There is something really satisfying about bargello patchwork. Perhaps because it looks so intricate and intriguing but is actually very easy. My sister moved to the Rockies in the 1970’s and adopted their winter hobby of quilt making. I’d made English patchwork items as a teenager and rather liked their more practical take on the task. Maggie explained about Bargello and even bought me a book which I know see was a present in Feb 2007. I looked and admired but hesitated. Then almost 2 years ago, the daughter of a sadly departed good friend, was expecting a baby. I wanted to do something special – something her Mum might have done. I racked my brains and somehow, remembering how her mother and I had been to the quilt show many years ago, I realised I ought to make a cot quilt and I thought a Bargello quilt would be just right.
I was told about her colour scheme and set about finding fabrics and realised in my stash were 2 fabrics I had purchased when with her Mum. I used a pattern from Beth Ann Williams colourwash Bargello quilts, called cascade.
The striped material is part of the design the couple had chosen for the nursery and it also involved motifs of a bee and a ?hedgehog with the blue, orange and gold that I managed to pick out from my fabric stash.
One of the tips my sister gave me was to hang the fabrics being considered over the banister. as you go up and down stairs you glance at them, half subconsciously, but in those moments you often tweak the selection and improve the flow of colours. Having some definite colours separated by more subdued colours is what will help the pattern to come out. however, the size of the patterns and small colour links between them are also important. It is also satisfying if some of the fabrics have some link to the intended recipient. My current project is another cot quilt for a grandchild. It will have to sleep in its parents room and I don’t know the gender. The mother quite likes green – though other colours as well. I was reminded of a room I stayed in with a colour scheme of navy, white and a crisp emerald green.
Here are fabrics I am thinking about including. Some of the fabrics relate to other quilts or projects made for other grandchildren. Others I have found relate to family traits or history. There is one with green teacups on. (My father swears when his blood was tested when he enlisted for WW2 they wrote down Typhoo rather than type o) Another has a navy pattern showing part of a London map. A third is full of digits (there are mathematicians in the family).
I have amended my sister’s idea a little. The fabric kept slipping off the shiny banister so I have used some plastic coat hangers with a slightly grippy cross bar.