This 8-point star quilt pattern is known by many names: ‘ LeMoyne Star’, ‘Puritan Star’ and ‘Lemon Star’, to name a few.
Who first created the pattern?
Theory #1: Versailles, the home of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, may have been the first location where this pattern was used. Here’s how the story goes: Jean-Louis LeMoyne designed tiles with this pattern for Versailles and also created sculptures for the palace in the early 1700s. Somehow, this pattern made its way to his cousin’s coat of arms. See Theory #2.
Theory #2: LeMoyne brothers Pierre and Jean Baptiste founded New Orleans and this particular star pattern is prominent in Jean Baptiste’s coat of arms.
Theory #3: It all started as the ‘Puritan Star’ in New England.
Theory #4: “LeMoyne Star” was pronounced as “Lemon Star” by the English speakers in America.
Quite a melting pot of theories, huh? Regardless of the true origin, here’s what makes this pattern unique: It has 8 points and each of the outside angles are 45 degrees.
“It can be a hard square to make,” comments 87-year-old quilter Esther Swift of Nobleboro, Maine. “You have to make sure those points line up.” With 109 quilts to her credit, Swift knows what she’s talking about!
When in Washington, DC, stop by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History to see an early 1800’s LeMoyne Star pattern quilt. It was handsewn in North Carolina and made out of cotton and wool, which were common clothing fabrics at that time.
Below is a picture of this quilt, with much appreciation to The Smithsonian for sharing it on-line.
The LeMoyne Star is featured in many of our quilts, including our Amherst, Bradley, Chambray and Tea Cabin Bedding Collections.
Do you love quilting history?
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