Here is how the LeMoyne Star block progressed. After I sewed 2 diamond pairs together, I inset a square piece. Here are two of these larger units ready to be pieced together.
I sew these together, starting at the right side of the block, taking another stitch on top of my last stitch at the center of the star. I then move the needle through to the other side of the star and stitch the star from the center to the left edge. Once these two main pieces are sewn together, I inset a square into the two remaining empty corners. Now, on to the ironing board. Up until now, I haven't pressed anything yet. I start pressing the seams in one direction (either clockwise or counter-clockwise). It makes no difference as long as you are consistent. This is the back of the block pressed.
Notice how the seams of the star all spiral in one direction. Here is a close-up of the center of the star (sorry, I should have used fabrics with more contrast). The center will spiral too.Here is the front of the block.
It's all ready to be pieced into the top - I will set them all together by machine.
I'll try to answer some of the questions posed. I know some hand piecers try not to stop and start sewing on a block. What I mean is, they try to use one length of thread on a needle without stopping and knotting. I understand the theory behind it - less time used knotting and supposedly a stronger seam without knots - but I don't work this way. For one thing, it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks and I have never had a problem with my blocks coming apart. So, I sew small units together and knot and then start another unit. So, I would not be concerned with weaving the thread along a seam line to pick up another piece. Just stop and start - much easier.
The needles I like to use vary. What I want is a long, thin needle. This allows for putting on a lot of stitches when using the running stitch. The long thin needles I like best are either a milliner or a straw needle. A thin applique needle works too. A traditional "all-purpose" hand sewing needle is too fat to allow loading a lot of stitches. I think putting a lot of stitches on the needle helps to keep your stitches small, even and straight.
Remember this is the first day of the Pillow Talk Blog Hop and Comfortstitching is the first stop!
And I hope your cupboards and fridges are stocked as we are going to get a Groundhog Day for the ages - if you believe the forecasters. Bring it on, as long as we don't lose power!
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