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Kernels Digital Pantograph Quilting Design



I'm an Iowa girl and corn on the cob is in season, and so I feel like this design was inevitable. It seemed appropriate to release to the Longarm League as a bonus this month (August of 2021).

Sometimes, I look back at my own hand-guided quilting for inspiration when I'm trying to come up with new digital designs. I'm talking about the days before I had my computer and this would have pre-dated my Intelliquilter by a few months.

I designed and made the quilt shown here with my guild-mates from the Central Iowa Modern Quilt Guild. It was for the QuiltCon charity challenge and the picture was taken while it was still in my studio in January of 2017. I added the corn on the cob-themed quilting to the gold background areas and added basting stitches to the white and gray areas so that my friend Riane Menardi Morrison could hand quilt it. Why did I go "all in" on the corn idea? The block that we experimented with in the quilt is called the Corn and Beans block. Shout out to the rest of our crew for this project: Carol Noyes and Erin Monfort.

I really liked varying the scale of the background "kernels", and if I remember correctly, the theme of that year's challenge was scale. So that makes sense. 

When I set out to digitize it, however, I wanted to keep it simple. 


Simple can be sweet, too. Sweet like corn. :) Corny like me. (Get me outta here.)

This sample quilt size is approximately 45" x 50". For reference in scaling the design, the pictures here show a row height and pattern height of 3.0". This number is the same because there is no gap between rows. When I set it up this way, my rows didn't always touch (but came close to touching) when I stitched them out. If you wanted them to get even closer, you could set the gap to overlap just a click or a smidge - whatever the term you'd like to use.  

FREE TIP! Because this design has such close row alignment, I like to skip using my Red Snappers along the top edge of the backing fabric when I load and go straight to pinning. The higher profile of the clamps can throw off alignment, especially upon advancing the fabric as you go along. Check out our blog post here for more tips on precise alignment.

Most of the design is back-tracking. That nearly pains me to say! But in this case, it seemed like the best solution. Watch the stitch-out in the video above to see for yourself. I feel like when a line segment is immediately re-stitched, the chances of it being spot-on are pretty darn good. Will it use a bit more thread? Probably. Will it look sloppy? Nope!

I offset every other row by 50% when I set up the design. You could really "scale" it any way you'd like it. I used quotes there because this design could very much look like scales... and I can't let a good pun go to waste. I hope you understand.

To recap, remember this design for ALL your corn and fish scale needs. 👋 I'll show myself out.


If you use this design, we'd love for you to use the hashtag #kernelspanto and tag @longarmleague so we can see what you're up to!   


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