How to draft a LeMoyne Star
September 1, 2011 § 21 Comments
Remember this quilt from this post?
Wanna learn how to draft a LeMoyne Star quilt block? (it’s the center star in this block) Okay then… follow me. Otherwise, click away to a more chatty and entertaining post.
1. Draw a square and divide it in half horizontally, vertically and diagonally. A LeMoyne Star is an 8-pointed star.
2. Using your protractor, or two pencils with a string between them, draw a circle around your block.
3. Extend the middle horizontal & vertical lines and draw a secondary square.
4. Notice the points (the red dots) where the two squares intersect. These will be the points of the Lemoyne Star.
5. Draw vertical lines & horizontal lines from those intersections that are parallel to the sides of the first square. This creates the diamond shapes in the LeMoyne Star. Color in the sections so that you can see the diamond shapes.
6. So… how big do you want your star to be? Well, the ol’ trusty Pythagorean Theorem will help us. Not a math person? Me neither! I only know the math required to make quilt blocks. Please don’t ask me about any other kind of math. If it’s not required to make a quilt, I won’t know it.
You will need a scientific calculator to figure this out. If you don’t have one, you can use this Pythagorean Theorem Calculator on the Internet.
The Pythagorean Theorem works on right triangles. Right triangles are those that have one 90º angle. You can see the triangle marked in red in the photo above. If you know the measurement of one of the sides of the triangle you can figure out the others. The formula is a² + b² = c².
I want to make a giant one block quilt and so I’ve worked out the size on EQ already. I’m really working backwards at this point. I have decided that I want to strip cut the diamonds and I want the measurements for the diamonds to be nice round numbers. So, I’ve arbitrarily decided that I will cut 7″ strips that will give me a finished measurement of 6 1/2″ – which is the measurement of “a” on the diagram above. So my a = 6.5″ and my b=6.5″.
What I want to know is the measurement of “c”. Plugging in the numbers 6.5² + 6.5² = 9.19². Each side of the diamond is the same size at 9.19″. So if I add 6.5″ + 9.19″ (for the dimension of half of the square) x 2 (for the full dimension of the square)… my block will measure 31.38″ or 31 3/8″. Add a 1/2″ to everything to include the seam allowances.
Do you know the common decimal conversions of the fractions for quilting? Here they are just in case:
- 1/8 = .125
- 1/4 = .25
- 1/3 = .33
- 3/8 = .375
- 1/2 = .5
- 5/8 = .625
- 2/3 = .67
- 3/4 = .75
- 7/8 = .875
If I make just this one block as an entire quilt top and strip cut the diamonds at 7″, my quilt should measure approximately 63″ when it is finished.
It’s not like I need to start more projects or anything… but this block has been tormenting me in the back of my mind. And… maybe it will give you something to think about over our long Labor Day weekend here in the U.S. If you don’t have a long weekend, don’t worry. I’m going to come back to this at a later date when I get some of my “have-to” sewing done.
Happy early weekend!