pieces. The dots are matching points, which are used when setting in seams.
Repeat cutting and assembly steps, assigning light, medium, and dark values as desired, to make nine LeMoyne Star blocks total.
From each of two medium or dark prints, cut:
• 4 of Pattern A
From light print, cut:
• 4 of Pattern B (or rotary-cut 1-3-3⁄4" square, cutting it diagonally twice in an X for 4 B triangles total)
• 4 of Pattern C (or rotary-cut 4-2-1⁄4" C squares)
1. Pin together an A diamond from each print, carefully aligning marked matching points (Diagram 1). Sew together between matching points to make a diamond pair, making sure you do not stitch into the 1⁄4" seam allowances (Diagram 1). Repeat to make four matching diamond pairs total, placing prints in the same positions each time.
2. In same manner, join two diamond pairs to make a star half (Diagram 2). Repeat to make a second star half.
3. Layer star halves with right sides together; pin. To prevent puckering at the center and to ensure you have the centers aligned, join halves into a star unit with two seams, beginning each seam at the center and stitching to the edges (Diagram 3). Press all seam allowances in one direction. The seam allowances should swirl neatly, reducing bulk at the center.
4. Referring to Diagram 4, sew a light print B triangle to each star unit side with set-in seams. Press seams away from triangles.
5. Referring to Diagram 5, sew a light print C square to each star unit corner with set-in seams. Press seams away from squares to make a LeMoyne Star block. The block should be 6-1⁄2" square including seam allowances.
Assemble Quilt Top
1. Referring to Quilt Assembly Diagram, lay out LeMoyne Star blocks, blue floral sashing rectangles, and blue floral sashing strips in five vertical rows. Sew together pieces in block rows. Press seams toward sashing rectangles. Join rows to make quilt center. Press seams in one direction. The quilt center should be 22-1⁄2" square including seam allowances.
2. Sew blue floral 4-1⁄2 ×22-1⁄2" border strips to long edges of quilt center. Add blue floral 4-1⁄2 ×30-1⁄2" border strips to remaining edges to complete quilt top. Press all seams toward border.
1. Layer quilt top, batting, and backing; baste. Quilt as desired.
2. Bind with binding strips.