Friday, October 28, 2011


In my last blog about the bargello Christmas runner, I showed you how the strips were made.  Now we begin to assemble them so that the colors travel across the quilt.  In order to keep our lines true, parallel lines are drawn on the batting that has been pinned to the backing, keeping the backing nice and smooth while this part of the quilt sandwich is being manipulated.  The parallel lines are our guides for where to start the strips.  I also drew lines about every 2" perpendicular to the parallel lines so that I could "eyeball" my strips to help keep them straight.

This is how my bargello came out.  My runner is draped over the edge of my sewing machine cabinet.  I bound the edges and then off I went to take the second lesson from Til -- embellishments!

My!  Til brought so many beads and baubles and bright shiney things!  Ribbons and needles and threads galore.  Others brought their decorative stashes to share, too, for who would ever use 7,000 tiny gold beads?  Not in my lifetime!

Pat is putting on the binding for her background bargello prior to adding the embellishments.

Joane has selected the fabrics she wants and the shapes of the ornaments.  These can be backed by wonder under or dryer sheets or fabric stabilizer so that you can applique them onto the quilt in your favorite way.  Or you can just do needle turn applique.  However you do it, though, you must put the ribbons and beads and the like on the ornaments before appliqueing them onto your runner.

Dot is extraordinarily creative and decided not to use the drawings given out by the teacher for her ornaments.  She made hers up, and they are reminiscent of the old fashioned painted glass ones we used to have as kids.

Once the ornaments are on, round gold ribbon is used to "hang" the ornaments from the centers of the bargello waves, and wired gold ribbon is used to create a bow at the top where they meet the bargello stripes. 

Voila!  This is a time consuming but easy project.  You can make it go faster two ways:  Tube quilting and strip joining. 

When you cut the 2 1/2" strips of the various colors and sew them together in a strata, join the last strip to the first one, making a tube, with the strips going longwise.  Lay the tube on the table, flattening it so that one of the seams runs along an inch marker horizontally on your cutting board.  Place the bottom of your 6 x 12 (or larger) ruler along this seam (with the tall side of the ruler near the left edge of the tube) and trim the end of the tube on the left (if you are right handed) to even it up and square it up.  Then cut your variable strips, one section after another in the following order:  1, 3,  5.  Then with another strata cut sections 2, 4, and 6.  Cut all the strips you need for each section and label them.  Press each strip so that the seams of section 1 go up, the seams of section 2 go down, 3 goes up and so forth. 

When we assembled our bargellos, we did so keeping the strips in their respective piles, beginning with section 6, placing that first section 6 strip on our backing/batting sandwich so that we lined up the beginning on one of the long parallel lines and kept the entire strip aligned with the perpendicular line at the beginning.  Then we added each individual strip, one at a time.  However, one of us, who shall remain nameless in order not to get in trouble with the teacher, decided that all those strips were too apt to work their way into a curve or cattywompus, so she joined a few strips together at a time and then added this new mega-strip to the sandwich, thus decreasing the number of sewing lines that had to be accomplished.  I must say, her quilt looked alot more even than mine did, and I'm going to try it her way next time.

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