BARGELLO QUILT PATTERN

Bargello quilt pattern

Bargello quilt pattern

Bargello quilt patterns stem from a pair of needlework chairs found at the Bargello Castle in Italy.  The chair backs depict a flame pattern – far more intricate than the one that I have made here as a quilt, but I have tried to follow the general design.  In the original bargellow design the red is dominant but in mine the green is more dominant than I had intended.




Making the bargello quilt

Sew the strips of fabric together

Sew the strips of fabric together

The simplest way of making this bargello quilt pattern is very similar to the trip around the world quilts that you may have come across.  I have used six different fabrics here, cut into 2.1/2″ wide strips across the width of the fabric.  Sew the fabrics together along the length and then cut into 2.1/2″ strips.

Sew the strips into loops

Sew the strips into loops

Sew these strips together in fours end to end so that you have strips of twenty four squares.  Make sure that you sew the strips in the same order so that the pattern repeats down the strip.  These strips will be the columns of the bargello quilt.  Take each strip and fold it in half with right sides together so that you can sew the bottom square to the top square, creating a loop.  The reason for this is that then you can break into that loop at a different place for each column.

Experiment with the design

Experiment with the design

By having a different square at the top of each column you can create a pattern.  As each column has a repeating pattern of squares the bargello quilt will then have a repeating pattern down the length of the quilt.  I laid out some of the strips of squares before they were sewn together so that I could decide on the overall pattern.  The safest option is to begin with the central column and then add a column either side.  This way you can be sure that the pattern design will be symmetrical across the bargello quilt.

You can see the original bargello designs here.

The flame patterns of the bargello quilt pattern

Unpick the loop between white and green

Unpick the loop between white and green

The middle three columns of the bargello quilt

The middle three columns of the bargello quilt

I wanted to try and re create the flame pattern of the original bargello chairs so I began with a column in the middle which had the red square at the top.  The column either side of this starts with a white square so I unpicked the sema between the white square and the one above it (green) on two loops and that gave me the columns either side of the central column.

Check the position before you unpick the seam

Check the position before you unpick the seam

 

The columns either side began with green squares and the ones either side of this with cream squares.  You can see how I position each loop to be sure that it will form the pattern correctly before I unpick the seam between the squares to break into the loop.

The colours are listed according to the top square

The colours are listed according to the top square

If you look at the red squares (which were intended to be the flames), I have a peak in the middle of the quilt then a smaller peak either side, rising to another peak at each edge.  I think the easiest way for me to list the columns of the bargello quilt is if I tell you the colour of the top square in each column, working from left to right:  red, red, white, green, cream, green, white, green, cream, green, white, red, white, green, cream, green, white, green, cream, green, white, red, red.

The two columns at each end of the bargello quilt both begin with red

The two columns at each end of the bargello quilt both begin with red

For the final two columns on the edge of the quilt I left the red square at the top, the same as the column next to it.

The bargello quilt border

The bargello quilt border

The bargello quilt border

The bargello quilt border was made using 2.1/2″ strips of green fabric:  two at 46.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt and two at 52.1/2″ for the sides.

The bargello quilt top is now complete and ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps on the make a patchwork quilt page.

Here’s the video:

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Comments

  1. Hallo Rose, I used to be on your email list but became ill and didn’t do any quilting for past couple of years. Now I am back and think I will give the bargello a go! It looks so complicated but your instructions really help. Thank you for taking the time to post all your work, so useful and greatly appreciated! Sheila

    • Hi Sheila. I’m glad that your health has obviously improved. Welcome back to quilting. The bargello is an easy enough pattern – just take it one step at a time.

  2. This has been very helpful. I have wanted to learn Bargello for a long time but couldn’t find how to get started. I sent for a table runner pattern which I love, but unfortunately, I got the first section perfectly straight, but the second section BOWED! I was very unhappy. But I think I have learned how to (possibly) avoid this from happening again. I need all the help I can get. Thank you again–I think I will start with 2-1/2″ strips.

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