I made a second attempt at improving my piecing of a LeMoyne star block yesterday, but only after consulting some other sources on this block. This book from my personal quilt library, Perfect Piecing from Rodale Press, contained some valuable information.
The first piece of information dealt with grain line for the star pieces. It recommended aligning the length (point to point) of the star template with the straight grain of the fabric.
This is different from the way I cut the star points for my first block where two sides were parallel to the lengthwise grain and the other two were at 45-degree angles. The justification was that uniformity of all angles at 22½ degrees will reduce stretch and help to keep the block flat.
The first piecing step was to sew together four pairs of star points, starting and stopping ¼” from the edge of the patch, and backstitching to secure the seam at both ends.
The next step was to trim ¼” from one end of each pair of star points to reduce bulk in the center. To do this, I aligned a line on a 6″ x 12″ ruler along the length of the patch with the quarter-inch mark of the ruler sitting on the point where two stitching lines intersect.
The next step was to sew two pairs together to create the two halves of the star.
The next step was to take the two halves and sew them together in two separate steps, from the middle out in one direction, and from the middle out in the opposite direction.
Once together, you press all the seams in the same direction and fan the seam allowances where they come together in the center of the star.
Then you flip the block over and press from the front.
Not bad for a second attempt, but I’ll need to do better on closing that hole in the middle.