Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Bargello, creating a complex looking quilt.

The easiest quilt top.

It takes 16 hours to do, (4 x 4 hours).

A twisted Bargello, this pattern appeared in an Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine, many years ago.  The original pattern had a lot of writing.  After reading it a couple of times, I drafted a pattern, with a few diagrams and photos, as per the written text. This quilt is fat quarter friendly, it takes 20.  Plus the three border fabrics.  Bargellos are all about blending, creating almost seamless values,  between colours.

Step 1.

Tape doublesided sticky tape to a piece of stiff card stock.  Then number 1 to 20.  Now place a piece of each fabric, which is sorted according to value/colour in order of  the pattern requirements.  This is the most important point of reference,  which one will use,  for the whole pattern. (Keep this card handy when creating the columns, it helps with staying on the right track).

Step 2.

Cut all the fat quarters into strips, in this case one and a half inches wide.

Step 3.

To make sure the seams lock, one has to stitch the rows together in this manner. Strip 1 and 2 , then 3 and 4,  all in the same direction, from top to bottom.  Do this for all the strip sets.

Step 4.

For the next step, stitch  strip 2 and 3 together, then 4 and 5, all from the bottom to the top.  Do this for all the strip sets, it prevents the strip sets from being pulled skew, which will happen,  if all the strips of fabric was sewn together, using one direction, only.

Step 5.

Next make strip sets into one, sewing all of the strips together from 1 to 20. Then iron all the seams in the same direction. Cut the two sides straight,on the left and the right.

Step 6.

Create a tube, by sewing fabric strip 1 to fabric strip 20.

Step 7.

Take the tube,  lay it flat on the cutting mat, using the pattern instructions.  Now cut a couple of strips the required size, as per the pattern: ie, one inch, ect.

Step 8.

Use the instruction sheet, it has a large number diagram, which contains columns across the top, they vary in width, as this is what creates the Bargello effect.  A row down, will have portions of a fabric strip or a full strip of combinations of numerous fabric strips, to create a new fabric strip.

Step 9.

Make the second column.  Making sure all the seams lock.  A good way to ensure this, is to take the first fabric column and iron the seams in the opposite direction, to the second column.  Place it on top of the second column,  then stitch it together.

Step 10.

Continue to sew,  making columns and stitching them together in rows.  This pattern has 35 columns across, with 49 rows down. 

Do not be tempted to cut this top straight. The top and bottom, may give a wonky appearance.   It is like an accordion,  amazingly,  it will be straight when you sew on the borders.

The finished top, with the borders sewn on, quilted and ready to go to it's forever home.
For newly weds, this is my gift, as a wedding present.  Couples already have everything for their home, it helps to find out what colours they like.  Giving a piece of art, done in fabric. 


  1. wowie zowie! Thank you so much for the clear instructions. LeeAnna at not afraid of color

  2. Thanks for the step by step - where would I get the pattern that shows the entire layout?