These are the first of the blocks I wasn't really looking forward to: Le Moyne Stars.
I know I've made some of these a while ago. I've made at least one by hand and I've also tried machine piecing and I'm not in love with either method. So, my strategy has been avoidance but the quilt I'm reproducing has Le Moyne Stars so I'm making them.
To remember how to make them I've looked at books and searched through online tutorials and settled on this one from Artquiltmaker. It's different from the usual method of piecing the star and then setting in the corners squares and edge triangles.
One of the stars had a circle pieced over the star. I don't know if that was intentional or to hide a less than perfect center. I started with that one in case I needed to hide a less than perfect center.
So, following the tutorial I took a deep breath, tried to respect the bias and not sew into the seam allowance and came up with my first star.
I actually didn't need to cover the center. That's the best part of the tutorial - advice on how to get a perfect center.
Once again my stripes didn't line up and I was really trying this time. Since this block goes slower than others with no strip piecing, I made sure the stripes were lined up at each step. Somehow between the table and the sewing machine they got turned around.
I was really happy the way the block went together. My points are where they should be and it lies flat. The only problem was that it's about 1/4 inch smaller than it should be (9 1/4 inches instead of 9 1/2). One problem was that my normal presser foot didn't work because I couldn't see where I was starting and stopping so I switched to a different foot which doesn't line up the same way.
Following the tutorial, I had been making only the corners. So, I switched to lines to follow and made them a bit scanter and came up with block # 2 (still respecting the bias and not sewing into the seam allowances).
It was a tad bigger, but still not big enough and my stripes still aren't behaving. But, the center was right on underneath the applique circle. Luckily, for these blocks, the way that they are set, I can add extra sashing to make up for them coming out small.
In case you are wondering, I searched the kitchen for a circle about the right size and found a peanut jar lid. I traced it onto cardboard to make a template and gathered fabric around the circle and ironed it flat. I pinned them down and appliqued without freezer paper or starch. They may be a little off center but not by too much.
So, for block # 3 when I added the stitching line I made lines even scanter and the block turned out a perfect 9 1/2 inches.
Block # 4 also came out at the right size.
This is good. The next block I'm working on is a variation of the Le Moyne star and is more complicated and it has to be the right size. Hopefully it will be done by next weekend.