Ask my Readers….Bargello.

I have a segment that I frequently write called “ask Jo”.  Readers ask questions or make comments and I share them here.

Today I am turning the tables and having an “ask my readers”.  I am going to ask a question hoping someone out there can answer it.  Here goes…

You might remember that a bit ago I did a blog post and told you all that Kalissa and Craig decided on a Perkiomen Daydreams quilt for their wedding.  Well about two weeks after that blog post while I was in the middle of working on the floors for the house I get a message from her.

She was home laying on the couch missing work because she was sick.  She was on the internet looking at quilts and sent me a few pictures.  She is lazying around…I’m frantically trying to fix the floors working all day and sick of it.

A message comes from her…do you like this quilt?

Me covered in yuck scrambling to answer the phone:  Sure.  It’s nice.


I have to say, I appreciate Bargello quilts but they aren’t my favorite.  It’s just not my style.  Making one would be awful for me as I am so unorganized and have too many project going at once but I do love looking at them.

A text comes back five minutes later…what about this one.  Do you like it?

Of course I had just gotten back to work…yep it’s nice too.


No response.  Then 10 minutes later….I think I might like this one better.

Again, I was already back to work….Great-10942274_10206079312170146_165279263_nAnother text a little later.  I think Craig and I want one of these instead.  UGH.  GREAT! (completely with sarcasm) and by this point…a little crabby.  I had stopped working each time just to hear something I had hoped to never ever never ever ever never ever hear in my life.

So dear blog readers…a while back maybe a month or two, I saw a youtube video on someone explaining how to do a bargello.  There was a system to in that a person laid a piece of paper on top and cut.  I don’t remember exactly but it made it look remotely do-able.  In my mind I thought if I was ever completely off my rocker and decided to make one, I’d follow this idea.  Now, of course, I can’t find it.

If someone can lead me towards a pattern, author or something that I can at least look at before I throw up my hands and scream would be just great.  I really have no desire what so ever to make one.  She of course says to me later….well I thought it would be easier than a Double Wedding Ring.  Honestly, I’d rather make three Double Wedding Ring quilts than a bargello.  I think it’s my fear of organization…UGH.  So readers….HELP?!??!?!

19 thoughts on “Ask my Readers….Bargello.”

  1. I used the book Twist-and-Turn Bargello by Elieen Wright to make two quilts. The instructions in the book are easy to follow. Both quilts, one full size and one king size, went together very easily and quickly. The only thing I recall doing different than Eileen suggested was pressing each row in opposite directions and somehow the seams butt together nicely. It was a pressing technique I learned from doing trip around the world quilts. ( I made a photocopy of the pattern layout so I could write on it, crossing off each row as I cut.) After the strata are sewn I used paper pieces numbered 1 to 10 and with the width of each cut to be made to stay organized. As I cut the strata I pinned the paper to the strip and pinned each strip to the ironing board in order. The ironing board was set up by my sewing machine and I sewed the rows together in pairs, then four together, etc. for each group of ten, repeating the process until the quilt was done. Once cut, even as slow as I sew, I had the first quilt together in 7-10 evenings after work. It is very similar to the Perkiomen Daydreams quilt. I’m sure you’ll have no problems making it. You can find the book at:–Bargello-Quilts-Eileen-Wright-ebook/dp/B00GU0OFXW/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1423647388&sr=1-3&keywords=bargello+quilt+books

  2. I just finished my first Bargello. I found the pattern on the Northcutt Fabric Website under Free Patterns. I chose “Serenity” by Patti Carey. It was simple to do. Just cut 2 1/2″ strips of all the fabrics, sew them together, press, turn them into one large tube, then cut the strip width as directed by the pattern and you are done. Just make sure that you have the right pattern size before you begin. Either way, fabric websites, or a quick google search is a quick way to go. Hope this helps.

  3. jo, i think what you are remembering is a pattern from cozy quilt designs. it is called “no measure bargello” . it is from their strip club. there is a video of her making it on you tube: no measure bargello from cozy quilt designs. it is a simple bargello, no quite like the complicated one your daughter showed you pictures of, but it is a beginning for you. i hope this helps. i so enjoy your blog and i love your new kitchen!! susan

  4. Bonnie Hunter has a scrappy bargello quilt pattern listed in her free patterns. It is not as complex as these but I like her style.

  5. Have no clue where to find the YouTube video but sure have some thoughts on the quilts she has shown you. These quilts look like advanced bargello with the intertwining etc. If after you have reviewed how to make one and you still have the “I don’t want to’s, then don’t. You are suppose to enjoy the process as well. Sign me, also a Mom who likes to please.

  6. There are some digital download patterns at I think maybe that’s where 1 or 2 of these pictures came from. Bargellos are easy…in fact that was the 2nd quilt I ever made…and I was just 22 years old! :-) I used the book: The Bargello Book by PIecemakers. They are really not that difficult. You can do it and they are gorgeous!

