I’ve been talking a lot about LeMoyne Star quilt blocks recently because they’re so fascinating! The story behind this block has been a favorite of mine ever since I learned about it, so I have to share it with you.
The LeMoyne Star quilt block is a traditional block that makes lovely star quilts. In the past, this quilt block has been referred to as “Star of LeMoyne” or “Lemon Star.” The widely-used name of this block is “LeMoyne Star,” with a capital “M,” although it has been written using a lowercase “m,” as in “Lemoyne Star.”
Yvonne M. Khin, author of The Collector’s Dictionary of Quilt Names & Patterns, gives us a peek into the history of this quilt block. Khin references The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in America, explaining that the LeMoyne Star quilt block is named after brothers Jean Baptiste and Pierre LeMoyne, who founded the city of New Orleans in 1718. French speakers named and referred to the 8-pointed star as LeMoyne; “however, in the North, the non-French-speaking quilters renamed it LEMON STAR, shortening the original name,” (p. 194).
A favorite LeMoyne Star quilt is Links by Deb Tucker. This is a special quilt that was designed without set-in piecing! To bypass the Y-seams, Deb used her Rapid Fire LeMoyne Star Template to create the blocks with ease.
If you’re not interested in using a template, but still aren’t keen on set-in seams, Kathy Patterson describes a tutorial taught by Erin Russek:
Erin taped a short video for us demonstrating the coolest way of making LeMoyne Star quilt blocks I’ve ever seen. The LeMoyne Star quilt block falls somewhere in between the super-easy and super-challenging. With 8 diamond-shaped star points, the traditional way to piece these beauties is to set-in triangle and square patches at the sides and corners after the star points are sewn together. Now, a lot of us are not big fans of set-in seams. It’s not that they’re actually hard, but they do take some time and usually some pinning, and your first few attempts may not be 100%….stellar!
Watch the LeMoyne Star Quilt Block Without Set-In Seams video below. The cutting instructions for the patches, etc. are in the McCall’s Quilting September/October 2015 issue on the Block Builders Workshop page.
Another quilt featuring this lovely star quilt block is Liz’s LeMoyne Star by Liz Porter. It makes great use of scraps and features an eye-catching green print that leaves a lasting impression. The Rapid Fire Tool and Erin’s technique work perfectly with this quilt.
A couple of other projects that showcase the LeMoyne Star quilt block, but aren’t as time-consuming, are the Under the Tree tree skirt and Cosmic Stars table runner. They’re both holiday specific, but for quilters, it’s never too early (or late) to get started on seasonal projects.
LeMoyne Star blocks make beautiful quilts that are worth the time and effort. With a little bit of guidance and some motivation, this quilt block will be on your to-done list in no time!