In this tutorial, Deb walks you through the process of creating a traditional Lemoyne Star. The tool and technique will allow any quilter to quickly, and accurately piece traditional Lemoyne Star blocks in 10 different sizes!
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- Hey everybody, I'm Deb Luttrell with Stitchin' Heaven. And today I want to show you one of the most fun things I have found in a long time. I don't know if you know who Deb Tucker is, but she is a genius when it comes to designing rulers. You know, it's one of those things where you say, "I just want to live inside your brain for a while, "so I can figure out how you figured out "how all of this works." Well, one of her best... Well, actually, all of her rulers are great, but this one is wonderful. This is called the Rapid Fire Lemoyne Star, and this is the tool that I used to make this quilt behind me. I'm gonna tell you a few details about this specific quilt at the end, because this was actually a friendship project, and I'm gonna talk to you at the end about friendship projects. But let me show you how this works. First of all, Deb Tucker, Studio 180 Designs is the name of her company, and she writes incredible instructions. With your ruler, you're gonna have an instruction sheet like this, it's this big piece of cardboard that comes with it. And everything you need to know to put these little stars together is in this instruction sheet. You can make stars from three inches all the way up to 12 inches using this one ruler. So easy. There's no setting seams. It's also strip pieced, and there is a place where the magic happens. So you're gonna want to hang on so we can see that in just a minute. Alright, to get started, you're gonna have to determine what size star you want to make. I have chosen to make, for your demonstration purposes today, a nine inch star. The nine inch star, you just go to your chart, and you find nine inches, and it tells you very clearly here that you're gonna need to cut two and a half inch strips for your stars. And you need to cut four inch background strips. It also tells you that out of a 20 inch strip, you are going to get approximately... Well 20 inches is to make one block. And if you use the whole length of your fabric, the 40 inches, you're gonna get 11 cuts. So she gives you a lot of information in this chart right here about each size that you want to make. Alrighty, we start with... On the nine inch block, we're gonna start with the two and a half inch strips, and the four inch background. So the strips, two and a half inch strips, are gonna be the colors. That's actually gonna be our star. And then the background. I have chosen two pieces of fabric. You can do this out of the same fabric, but I chose a purple and a orange just for demonstration purposes. Make it a little easier for us to keep up with. The purple is gonna be our A side, and the orange is gonna be our B side. Now, you can follow along with these instructions, and you're not gonna have any problems. There are just a couple of things, though, I want to point out to you. When you start to sew, you're going to sew on the A side. You're gonna come down how ever wide your strip is. So for a nine inch strip, nine inch square, you're gonna start sewing about two and a half inches from the end. Now I'm not gonna measure this, I'm just gonna eyeball it. It's nothing... You don't have to do very much here on this project that you're gonna have to do that is exact. So I'm gonna sew this. I'm gonna use my quarter inch seam down the side. And I'm gonna go ahead and sew this while we're here. Alrighty. So... Just take your normal quarter inch seam. And you're just gonna sew. Now I just did a 20 inch length here, just for demonstration purposes. When you're actually making your star, go ahead and cut a 40 inch with a fabric strip. Because you're gonna be wanting to make several of these stars, you're not just gonna want to make one. Alright. And when we get to that... Alright, so there's that side. The other side is a little tricky, because you're gonna put... Your A side goes to the right side of your strip, and your B piece goes to the left side of your strip. So we're gonna do the same thing, we're gonna bring it down about two and a half inches before we start sewing. And then... We turn it over so we can get it on that right side. And again, follow your quarter inch. This is very forgiving though. If your quarter inch is a little big or a little small, that's okay, and you'll see in a minute why. You know, I was telling you about the magic of Deb Tucker. Well you're really gonna love this. Alright. Now... Once we get that sewn, the next little thing that you want to pay attention to... Oops, why is my pattern not working? Next thing you want to pay attention to is the pressing. That's your next step. I'm gonna bring my ironing mat over here so I can show you this. If I can do that. Well. My iron cord is, there we go, stuck. Thanks to my little assistant helping me out over there. Alright. Now, the other thing that's a little strange here with this strip is... And Deb Tucker shows this right here in your instructions. The A top needs to be pressed to the... Well both of these need to be pressed the same direction, is basically what she's saying. So when you open this up... She wants the A top piece to be going toward the background. Alright? So we're gonna press this toward the background. And just make sure that when you're doing your pressing, you don't have any... You know, your seam is good and tight there. Alright. And so, according to our picture there, this one goes, this seam goes this way. And this seam will go the same direction. So with this, all we have to do, we