Bargello

  • Experiments in Binding – Bringing the Binding From the Back to the Front
    In my last post, I started a sewing/quilting experiment by doing things a little differently than I normally would.  (1) I sewed the binding first to the back of the quilt (in the past, I’ve always sewed the binding to the front first) (2) I purposely planned to have the binding finish at 1/4″ wide on the back and approximately 1/2″ wide on the front so I would stay clear of the binding on the back when sewing the binding down on the front of the quilt (in the past, I’ve always made sure my bindings were the same width […]
  • Experiments in Binding – Sewing the Binding to the Back of the Quilt First
    After taking some time away from my sewing machine to focus on getting the Lakeshore Sewing Creative Quarterly ready for the printer, I’m back in business. 🙂 I’m ready to bind my newest incarnation of Cascade from Colorwash Bargello Quilts. I’ve always bound my quilts by sewing the binding to the front of the quilt by machine, and then wrapping the binding around to the back of the quilt and sewing it down my hand.  I love the look; but unfortunately, it is very hard on my hands. So I’ve been thinking for a while about how to eliminate the handwork […]
  • A No Hand-Sewing Method for Adding a Hanging Sleeve to a Quilt
    The quilting on my newest Colorwash Bargello quilt is finished! It actually only took me about 2 1/2 hours cumulatively to complete the all-over free-motion quilting, but I had to break the time up into smaller increments so as to not overtax my body  –  taking into account MS, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, chronic pain & peripheral neuropathy (among other things). Whew! I’ve squared up the quilt and cut off the excess batting and backing fabric. Before I add the binding, I’m going to add a hanging sleeve. Typically, hanging sleeves are at least partially, if not completely, hand-sewn, […]
  • Colorwash Bargello – Free-Motion Quilting!
    This is the eleventh in a series of sew/quilt-along posts about making a bargello quilt. I am following the pattern for Cascade, the most beginner-friendly pattern from Colorwash Bargello Quilts. I’ve layered my quilt top, Hobb’s Heirloom Fusible Batting, and backing fabric, and fused the layers together.  It’s a little unusual, but when I use fusible batting, I like to rough cut my batting about 2″ bigger all around than the quilt top and the backing fabric about 4″ bigger all around than the quilt top. This allows me to wrap the extra backing fabric around to the front and cover up the […]
  • Colorwash Bargello – Choosing Thread for Free-Motion Quilting
    This is the tenth in a series of sew/quilt-along posts about making a bargello quilt. I am following the pattern for Cascade, the most beginner-friendly pattern from Colorwash Bargello Quilts. The quilt top is complete, and as I discussed in my previous post, I’ve decided to free-motion quilt this project.  I’m raring to get started!  I’m leaning towards a variegated thread that has a nice sheen. Although you don’t usually notice the color of the thread used for the quilting until you are right up close, it can have significant impact on the finished quilt. A quick refresher for a few of […]
  • Colorwash Bargello – Machine Quilting Options
    This is the ninth in a series of sew/quilt-along posts about making a bargello quilt. I am following the pattern for Cascade, the most beginner-friendly pattern from Colorwash Bargello Quilts. The quilt top is complete, and I’m considering my options for machine quilting the quilt top, batting, and backing together. There are no rules about how best to quilt a bargello quilt, only preferences. Sometimes I feel that adding a lot of free-motion quilting might distract from the power and clarity of the design. In those cases, I usually opt for clear MonoPoly thread in my needle and a walking foot (or […]
  • Colorwash Bargello – Measuring & Sewing the Borders
    This is the eighth in a series of sew/quilt-along posts about making a bargello quilt. I am following the pattern for Cascade, the most beginner-friendly pattern from Colorwash Bargello Quilts. I’ve picked out my border and am ready to sew it on. When I first started quilting many, many years ago, I would just lay my border strip across the end of the quilt, sew it on, and then cut off any extra border fabric that extended past the edge of the quilt. Sometimes this method seemed to work just fine; but other times, I would find myself grappling with quilt edges that […]
  • Colorwash Bargello – Auditioning Borders
