Monthly Archives: September 2013

June BOM – LeMoyne Star

Hi everyone,

I’ve been cheating a little and looking ahead to see what’s to come in my Craftsy BOM class (as I’m already way behind!) and I decided to skip the May blocks for now as they seem more scrappy and I’d rather do the bigger blocks first to make sure I don’t run out of a particular fabric I may need.  So I decided to give the June BOM, a LeMoyne Star.  This block was very intimidating to me as I’ve never  worked with diamonds, with so many points and biased sides, or even Y-seams.  I’d read a few posts from others about how complicated the process is, and how careful you need to be, so needless to say that as a beginner sewer, I was thinking I might be way out of my league.  But I hunkered down and got into it 🙂

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I started by colouring in my chart to decide which colours/fabrics I wanted where, and then proceeded to make strip sets which I then cut down to two 2.5″ wide parallelograms to make all of the star parts.  The next step was the trickiest part, attaching the parallelograms together to make each of the star diamonds.  I’ve never before worked with these shapes (while quilting), and so I had a hard time following the instructions here.  I ended up by creating my own method which ended up working perfectly every time!

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I started by drawing a line 1/4″ across the seam on each of the sides to be joined.  I then stuck a needle exactly through the point where my line intersected the diagonal seam and did the same on the second piece, making sure that good sides were together.  I then pinned it like crazy to make sure it wouldn’t move and then sewed across.  Give it a go, it really works!

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The rest of the star went pretty smoothly.  As I had marked all my pieces, sewing Y-seams was actually pretty easy, simply a matter of going from point to point, and never beyond.  I have a fancy option on my sewing machine that allows it to stitch three time in place before moving on to sew, which was great as it reinforced my stitches without my having to backstitch and risk going too far.

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Here is my completed LeMoyne Star, in fact, my very first star block!  I’m really happy with it.  Only a few of the sections got a little distorted and for the most part, my points/intersections match up 🙂  Wow, what a sense of satisfaction!  I’m really happy that I decided to give it a go, even though I was warned it would be tough.  I learned a TON on this one, and I can’t wait to give my next BOM a go!

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April BOM – Fan Block

Hi everyone,

So it’s finally time to show you my Fan Block!  This was a serious trial and error as I wanted my block to look quite different from the Craftsy class one, and so I had to slightly modify the instructions for it to work.  These were the templates I created from template plastic and some of my work in progress about a week ago.

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At this point, however, I have to say I had a pretty serious mental block.  I was frustrated with myself because I couldn’t seem to get the hang of a proper 1/4″ seam.  I always ended up with wider seams then I intended, and thus my blocks always ended up smaller than they should.  Since this block was full of curved seams, I was worried that my pieces wouldn’t fit if I continued as I had been.  And so I put the block aside and stopped working on it…  I saw a video of Leah Day on getting past Quilting Ruts yesterday, and it pushed me to give my fan block another go.

So this evening, I practiced over and over again.  I measured out 1/4″ and gave myself a guide on my sewing machine, and eventually I got very close.  The curved seams weren’t too bad either, I simply used a TON of pins to keep everything in place as I sewed, and it worked out great 🙂

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The centre piece was appliqued on using some fusible web, my first experience with a glue-based quilting product.  I used “Heat n Bond Lite” which worked very well and easily on my first try.  After ironing the centre on, I then machine sewed using the Applique Stitch Pattern on my sewing machine.  And so, without any further ado, here is my finished Fan Block!

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Have you ever done curved piecing?  Did you find it a difficult process?  I found it to be quite time consuming, but I have to say, it feels pretty good to have successfully completed the block!  This Craftsy 2013 BOM is such a wonderful class.  As a true beginner sewer, I love the challenges it forces me to deal with. Already I have learned so much, and I’m excited to get started on my next block! I’m certain my final quilt won’t be perfect, but I can’t wait to put it all together and feel that sense of accomplishment.  It’s going to be awesome 🙂