Saturday, July 12, 2014

Pretty in Pink Bargello Quilt

I started this 2 years ago. It is a gift from my daughter and she had to move in with me for a bit, so I wasn't able to get it done. When she moved out, I got it out and finished and assembled...still have to do the binding, but am waiting till I can get around to creating a great label for it.

What do you think about how it turned out? It measures 57"x62". I cut strips of 15 different prints/solids of pink tones and hues (how much fun was that to be able to buy so many pieces of fabric...and not break the bank....I only had to get half a yard of each!  I cut strips from 1" wide to 2.5" wide. Then laid them in the order I chose, and then sewed the strips together lengthwise...and then you cut them into strips that have the order and I cut them 1"-2.5" wide. Then..just play with it and lay the strips out to the pattern you want, mmatching the colors to make the pattern you want. Sounds hard, but once you get started, it will make sense.If you have the prints in the order you want, the rest is easy...just tedious!


 I chose these fabrics at first, but then dropped the white dot and solid dark pink as they just didn't fit. I purchases 1/2 yard each of 11 fabrics, but when done, it only made a quilt that measured 38x70. A twin size is 60x80. So, moral of this story, if you want a twin size quilt, get 1 yard of each color.  Place the fabrics in the order of your choice. I went light to dark and used prints to make the transition happen nicely. I didn't end up using the white dots or the dark solid pink. Just didn't look so great.
Using post it notes, number each fabric in the order you want them to go.
 I prewashed, pressed and starched before cutting. Then cut strips of each fabric measuring 2,1/2" by width (salvage to salvage) of the fabric. Fabric is no longer 44/45" like it was back in the day. Now, some is 36" and 40/42 ". So I cut strips from all the fabric and laid them in the order I chose. I sewed 5 sets of 11 fabrics each.









 Due to the fact that the fabrics were different widths off the bolt...the sewn sets came out with uneven ends. So I just took the shortest length and cut the set all the same length on both sides of the section I chose to press the seams open to hopefully help the bulkiness later on when I FMQ'd it.

This is what was cut off to even the sections. Keep one of them and with a black marker, number the sections of fabric the order in which you have chosen the pattern to be.

 Once you have your 2,1/2 inch strips cut, sew them together by lengths in the order you chose. You will have 5 sections. Sew the width sides together making a tube.
Lay the tube so that your number 1 fabric is at the top and then smooth it out. Using your rotary cutter, cut strips of the tube in various widths. I found that narrow strips allows the color to travel up the quilt faster and wider strips add width and move more slowly through your quilt So I chose to cut mine narrow. I cut 1, 1,1/2, 2, 2,1/2 strips..remember there is 1/4 seam on each side so a 1 inch cut strip will sew finish 1/2 inch strip.

 Starting with Number 1, cut between #1 and #11. To make the motion in the quilt you have to lay it out like this, and place the colors/squares as you want them and then cut the top end of the tube to the section you need to have it lay in the placement you have chosen. In this picture, none of the tubes have been cut open..just laid out in the order I want. Once I decide the order, I go back to the top first strip and make the cut in the appropriate place.To get the "wave" motion, you can either match seams in the two strips, or match center of previous strip to seam of the new strip. I matched center to seam in this one, but next one, I will match seams. I think I'll get better flow and motion that way. Also, these squares are 2,1/2" tall by the width I cut them,.... next time I will cut the strips and the lengths so they are 1 inch square finished
I played for awhile with the order and finally decided on the left here. Once the layout has been decided, you just take strip after strip and sew them together. I left the layout on the kitchen table, and brought my sewing machine out to the kitchen and was able to sew them one after the other instead of running back and forth to my sewing room or trying to pin all those thin little strips and hoping I keep them straight!


It is my first attempt at bargallo. It was an okay pattern, lot of work organizing it. I went from my kitchen table to my queen sized bed for laying the strips out to make the proper waves, but it was relatively easy to assemble. ..just cumbersome! I was hoping for a more wavy pattern instead of such specific "points", but learned half way through that to get a wavy pattern,  you have to cut squares, not rectangles! Next time I attempt a bargello, I will cut .5x.5 inch, 1x1 inch and 2x2 inch strips. That way I think I'll be able to better make the swirl and curves that I like.

I used fleece for the back. Hated doing the FMQ with fleece. It was hard to move it around. But, it turned out pretty good. I used a wide meander FMQ. She wants a soft, cuddly kind of quilt to wrap up in... not a stiff and heavy quilt! I hope this is okay! 

I know this sounds like a LOT of hard work...well, in a way it is, but only until you get the hang of it.  The two hardest parts to me was  figuring out the color scheme, as I am terrible at putting colors together. Second, space. My sewing machine was in my bedroom and I had no work space...except the kitchen table. So I was mainly wearing myself out going back and forth! I laid the strips out in the order I wanted on the table, then I would stack up 10-15 strips in that order and take them to my bedroom and llay them out in same order on my bed (behind my sewing machine) and sew them together, then go get the next group from the table....and back and forth like that. But again, once I got the hang of it, it wasn't that hard...just literally a lot of sewing straight seams! And when done I pressed all seams one way.
  Now I have to decide what border/binding to put on. I am thinking the dark pink. I notice that the darks and lights were to close together in density and it kind of looks just like dark pink moving into light pink and you can't even hardly see the patterned prints that are in there.  Something else to keep in mind for next time, or if you are considering making a bargello...don't graduate the colors to closely!

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Thanks for stopping by and...keep on sewing those memories!





12 comments:

  1. That's good to know about using flannel. I think I'll pass on giving it a try. It looks like you started with pretty skinny strips; that's a lot of piecing! Nicely done. I'm sure your daughter is going to love it.

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  2. This is amazing!!! You've put so much hard work in to make a stunning result!! X

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  3. I love how you organized it! I think this quilt looks amazing! Your daughter will love it!

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  4. Beautiful! One day I will try this type of design :)

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  5. I think the dark pink binding will look really good. Your daughter will love it!

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  6. Beautiful quilt. I love Bargello's, just don't have the courage to sew one.

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  7. I love your pink bargello. It came out great and I'm impressed that you drafted it yourself. I've made several, but have always followed a commercial pattern. Visiting you from Freemotion by the River.

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  8. I have never tackled a bargello, so kudos to you! The pinks are lucious, good job to finish! LeeAnna Paylor not afraid of color lapaylor.blogspot.com

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  9. Gorgeous! Such a clever idea.

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  10. Your Bargello is gorgeous, Cheri. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. I have never attempted this pattern, so I appreciate hearing about your process and what you learned. Looking fabulous!

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