    This is the seventh in a series of sew/quilt-along posts about making a bargello quilt. I am following the Cascade pattern from Colorwash Bargello Quilts. The body of the quilt top is complete, and now it is time for the border.  When I teach quilting classes or workshops, I usually caution class participants to wait, if possible, to make their final choice of border fabric until the interior of the quilt has been completed. This is because the sum can be much more than its parts! The way the colors, values, and visual textures of the fabrics interact with each […]
  • Colorwash Bargello – Sewing the Vertical Rows
    This is the sixth in a series of sew/quilt-along posts about making a bargello quilt. I’m following the Cascade pattern from Colorwash Bargello Quilts. We’re on the home stretch! The vertical rows have all been numbered and are ready to sew. Just like before, I start with a small piece of “header” fabric in my machine, stitch across it, take a stitch or two on “air” and then (without raising the presser foot), slide my first set of strips under the presser foot. I sew all of the strips into sets of 2, always first checking the numbers at the […]
  • Colorwash Bargello – Laying Out the Vertical Rows
    This is the fifth in a series of sew/quilt-along posts about making a bargello quilt. Now that my loops are all cut from the strip-pieced tubes (see previous post), I’m ready to open the loops up and lay out  the bargello segments that form the vertical rows. This is exciting, as it will be the first chance to see what the finished quilt will look like. I start by laying all the loops on my worktable in order. Remember – the colors are different in the photo only because the tubes have been rotated differently. All of the odd numbered loops […]
  • Colorwash Bargello – Cutting the Bargello Segments
    This is the fourth in a series of sew/quilt-along posts about making a bargello quilt. Once you have your fabric sewn into tubes, it’s time to cut the bargello segments. There is a cutting chart for each project in Colorwash Bargello Quilts. I’m following the chart for Cascade here and am cutting my segments 1 1/4″ – 2 3/4″ wide, but you can design your own pattern if you’d prefer.  Either way, the most important thing to remember is to cut all of the odd numbered segments from one tube and all of the even numbered segments from the second tube. […]
  • Colorwash Bargello – Sewing & Pressing the Strip Sets
    This is the third in a series of sew/quilt-along posts about making a bargello quilt. Once you have your strips cut (each pattern in Colorwash Bargello Quilts tells you how many strips to cut – Cascade requires 2 strips of each fabric, each strip 2″ x 20-21″), it’s time to sew them together. Note: the original Cascade pattern calls for 19 fabrics.  I am using 20 for this new quilt. First of all, I highly suggest using a noticeably different color thread in the top of your machine than what you are using in the bobbin.  This makes no difference […]
  • Making a Bargello Quilt – Fabric Selection & Arrangement
    This is the second in a series of sew/quilt-along posts about making a bargello quilt. I spend two entire chapters discussing selecting a palette of fabrics and using color, value, and visual texture to help arrange them to maximum effect in my book Colorwash Bargello Quilts.  I won’t try to repeat all of that here, but I’ll boil it down to essentials. Note: Since batik fabrics are generally more tightly woven (and therefore have a little less stretch) than other quilting-weight cottons, I highly recommend that you stick with either ALL batik fabrics or NO batik fabrics for your first […]
  • Making a Bargello Quilt – Cascade
    This is the first in a series of sew/quilt-along posts about making a bargello quilt. For a little more background information, you can check out my previous post, Colorwash Bargello. For this series, I’ll be referring to the Cascade pattern from my book Colorwash Bargello Quilts.  If you don’t have the book or would rather design your own bargello quilt, you can still follow along and find a lot of (hopefully!) helpful information. This has been one of my most popular bargello classes, as it can easily be completed in a day (or two days, if you are having lots […]
  • Colorwash Bargello
    What makes a quilt a bargello quilt? And what does colorwash mean? In the introduction to my second book, Colorwash Bargello Quilts, I credited 3 main influences: Centuries-old bargello needlepoint, also known as Hungarian point, flame stitch, or Florentine work. Modern strip-piecing methods pioneered in the 1970s by quilt artists such as Barbara Johannah Colorwash/watercolor quilting designers in the early 1990s such as Deirdre Amsden, Pat Maixner Magaret, and Donna Slusser. I also recognize the influence of traditional quilt patterns such as Trip Around the World and Star of Bethlehem or Lone Star when the makers have used gradations of color and/or value in […]
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