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Archive for February 2010

In the fall of 2007, I was asked by our local quilt guild program committee to teach a Bargello class in May 2008.   My goal was that anyone can do a bargello!  So I created a class called “If I can do a Bargello, you can too!”

The technique I used was inspired by Blue Meadow Designs – Cori and Myra.  They had done a quilt called Rhapsody in a McCall’s Quilting Magazine  April 2007.  My first Bargello, which is in the header on my blog was made using their design.  Although I did change-up my colours a little, to make mine blend more.  Back to the class.

I wanted to have the guild members spread their wings a bit, and design their own bargello, so I did a lot of reading and looking up all about Bargello quilts.  I even think I have a page with links somewhere here on my blog.   Some members didn’t like this idea… they just wanted to follow the pattern… umm… there is (was) no pattern).

Bargello designs on graph paper.

The above photo represents the two final designs I had chosen.   You start with a simple curved line, and then shade it in using the squares to represent your design and the fabric.  I decided on the bottom design for the quilt.  In my design, one square was equal to one inch.  I marked the grid so I could easily find measurements.   Perhaps now that I have this second one finished, maybe I’ll think about making a larger one, with a more complex design… hmmm… not yet, got some other things going that need to be done first.  Oh, the ideas that are swirling around right now.

So I played with my own designs, and in doing so, somewhere along the line, my eldest daughter asked if I was making it for her, so I asked her what colours.  Pink, Purple and Lime Green.   Well, this was going to take a little, as I had no pink what so ever in my stash.  So I spent a few months gathering some pink fabrics.

When you are choosing fabrics for a bargello,  it is a good idea to have a larger selection than you expect.  Some colours and values may not quite work like you expect.   And yup, you guessed it, I used the B&W setting on my camera and took some shots.

First arrange the fabrics in the strata you think will work.  Then take a photo.

First selection of fabrics

Sometimes cutting one strip of the fabrics and taking a photo will help clarify the colour way.

Final selection of fabrics cut into strips.

The method I used is the “tube” method to create the segments.   You sew your strips together.  Then sew them together into a tube… the one on the far left to the one on the far right.

Tube Segment, before unsewing.

Then using your design, you cut your strips based on the design.   You may want to number your fabrics, so as you cut, you can then unsew the connecting pieces based on the design to create the one-up, one down curve.  For example strip #1 would have piece #1 at the top.  Strip #2 would have piece #2 at top, and piece #1 at the bottom.  You then stitch the segments to the next segment.  It is important to keep organized here, as you wouldn’t want to sew strip #1 to strip #3.

Strip sets laid out

Depending on the size of your quilt, and how the design works out, you may need to unsew some of the extra strips, and fill in gaps. So all your strips are the same length.

Segments stitched together.

Some bargellos are made where the seams are aligned… this can be difficult, and may require a lot of pinning.  I chose to offset the seams, and it worked really well.

One of my biggest challenges with making quilts is trying to find a quilting design.   The movement of this quilt makes me think of “flight”, and that is what I wanted to use.  I had actually quilted some of it, and did not like it at all, and took it out.  A friend of mine suggested I bring it over, and she suggested using butterflies, and such.  Ah ha!   My DD#1 likes dragonflies… so I added a few of those, and a ladybug or two as well.

And here is the finished quilt.

And I had to include a couple close-ups of the quilting.

The above photos shows a dragonfly in the corner of the inside border.  In the outer border, I tried something I hadn’t done before.  Twin needle stitching using a decorative stitch, and two shades of a purple thread.

Here is the detail of a butterfly with a few “loop-de-loops”.

Woohoo!  I can cross another one off of my List of 10.    And just as an update – the circle play is currently being quilted.  I’m having fun with this one too.

Ohh… and I thought I’d share a photo of our not so small any more kittens.  Smudge and Thunder.

Smudge is in the foreground  Thunder is laying on top of her in the background.  He is completely black except three white whiskers on the left side.  We’ve had them for about 6 months now, and this is a rare moment that they are actually in one place.


On Quilting Friends an online community, one of the members issued a challenge – now the details are a little fuzzy, but basically to list 10 UFO items, and complete them before starting any other projects.

It has been several months since I’ve updated my list… and a few projects have come and gone, so were never added.    So I’m working on a few now.  Some were from classes/demonstrations from my quilt guild.   And some are just ones I’m doing.

Some of the items on the list are not really UFO’s, but WIPs, but they do need to be done too.

