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Pumpkin Seed Quilting

The Pumpkin Seed is an elegant, classic quilting design often seen on Amish quilts. It is very adaptable; a single row can be used for narrow borders or sashes or multiple rows can fill a wide border. This traditional design can be easily free-motion quilted by machine with a minimum of starts and stops.

First, measure your border to determine the size of your repeated motif. For Kansas Troubles, the borders are 9" wide and the repeat of the pumpkin seed motif is 3". On template material, use a compass to draw a circle the size of the repeat and mark the edge at 12:00, 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00 (Fig. 1).

Fold the border in half lengthwise and press lightly to locate the center. Use the template and mark the central row of circles first, being sure to transfer the edge markings.

Using the edge marks to align your template, start marking overlapping rows of circles on both sides of the first row (Fig. 2). Continue marking as needed to fill the space (Fig. 3).



Before stitching, study Fig 4. The quilting lines are marked with arrows to indicate the direction and path you'll take. Lower the feed dogs and change to a darning foot. Starting at the top at 12:00, stitch your way down one side of a row of circles and up the side of the next. You may want to make a sample piece for practice first to get accustomed to stitching in both directions without having to stop and turn the quilt.