Who says you have to use solids for a Bargello? I was so glad I had a strip cutter die or I probably wouldn’t have made it. I ended up with 7 large loops made from 13 strips each so that was 91 strips that took a few minutes instead of half a day, plus they were all the exact same width.
I had designed one myself and at the last minute found this one. I was trying to get it to a particular width and length for the son’s bed and the pattern I found was right on the money so I changed to the bought pattern at the last minute.
In one afternoon I cut all the strips and sewed each of the loops, ironed, and joined the ends so they were ready to be made into a quilt.
The pattern calls for working left to right, but since the quilt is symmetrical, I thought it would be prudent to start from the outside and work my way in so that at any given time, I would have 2 strips next to each other and I could see if I had an error. Ironically, as I was putting on the binding at the very end…I found a mistake but I’ll never tell where!
The first 13 rows from the left as well as the 13 rows from the right were easy enough. Open up a loop at a particular location, sew to the second loop to the first and take a specific piece out, then sew the third loop on – each column was made from joining 3 loops together. In other words, with 13 colors per loop but taking one square out, it was 38 squares (rectangles really) per column.
It got a little more complicated starting at column 14 and working toward 21 but even that fell into a rhythm soon enough.
Once the top was finished, it was a quick finish. My favorite way to baste – if there is such a thing – is to wrap the bottom layer on a long 1″ x 4″ by 12′ stick, then do the same with the top. Then unroll a little at a time for each as well as batting between the two and baste together, whether with spray adhesive or with pins. Pins are a lot less expensive and don’t affect the environment but I have done it both ways. I’m not sure I would trust spray adhesive on a quilt any larger than this though.
I was on a mission so I immediately started quilting it on my Sweet Sixteen since I had an idea how I wanted to quilt it. I don’t know what was different about the batting but I think I picked up a different kind than I normally use. It was thinner and after all that work I was not happy when the quilt didn’t have the weight to it that I normally like.
I was concerned I didn’t have enough fabric to miter the binding so I used a straight seam except for where it joined together at the very end. I very nearly always use Elmer’s washable glue to hold the binding in place. I sew to the front, then wrap around to the back and put on the glue a little at a time while I iron it in place, then go back to the front and stitch in the ditch since the idea of hand basting the part that has the most wear and tear just doesn’t make sense to me.
And like that, it was done!