need to try to remember to set our seams every time when we press. That just helps with not getting those creases in there. And then this one, you can just peel over like this. And press it. And it's gonna become clear in just a minute, why we need to do it this way. Alright, so I'm gonna set that aside, and I'm gonna take my pieces that are pressed. Then what we're gonna do is, we're going to nest these on top of one another, woo! Just like this. We're gonna put our A piece on top. And those pieces will just... You can feel it right there. When you get that right, that's gonna go right together, because we've pressed it properly. And then you can just kinda nest those together. Okay, our next step is going to be to cut this. Now I want you to make sure, when you go to cut this, that you follow these instructions. And you make sure your A piece is on top, and you make sure your strip is at the bottom like this. Just follow the instructions. You know, Deb is so awesome. She even gives left handed instructions for those of you who are left handed. So I think that's very thoughtful, and those of you who are left handed will appreciate that. So, the next thing we're going to do is, we're going to cut this. You're going to take a ruler. And you're going to line it up on the 45 degree line. I use the seam line right here. And I'm gonna take my Deb Tucker ruler, and put it right here, along this line, just to make sure I have the right angle. And go ahead and scooch that down to the corner, so you'll have as much width of this cutting as you can. Alright. You're gonna make your first cut. Then your subsequent cuts are going to be the width that you cut your star strip. So in this case, if you'll remember, that is two and a half inches. And this varies for the different sizes, but for a nine inch block, nine inch finished block, you're gonna cut two and a half inch segments. So I'm gonna cut this one. And I'm gonna cut it again. And again, I can line up my 45 degree angle here, and I know I've got the right angle. Okay. We're gonna cut one more. I'm gonna line up on my same, so I know I've got the right angle. I'm gonna keep these nested as good as I can. And then my last one, you need four cuts to make a star. So this is my last cut to make this star. Line it up there just to make sure I have the right angle. Alright. Now, once you have your four segments cut, you need to cut off a triangle. And I know this is kinda weird. And just bear with me. You're gonna see how this all goes together. There's really no measuring here, which is really kinda cool. You just have to make sure it's at a 90 degree. So you put your line of your ruler on the line of your mat. Line it up close to where your point is, and you make a cut. Don't be nervous that you're not measuring, because what you're doing is you're cutting oversized triangles that you're gonna cut down later. So put your line on your mat, and then line your ruler up on a straight line. And just cut some 90 degree triangles off of those pieces. Okay? And you'll need to do that four times per block. And there's three, and here is number four. Alright, once you get those triangles cut... The next thing you're gonna do is sew them back together. Now... There's really, again, no measuring here. You're gonna take... Let's see here. You're gonna take your A piece and your B piece, and you're gonna put a triangle on the top of it right here. Okay, of each piece. So you see, you just kinda eyeball what the center is, 'cause you're gonna trim all of this down later. And then you're gonna sew those together. Again using a quarter inch seam. Now what I like to do on these, is to chain piece them. For those of you who don't know what chain piecing is, that's where you have a continuous seam. You don't cut your thread in between. You just raise your, press your foot, put your next piece down, and then just keep going. Okay? So we're gonna sew all of those together. And I think I have a set over there I've already sewn, but I'm gonna sew a couple of more just so you get the idea of what we're doing here. Again, use your quarter inch seam. And just eyeball this. Just make sure you have the same amount on this end as you have on this end. There's no need to measure. You're gonna be close enough, trust me. Alright. So once we get all of those sewn together, we're gonna cut them apart. Let's pretend we've sewn these two together as well. Now here is another place that's a little tricky. And again, this is in your instruction right here, where it talks about this. You're gonna have your A piece and your B piece, your A side and your B side. Your A side, this pressing is important. And I'm doing this from the back, okay? So I put my A side... My purple's my A side, and my orange is my B side. So I am going to press both of these seams in the same direction. So my A side is going to go to the right, and my B side is going to go to the right. So you go through and you press all of those. Alrighty. Now I have pressed some of those already. This is where the real magic happens. So... Again, you've got your instructions here. Deb takes you through this step by step. What you're gonna do is you're going to take these. The other thing that Deb Tucker does... It's very very easy at this point to try to sew these together, to just say, "Oh, I'm ready to sew." In Deb Tucker's instructions, she says in black bold letters right here, "Stop before you take another stitch." You know, she does that for a reason. I can guarantee you, when you make a project like this, you are going to sew this before you do your cutting. It just, I don't know, there's something about it. But it's always funny because my friends and I laugh about that, and