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2011 – Jim’s Altered Lemoyne Star


This quilt was hand pieced by my brother Jim who was born with one hand. To piece this quilt, he used his left arm and knee (much like I would use my left hand) while he stitched with his right.

Jim started this quilt MANY years ago.  One afternoon as we were visiting, we got on the conversation of quilts and I remembered this partially completed top.  When I asked him about it, he searched in his closet and pulled out the top and enough finished blocks to make a full plus size quilt.  Since the top had been abandoned for over 20 years, I offered to finish the quilt.  He gave me the top and blocks.

I added the blocks to the quilt, then hand stitched borders from my own stash, purchased mottled black wide backing fabric, Hobbs Poly Down batting and ecru Gütermann and YLI threads.  It’s quilted within the printed fabric, 1/4″ from the seams with a Celtic-style border and hand stitched mottled gray binding.

Because life kept getting in the way, this quilt took over 2 years to complete.  When I presented the finished quilt to Jim, he LOVED it and petted it and tried it on his bed.  He then folded it up and presented it to me.  It’s a much loved treasure.


Jim's Altered Lemoyne Star 2011

Jim’s Altered Lemoyne Star 2011

Jim's quilt detail

Jim’s quilt detail

Jim's quilt back

Jim’s quilt back


29 Comments     0 Pings

By Georgia Tue Jul 16th 2013 at 12:08 pm  

Absolutely beautiful…where might I find the pattern?

By shirlsu Tue Jul 16th 2013 at 12:25 pm  

Thanks Georgia! This is an old traditional pattern found in lots of places on the Net. Here’s one I found: http://www.quiltmag.com/resources/quilt103-the-lemoyne-star-quilt-block/
Jim altered the pattern by changing the corner squares into 1/2 square triangles. This gives the pattern a nice sub-design and more movement.

By Lori Tue Jul 16th 2013 at 12:30 pm  

Your quilt is just beautiful and what a touching story to go with it. They are both so inspirational. Thanks for sharing. May your seams be straight and filled with love.

By shirlsu Tue Jul 16th 2013 at 1:09 pm  

Thanks Lori.

By Lauren aka Giddy99 Tue Jul 16th 2013 at 1:08 pm  

It’s so beautiful! And how generous to give it to you! 🙂

By shirlsu Tue Jul 16th 2013 at 1:17 pm  

Thanks Lauren. I was floored when he gave it to me so I offered him visiting rights. When he visits, he always uses it.

By Belle Tue Jul 16th 2013 at 1:20 pm  

WOW This quilt would be outstanding if only because Jim did this with just one hand but the detail shows the great care and precision that went into the the piecing. I am extremely impressed as I am sure more experienced quilters also are.

By shirlsu Tue Jul 16th 2013 at 1:35 pm  

Thanks Belle. I remember Jim taking extra care while piecing the stars to make certain the center points all came together precisely. He added extra stitches to keep them tight. He did a nice job and his stitches are small so the quilt should last for generations. My son is already looking forward to inheriting it.

By Lynne Mulcahey Tue Jul 16th 2013 at 1:36 pm  

outstanding work show it off in a quilt show it will get you a blue ribbon I am sure of that

By shirlsu Tue Jul 16th 2013 at 1:46 pm  

Thanks Lynne but my quilting stitches aren’t that good. I do a “Morse Code” style of stitching…. dot, dot dash, dash, dot. My son who can read Morse code always claims there is a subliminal message in each of my quilts. I claim each says “Stop looking at my lousy stitching!”

By Ronda Martin Tue Jul 16th 2013 at 2:48 pm  

I love this quilt and I love the story that went with it.

My grandmother, my mom’s mom, when she was a little girl her brother chopped off most of her hand with an axe on purpose!!!! She was an expert seamstress and could make everything without a pattern using on the one hand she had. I was never blessed to get to know her but I was inspired by her to be a quilter! It is so amazing what people can do once they set their mind to it.

Blessings to your brother and to you for doing this for him.

By shirlsu Tue Jul 16th 2013 at 3:45 pm  

Thanks Ronda. Jim was always treated like the other kids and was expected to do all the things kids do. He has nearly no limitations.

By Ethel Thoma Tue Jul 16th 2013 at 3:01 pm  

Awesome -Awesome Love the scrappy look & to think it was done by hand !

By shirlsu Tue Jul 16th 2013 at 3:46 pm  

Thanks so much, Ethel.

By Belarmina Tue Jul 16th 2013 at 3:16 pm  

Este quilt tiene una historia muy tierna
felicidades para los dos g
¡¡¡gran trabajo!!!!

By shirlsu Tue Jul 16th 2013 at 3:40 pm  

Gracias. Fue un honor para ayudar a hacer este quilt

By Rose Tue Jul 16th 2013 at 5:59 pm  

Gorgeous quilt! You are so lucky to have a brother who shares your love of quilting. I just love how he gave you the quilt too.

By shirlsu Tue Jul 16th 2013 at 6:54 pm  

Thanks Rose. Me too!!!

By Kathleen Tue Jul 16th 2013 at 7:15 pm  

Hello Shirlsu, I have been a sewer for 40 or so years. I couple of years ago I decided to learn how to Quilting. You brother is a very clever man & generous. My curiosity is piqued. Ronda why did your grandmothers’ brother chop her hand off? Curiosity will kill this cat one day.

By Lena Szmadyla Tue Jul 16th 2013 at 9:30 pm  

This is work of love to treasure forever.

By shirlsu Wed Jul 17th 2013 at 1:59 am  

I totally agree, Lena. I often look at it in total awe.

By Jennifer Tue Jul 16th 2013 at 10:10 pm  

What an awesome story. Some of us have hard things to deal with and some deal with those things with grace and style. Hat’s off to your brother, Jim. I congratulate him on the work he did. It looks amazing. I know I could not have done better.

God bless Jim.


By shirlsu Wed Jul 17th 2013 at 1:57 am  

Thanks Jennifer. I’ll be sure to forward your thoughts to him.

By Melanie Wed Jul 17th 2013 at 6:51 am  

What a beautiful achievement! The placement of color, and design is outstanding! This quilt should be cherished forever!

By shirlsu Wed Jul 17th 2013 at 4:05 pm  

Thanks Melanie. It will be loved forever!

By thelma tebault Thu Jul 18th 2013 at 9:03 am  

I love the quilt LeMoyne Star. I am not a big quilter now but have made several baby quilts.

By shirlsu Thu Jul 18th 2013 at 11:37 am  

Thanks Thelma. I bet those baby quilts are wonderful treasures. Hope you continuing stitching.

By Linda T Lovett Tue Feb 14th 2017 at 8:28 am  

This beautiful quilt & story has inspired a quilt I am making for a Vietnam Veteran. And so the story goes on. http://blog-longarming.weebly.com/blog/americana-batiks-casual

By shirlsu Tue Feb 14th 2017 at 1:26 pm  

I’m a lover of all things batik and the quilt you’ve designed is gorgeous! So glad you’ve found inspiration in Jim’s quilt. I will pass your message on to him. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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