How to Make a Bargello Quilt

Written by ruth o'neil
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A bargello quilt is a good quilt for a beginning quilter to learn on. All the seams are straight, making it easy to sew. A bargello quilt usually has numerous different shades of the same colour, ranging from very dark to very light, that are sewn together. The bargello quilt gives the impression of a waterfall, which can be enhanced using different shades of blue.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 6 shades of blue fabric
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Iron
  • Seam ripper
  • Pins
  • 2 ½ yards of blue print fabric for borders and backing
  • Quilt batting

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  1. 1

    Fold the fabrics in half width-wise and cut from selvedge edge to selvedge edge. Cut two strips out of each shade of fabric measuring 2 ½ inches wide.

  2. 2

    Sew one strip from each shade, arranging the strips in order from darkest to lightest. Repeat sewing the strips to give you one unit. Iron the seams of the unit flat.

  3. 3

    Make a tube out of the unit by folding it in half along the seams with right sides together. Sew the first dark strip and the last light strip together.

  4. 4

    Cut across the old strips to make new strips containing each colour. Cut out new strips as follows: two strips measuring 4 ¾ inches wide (A), three strips measuring 3 inches wide (B), four strips measuring 2 inches wide (C), four strips measuring 1 ½ inches wide (D), four strips measuring 1 1/8 inches wide (E) and 10 strips measuring 7/8-inch wide (F).

  5. 5

    Lay your tubes of strips out in this order: A,B,C,D,E,F,F,F,F,F,E,D,C,B,C,D,E,F,F,F,F,F,E,D,C,B,A.

  6. 6

    Use the seam ripper to undo the tube and make long strips again. Take your first A and remove the seam so that the darkest blue is the first colour in the strip. Take the second tube and remove the seam so that the next darkest colour is on top.

  7. 7

    Continue making long strips by working your way down the colour scale with each strip. Make sure to keep your strips in order as you work to make sewing the strips together easier.

  8. 8

    Sew the first strip A to the first strip B with right sides together. Use pins at each seam to hold the fabric in place while you sew. Continue sewing the strips together.

  9. 9

    Iron all the seams of the quilt.

  10. 10

    Cut four strips, each measuring 4 ½ inches wide, of the blue print. Sew one strip on each side of the quilt to form a border and iron the quilt.

  11. 11

    Measure your quilt top and then cut your backing fabric to 2 inches larger all the way around. Lay your backing fabric on a flat work surface. Top with the quilt batting and centre the quilt top on the batting.

  12. 12

    Trim any excess fabric and fold the raw edges under to form a hem. Sew all the way around the edges of the quilt. Quilt as desired, either by tying with embroidery thread or by hand quilting.

Tips and warnings

  • A rotary cutter makes quick work of cutting your strips. If you are going to make a lot of strip piecing quilts, invest in a rotary cutter, cutting mat and ruler.
  • Butting the seams up against each other will help you have perfect points on your quilt. When you put pieces of fabric with the right sides together, make sure the seams on the back go in opposite directions and butt them right up against each other. Insert a pin to help hold the seams in place while you sew.

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