A lot of thought goes into designing a Bargello quilt. It is not just a matter of drawing a few lines or curves. As you design you will discover how one little change to your design can create a whole new look. One attribute that will make a big difference is whether you use staggered seams or matching seams. Let's take a closer look at these two options.
Staggered Bargello: All seams in each strip will be centered between the two seams in the previous strip (image on the left below). However, all odd numbered strips have their seams in line with each other, as will all even numbered strips. Each strip is moved half a rectangle up or down from the previous row to create the design. We use staggered seams to create Bargello Blues.
Matching Seams: All seams match together. Each fabric moves one complete rectangle either up or down from the previous row to create the design.
These become quite noticeable when you compare the same design as you can see in the images above. I have used matching seams in the right Bargello and staggered seams in the left, yet the design is otherwise the same - the fabrics are the same, the strip widths (height of each section) are the same, the Bargello strips (width of each column) are the same, number of rows and columns are the same, yet the design line is quite different. Matching seams produce deeper curves and steeper grades than the staggered seam does which has softer curves and grades.
Along with these two methods, comes different pressing instructions too.
For staggered strips, it is simply a matter of pressing the seams towards the darkest fabric. For strips with matching seams, alternate their direction, e.g., first seam press up, second seam press down, third up and so forth. With each seam facing opposite direction, the Bargello strips will butt up together easily and match nicely.
These are just two of the options you have when designing a bargello. My Bargello Blues, which is the forefront of the class, gives you an understanding of how detailed and complicated Bargello designs come together. This helps you gain insight for the designing part of the class where lots of amazing Bargello quilts are born. I hope you will be joining me!
About Bargello Blues online: Master advanced techniques in Bargello by constructing this design step by step. Making Ruth's Bargello Blues quilt will help you discover the techniques used in advanced Bargello and prepare the groundwork for creating your own design. Understanding the construction will allow you to move to the next level - designing your very own bargello. This class is an advanced workshop in Bargello making and designing. Read more...