Current List of 10 UFO items

  1. My very first quilt (when I was 9 years old): fix, size, sandwich, quilt, bind, label, post pic
  2. Curve Play quilt: piece 24 blocks completed, sandwich, quilt, bind, label, post pic
  3. Bear’s Paw quilt (Oldest DD): 6/6 blocks completed, borders, sandwich, quilt, bind, label, post pic
  4. Intertwined Squares: pieced, sandwich, quilt, bind, label, post pic
  5. Beading Experiment: piece, sandwich, bead, quilted, bind, label, post pic
  6. Flight (Bargello #2): piece, sandwich, quilt, bind, label, post pic
  7. Fast Scrappy Quilt: piece, quilt, bind, label, post pic
  8. Christmas Attic Window: piece, sandwich, quilt, bind, label, post pic
  9. Strip-quilt – blocks, border, sandwich, quilt, bind, label, post pic
  10. Scrappy Snow-ball quilt: blocks, border, sandwich, quilt, bind, label, post pic

COMPLETED QUILTS removed from the “10 UFO Items” List

  • 25th Anniversary Quilt – Entwining Love COMPLETED August 2009
  • Flutterbys COMPLETED February 2009
  • Landscape Quilt – Winter Sunrise over Bayne’s Sound: COMPLETED! February 2009
  • Mystery Quilt Star Bright COMPLETED! 12 February 2008
  • There’s a Dog on My Quilt COMPLETED – 21 February 2008
  • Stained Glass Rose Wallhanging – Rose, where did you get that red: COMPLETED! 12 March 2008
  • Mom’s Red-work Cat Quilt – Gotta Love Cats COMPLETED – 05 Sept 2008
  • Sunflower placemats: COMPLETED – 20 August 2008
  • Community Charity Quilt: COMPLETED!

Looking at the list this way, it breaks down the project, and makes the goals of completion seem more achievable.  I’m looking over the list, and realize that they are achievable… except, that how I envision them being quilted, and my current quilting level of experience don’t quite match.   I think I will have to work on that this year.

GOAL FOR 2010 – Practice quilting techniques, and find motifs that are of interest!

Have you updated your List of 10 lately?  And what is your goal for 2010?

It is not very often, that I will make a quilt from a specific pattern, unless I’m taking a class/workshop.   I had seen this particular quilt, and was intrigued… I’m going to stop there, because I want to create a very big lead-up.  *giggle*

Well, of course I started with the pattern, but not wanting to give that away, lets jump to the fabric selection.

My hubby and I both like the colour blue.  When we are away for our Anniversary in November, I decided I was going to buy the fabric for this quilt.  This quilt will be for our bed.   The first big quilt, that I will actually be keeping.

I ended up getting the fabric from three different shops, which was okay.  One fabric (the light blue – Fusions by Robert Kaufman), I actually ordered an entire bolt, as one shop didn’t have enough yardage I required.   The dark blue (Dimples by Gail Kessler for Andover Fabrics) I picked up from two different shops.  The white (Cambridge Square #2192 by Ro Gregg for Northcott) I fell in love with the pattern.  I think (I hope) I bought more than I need, so I can use it for some Christmas projects.

So with all this fabric, today I started cutting the strips.  At first I contemplated how to use the fabrics, and then decided the colour layout.   I don’t like doing all the cutting, then all the piecing, although the directions are written in that way.  I like to cut some, stitch some, press some, and repeat.  It’s a good thing I follow this, as I found out I was using the wrong instructions, and cut 3 or 4 strips at 4½”, when it should have been 6″.   Not a complete loss, I cut the 4½” into 2 – 2″ strips… which I also need!  I lost 1/2″ but that’s okay… with the string quilt I’m working on, I can add some of this fabric into it as well!

And I noticed, that following the correct instructions… I may have waaaaaaaaaaay more fabric than what I need for this project.   Yeah!  Some more for the stash!

After cutting the strips, and stitching them together, it was time to cut them using the specialty ruler that came with the book.  Phew… I’m able to get the required 8 componets from each stitched strip!

Then it was time to piece the sections together, and wow, oh wow… I really like how this is coming together.

This will be my first monochromatic quilt.

Now that all that has been said, and done, the quilt comes from Eleanor Burns Quilt in a Day Series – Day & Night.  I”m not sure if it was the star design, or the black, white and red, but what ever it was, this quilt caught my attention and held on to it.  Be sure to visit Quilt In A day website, and read how they describe this quilt.

As for the string quilt, it is coming along.  I was working on it, getting more blocks completed, and realized I was not feeling the fabric therapy that working on quilts usually gives me.  I’ve decided I’m going to work on the quilt when I need something to fill in gaps.  The double diagonal pattern I chose does not lend itself to using the blocks as leader/enders. Check out Bonnie’s website.  She has a great method for using up scraps, and some interesting information on String quilts too!

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February 2010
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