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In this video
Have you ever seen a quilt that seemed impossible to piece? If so, it might have been a Bargello quilt. This classic quilt is known for the way the fabric colors ebb and flow, creating beautiful movement.
Hi, I'm Angela Walters, and I'm going to show that making a Bargello quilt block isn't nearly as hard as it looks. It just takes a little creative "unsewing" – and I'll show you exactly how to do it!
To get started on your bargello quilt block, pick out some of your favorite fabrics that vary in color. I've narrowed my selection down to 10 gorgeous colors, but you could use more or less.
To save time use precut 2 1/2" strips. Lay them out in the order you prefer. There is no one perfect way to place them, try experimenting with some different arrangements. For my bargello block, I am placing these beautiful batiks from lightest to darkest.
Now that you have the perfect layout, stitch each strip together along the long edge until you have one big strip set. I sew them 2 by 2 as it's easier to manage the fabric that way.
Press all the seams to the side, being careful not to distort the edges.
Now make a tube by pinning and sewing fabric 1 and fabric 10 together, right side to right side. It probably goes against every quilting technique that you may have learned, but it will make sense in just a moment.
Move the tube to your cutting mat and crosscut the tube into strips. First, straighten up the left edge and then begin cutting the strips. You can cut them all the same size, or you can vary the widths to give the quilt an even more stunning look, which is what I am going to do. I am going to cut the first strip an inch wide and add 1/2" to every cut.
For straight stripes ensure that the top and bottom seam are parallel while you are cutting
Once you cut the strips, don't let them get out of order. This will help prevent mixing them up. In fact, you may want to label the strips so you don't forget what order they are in. I am speaking from experience!
This is where the magic happens! The bargello effect happens when you remove the stitching between different fabrics.
Starting with the first row, remove the stitching in the seam at the top. Open it up and lay it out flat.
Do the same with row 2 by removing the stitching in the second seam.
Repeat with all of the rows, changing the position of the removed stitching each time. Counting the seams will prevent you from removing the stitching from the wrong one! Remember, the number of the row is how many seams you count down.
When the strips are all laid out, you can see the stunning effect.
Now, all that is left to do is sew the strips together!
To make sure that all the points match, carefully pin the strips together. Perfectly matching points aren't necessary, of course, but it does help the overall effect of the bargello.
Removing the pins as you go, sew all the strips together using a 1/4" seam allowance until you have the finished block. I'm using my fingers to manipulate seams so that they're nested into each other. Again, I sew the strips 2 by 2 which also helps me keep them in the right order.
Pay special attention to the placement of the strips. I can't tell you how many times I have accidental flipped one around on accident.
Once they are all sewn together, press the seams and admire your stunning bargello block.
Now that you can see how easy it is to make the bargello quilt block, just imagine all the fun possibilities you can create by adding more fabrics or combining them in different layouts.