Friend and customer John recently sent me a box with three quilt projects that need completing. These are projects his mother inherited from his grandmother. You can read about other projects I’ve completed for John here, here, and here.
The package contained 25 “LeMoyne Star” blocks pieced from micro-gingham and solid scraps. Some were hand pieced; some were machine pieced. To obtain an over-all view of the blocks, I placed them on my design wall.
Fortunately, there was the perfect number of the various backgrounds to form diagonal rows of color. “LeMoyne Star” is challenging to make correctly because of the eight “Y” seams. (Click here to read Jan Krentz’s tutorial on constructing this block.) As you might imagine, I ripped out several squares and triangles and re-sewed with 1/8″ seams in an effort to make two of the blocks a smidgeon larger.
Next, I trimmed all the blocks to 11″ square. It is a bit un-nerving to trim someone else’s work, especially since these are vintage blocks, the quiltmaker is deceased, and they will become someone else’s heirloom quilt! Sadly, many of the star points were lost in the process. On the other hand, I am creating something beautiful, useful, and memorable from a stack of blocks that have been hidden from view, utterly useless, for many years.
White sashing and borders seem the perfect complement to the blocks. The picture below shows all five rows with vertical sashing strips between the star blocks. Looking good!
The next step is shopping for pink gingham fabric for cornerstones, backing and binding. I reckon I need about six yards. (Time lapse, 4 hours, shopping trip to JoAnn’s and Hancock’s.) Alas and alack, JoAnn’s had only 1 1/2 yds. of pink gingham, poly-cotton, and not the right shade of pink. However, I found a pink tone-on-tone that blended well with all the vintage fabrics.
John correctly surmised that repeating the cornerstone pink in the outer border would lend cohesiveness and give a finished appearance to the quilt. With 10 1/2″ squares, 2 1/2″ sashing, 4 1/2″ white border and 3 1/2″ pink border, the quilt measures 80″ square.
Although I hadn’t planned on a pink border when purchasing the fabric, I had just enough fabric for border, backing and binding. (Note to self: always buy an extra yard.)
I quilted an all-over swirl-with-points design with white thread. The quilt looks so fresh and pretty; the white sashing masks the fact that the blocks are at least 35 years old. All in all, a lovely summer quilt!