  7. Years ago I took a Bargello class from Marilyn Doheney. I’ve finished quite a few since then and use the bargello technique in vests and other sewing. My favorite is a Bargello Heart quilt book by Nancy Podolski.
    Jo, You can do it!!

  8. This bargello is a little different. It is called Rolling Prairie and was in a magazine a few years ago. Rolling Prairie designed by Mabeth Oxenreider Illustrated in Better Homes & Garden American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine August 2011

    The picture in the magazine doesn’t do it justice like this one does. Hope the link works. A very talented you lady made it.

  9. I get you. The ADHD in me would go nuts trying to make a bargello quilt. I can appreciate the work that goes into any handicraft, but life is too short to make something you just dont like. She should let you make something that reflects your love for her and your perspective on quilting. she can make herself a bargello if she likes them so much. I stopped making my own swoon to make my sister a swoon with carefully selected fabric that she and her husband loved (not that they understand quilting) and importantly I was happy with it too.

  10. There is a quilt like this displayed in the Turkey Valley High School library! It’s close to the first picture and one of the teachers made it so you could ask them what they did.

  11. I agree, those are all definitely advanced bargello quilts. Just like any quilt, they can be broken down into blocks or strips, and that is where i would start.

    Buy the pattern that your daughter likes best, and then make 3 enlarged xeroxed color copies of the pictured quilt. One copy is the master for your files, and second copy will be cut apart, and the third copy is the ‘extra’ to have on hand in case of a mistake or to hang on your design wall while you assemble the quilt top.

    The next step is to grab a pencil (with an eraser) and starting at a corner, look for the blocks (or strips) where the width/length of the individual pieces are the same. Outline those with a pencil, cut them out from the picture, and assign a number to each one on the back. ie strip #1, strip #2, etc.
    Once they are labeled, the next step is to tally up all the squares of a matching color in the strip/square. Write that on a separate tally sheet. ie. strip #1: 1 lt pink, 2 med pinks, 1 purple, etc.
    The last two steps are easy…tally up the number of lt pinks cut at the same size: ie 10 lt. pinks cut at 1.5 x 2.5 inches. Add those totals up by color and you’ll have your fabric requirements for the quilt.

    From there it’s all in the cutting and the assembly.

    If it were me i would tackle that job one strip at a time. So all that is necessary is to grab the first numbered strip, turn it over, and there are your cutting directions!
    Just cut, sew the colors together, and tack the first strip up on your display wall.
    Then go on to the next strip.

  12. Hi Jo! One of the first large quilts I made was from the book “Twist and Turn Bargellos” by Eileen Wright. I had fun choosing the different fabrics for the color palette I’d chosen. But then the fear set in. For weeks all I could do was look at my fabric choices and pet them! lol. Finally, with some encouragement from online quilting friends, I began. Honestly, it was lots of fun and I am so proud of the end result! Eileen gave wonderful instructions and tips . It really didn’t take long to do the piecing as each fabric is assigned a number and you put together strip sets. My design wall was my new best friend during the process. I am one of those quilters who has never made two quilts from the same pattern. I would make another bargello (just not the same layout) because it was fun to see the color transition /ombre effect and the movement created. If you choose to do one, I’ll be glad to cheer you on and offer any advice/encouragement needed. Who knows…maybe in a few weeks, Kalissa will again change her mind! ;-)

  13. I have no idea Jo, I was the one that ask you to do a tutorial on one and you told me, not in this life time.. LOL.
    I love your blog, your new home, and Ruby

  14. I agree with Dee A. I think you should just ask for color choices and then go with the pattern you love to do. This is a gift of love and you should enjoy the process as well!

  15. Bonnie Baker Lippincott

    Oh my . . . I have tried my hand at a Bargello . . . couldn’t make it. It might be my dyslexia, but it was overwhelming. I wanted to make the quilt very much but I just couldn’t wrap my head around it and I had a wonderful teacher that was helping me. My mind just doesn’t seem to work that way.

    Also, I have made quite a few wedding quilts, and quilts as gifts for others. Since they are friends and family I know them well enough to know what colors they like, and colors they decorate their house with. I pick the colors and the pattern and they are totally surprised. No one has ever not liked their gift quilt. Sometimes we quilters work so hard to please the giftee we take all the pleasure out of making our works of art.

  16. Jo, I have the perfect solution. You provide the fabric, do the cutting, and have Ms. Organization Kelly do the sewing, and then you do the quilting. lol

  17. Not as hard as they look . They are basically sewing strips together then turn sideways and cutting . I sew as a go along , just makes it easier for me . I have seen some people place on wall, to me that is just confusing , so I just work one strip at a time . I am the author of Spiral Burst so if you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top