we look at each other, and we go, "Stop before you make another stitch." Because if you do sew them together, you get to rip them out, 'cause they won't work. Alright, this is where the magic of the Deb Tucker ruler comes in. It's called the Rapid Fire Lemoyne Star ruler. What you're going to do with these, is you're going to... Put them... I use a Martelli mat on this, because you need a good rotary mat to be able to do this. And I hope you can see this really clear. But it has the different sizes on this ruler. Okay? And we want the nine inch. And so what you're going to do is, square this up to that nine... You're gonna trim this up to that nine inch. And this has got the lines right here, that you line up to so that you are gonna be accurate with this. So what I'm gonna do is, I'm going to just trim this down, on all of my little pieces. Okay. You see there's the nine inch there, nine inch there. Trim it down. And this is a very important step. If you don't do this trimming, this is the whole point of the ruler, really. And if you don't do this trimming, then your block is not gonna work. So, we're gonna do this one. And usually what I do is, I do several blocks. And then when I get to this point, I just go to my cutting mat. And I do them all at once. Okay, so this is going to solve a multitude of sins, because anything that you have done that is not exactly right, you're going to be able to be forgiven right here. There's the nine and the nine. Oops. Oh, I'm glad that slipped, because I wanted to say this to you. This ruler does have the Invisi-Grip on the back. And I highly highly recommend that you put Invisi-Grip on this ruler. It's a film that goes on the back of any of your rulers that don't have grippers. You really do need something to help with the slipping. And that Invisi-Grip will keep your rulers from slipping. So be sure and pick up a package of that. It's got enough in it that you can do several rulers with it. Alright, I'm almost finished here. With the magic. ♪ This is the magic ♪ Okay. And it's just little slivers that you're cutting off and it makes a huge difference. Alright. Here's my last one. Alrighty. Done with that. Now then, what I'm going to do is I am going to sew these together. My A side and my B side, I'm gonna sew together like this. The reason you wanted to pay so much attention to your pressing is because when you sew these together, this is going to nest at that seam right there. You can put a pan in there if you would like. I typically don't. I just can hold it with my sewing machine, and they nest together so well that I don't feel like a pin is necessary. When I get to that little place, I usually adjust. Because at this point, you are sewing on the bias. So you do need to be careful not to stretch anything out. Alright, I'm gonna take another one. I'm gonna lock my seam in here. Hold it up to the top. Again, take your quarter inch seam. When I get to that little seam, that's gonna lock. I stop and adjust. I'm gonna do... So these blocks are made up of four segments. And again, this is chain piecing. For those of you who have never done chain piecing, you do not have to break your thread after every... Lock zone. And I'm gonna have one final one here. Alright. Alright. Excellent. Alright, I'm going to cut these apart. Now... When you open these up, you will see that your intersections of those stars are gonna be perfect. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna open these up. We are going to put them together. Press your seams to the same side, so press them all to the right. Of course your seams go in the same direction. And then when you get them all put together, you will have a perfect Lemoyne Star. This is one of the most difficult blocks in quilting to make, that Deb Tucker has made just incredibly easy. Now let me explain this to you guys. So I'm not gonna take the time to sew this together while we're here. But I do want to tell you something. Once you've finished this, you're going to square this up to a nine and a half inch square. Use a square ruler, and square this up to a nine and a half inch square. I want to talk to you about this quilt behind me. This quilt is very precious to me, because it was a friendship quilt. And we chose this method to make a friendship quilt with a group that I sew with. It was, there were five of us, Billie and Kay and Dana and Mary Beth and I. And what we did was we chose the black and white background, and we made sure everybody agreed that we wanted black and white and not black and ivory. And we also assigned color groups to each person. So all the blocks I made were multi color. I got the multi color color group. But Mary Beth made purple, and Dana made pink, and Billie made orange and yellow. And then we made all our blocks. We made a certain number of three inch. We made a certain number of six inch, a certain number of nine inch, and a certain number of 12 inch. And then we exchanged our blocks. So it became a real group project, and it was a lot of fun. One of the things that made this so nice was the fact that once you put the blocks together, you square them up. Our agreement was that when we exchanged blocks, they would not be squared up. And then each person could square them up to whatever size they wanted to have in their quilt. So if you do any kind of a friendship group, you may want to think about getting a Deb Tucker Rapid Fire Lemoyne Star, is what this is talking, is what this is called. Okay. That is our lesson for the day. I hope you have enjoyed doing this as much as I have enjoyed showing you. I invite you to please subscribe to our YouTube channel, and we'll see you next time. This is Deb Luttrell from Stitchin' Heaven.