For a lot of quilters–myself included–making a bargello quilt is on the “quilter’s bucket list.” If you’re not familiar with these stunning quilts, they’re the perfect blend of traditional quilting meets modern and look challenging but are deceptively easy. When you first look at one, you might think “Wow, that’s a lot of piecing – I’m sure it’s a lot of work!” Made of strips that are sewn together in such a way to look like a moving wave, the curves in a bargello quilt certainly do look difficult. However, these patterns are suitable for beginning quilters…let’s explore how:
How To Make A Bargello Quilt
Step 1: Cut And Arrange Your Strips
Following the instructions in your pattern, cut your strips to the proper width. Many bargello quilts will use 2 1/2″ strips but be sure to follow your pattern. Arrange them into the correct order and begin to piece them together.
Pro Tip: It can be helpful to number your strips (the red dots in the image above) and keep a “control strip” (a small strip of fabric–around an inch wide–that lets you know which fabric is which number. This will be super helpful in following steps.
Step 2: Piece Your Strips Together And Make Your Tubes
After all of your fabrics have been arranged and sewn together in the correct order, you will sew them into a tube. For some, this step might “seem” a little strange. The reason you sew your fabrics into a tube is so that you can open the seams in different locations. This allows you to easily start creating that curved look in a bargello quilt without having to do a lot more work!
Step 3: Cut Your Tube Into Strips And Get To Ripping!
After you’ve got your tubes created, you will start to cut–per your pattern–the tube into smaller tubes. For the Fire and Ice quilt, the width of these tubes changes as you move across the quilt while other bargello quilt patterns will retain the same width. You then look will reference your pattern again to find out where to use your seam ripper to open up your tubes as you will be opening the tube in different locations. For example, if the first tube is opened between the fabrics A and B, the second tube will be opened between the fabrics B and C and so forth.
Step 3: Arrange Your Strips and Piece Them Together, Again!
Now that your tubes have been opened, it’s time to arrange your strips per your pattern instructions and piece them together again! When you start to arrange them, you will see how quickly the curve in the bargello quilt comes together.
Pro Tip: Fons & Porter experts recommend using a stay stitch along the edge of the fabric on the outside edges of the quilts–the ones that are only connected to other long strips on one side–so that they don’t fray or weaken the overall structure of the quilt.
Have you ever made a bargello quilt pattern? Be sure to share it with us on social media and – if you do – please use the hashtag #myKQ!
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