|My first bargello quilt top: Surprise! They're pastels!? 44-1/2" x 36"|
|My second bargello quilt top: Twisted Minds 62" x 46"|
What is "bargello?"
Bargello is a traditional, needlepoint technique and style of design motif that dates back as early as the 17th century. Many think of bargello as Italian, because the name seems to have originated from chairs with a "flame stitch" pattern found in the Bargello Palace in Florence.
|Surprise! They're Pastels!?|
Surprise! They're pastels!?FYI, I don't do pastels. Yeah, right! When I picked the strips for this, they looked like a collection of very light-to-medium valued strips. When it was finished, Hillary (who taught the class in which I made this) said, "Wow -- I've never seen a bargello done in pastels before!" My response was, "These aren't pastels!" I'll let you be the judge.
Because the pattern of this one was continuous -- not twisted, like Twisted Minds -- we used a tube-based method, which was fast and fun. We determined the order in which we wanted the colors, sewed them together in order, and then sewed the first strip to the last strip to form a tube. We then cut the tube across the strips to get skinny, little "rings" of fabric snippets of various sizes ranging from 2-1/2" to 7/8" wide. At that point, we "unsewed" the seam in each "ring" between the top-most fabric in the row and the bottom fabric, placed each row in position, and sewed them all together.
Simple enough! It's actually very easy; it just sounds (and looks!) complicated. After you've done it once, it all makes perfect sense! The key is to be organized! If you're anal retentive (oh, was I looking in the mirror?), the bargello techniques will be right up your alley!
Twisted MindsI needed 20 colors, 4 1-1/2" strips of each, so I started with 4 Tonga Treats Strips collections -- 2 each of Meringue and Coffee Cake (I had to cut down the strips that I used from 2-1/2" to 1-1/2") -- and added 2 marbled browns (donated from Mom -- isn't she nice? :), the orangey-red (which also appears in the border), and the blue with the orangey-red bits in it.
Because this is a twisted bargello pattern, the tube method won't work. For this one, we sewed 4 identical strip sets, cut (again, across the strips) a number of "strips of fabric snippets" of varying widths from 2-1/2" to 7/8", and then used those strips as the "raw material" for the rows in the pattern. Then, for a row of a particular width -- say 1" -- we "unsewed" whatever was necessary from the pile of 1" strips to create a set of strip segments that we then re-sewed in the new order. In other words, each row was sort-of "hand made" from the chunks of strips that we cannibalized from the cut strips.
Again, looks complicated -- this time, the twist looks really complicated, I think -- but once you've gone through this method once, it makes perfect sense. And again will appeal to your anal-retentive side.