I always thought bargello quilts looked pretty cool, but were tedious to make and hardly worth the effort. My friend, Carolyn, though, insists that they are addicting–and she makes lovely bargellos (lots of them!). So when she held a free two-day workshop through our guild, I decided to give it a shot and scratch a bargello quilt off the ol’ quilty bucket list.

misty morning bargello quilt
Misty Morning from “More Twist and Turn Bargello Quilts” by Eileen Wright

The quilt she chose for us to make is a fairly simple and straightforward selection from More Twist and Turn Bargello Quilts by Eileen Wright.

I knew right away I didn’t want to stick to only batiks, and I thought of doing it entirely in grayscale. Then, as I drove to Needles & Pins in Mullica Hill, NJ, I thought I should add a pop of color. So I wandered around the store until I found a fabric that “spoke” to me, and I based the whole selection of 20 fabrics around it (it’s the fifth one from the top in the photo below). I took a photo of the fabrics in the order I wanted, then digitally converted it to black and white to make sure I got the gradation right.

Carolyn strongly recommended the use of a “fabric map” to keep everything straight, so making my own chart on cardstock was my next step after using a Studio cutter to cut the 2 1/2″ strips.

I used the map for literally every step of the process until the entire top was pieced.

I also created a little tag for each column with a number and its width, and kept at least two columns labeled on every section until the entire top was pieced.

bargello fabric map
A fabric map helps keep you organized through the whole process.

I got on a roll, and finished the top after only a couple of days. I decided to keep the quilting simple by just following the flow of the bargello and stitching corner to corner of each piece. I used matching Aurifil thread EXCEPT for a few fabrics where I played with some Glitter from Superior Threads. I followed the manufacturer’s recommendations for Glitter (vertical spool, #90/14 topstitch needle, top tension set to 1.0) and had no problems at all. I added a solid black binding and BOOM! BARGELLO! (Which, come to think of it, might end up being its name.) 

bargello awards
BREAKING NEWS: I entered this quilt into my county fair, where it was awarded a blue ribbon, plus Best in Division, PLUS an award for Overall Excellence!

Now it’s your turn to show off a finish!

Add a recent finish to the link-up party here. You can add a link from your blog, Facebook, Instagram, or Flickr. The party isn’t open for long, so go on and share now, then come back to visit all of the other links and share the love!

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14 Replies to “Bargello Quilt + TGIFF

  1. Wow – your quilt is absolutely stunning! Congrats on an amazing finish and for winning the ribbons! And thank you for hosting TGIFF this week.

    1. Thank you for posting! I’m having a little trouble commenting on your blog post from my phone, so if you get duplicates, please delete…otherwise I’ll try again from my computer in the morning. Your baby quilt design is gorgeous! The fabrics are perfect. Lovely work!

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