Tuesday 29 August 2017

Adventures in Patchwork - Rainbow Bargello!

Hey everyone! 

We are having such a confused winter here - one day it's gloriously sunny, 25 degrees and shorts weather, the next it is literally raining ice and so cold I feel I will never be warm again :/ 

Fortunately I've had lots of inside projects to work on! I finished my second pair of socks (which deserve a post all of their own), wrote up two new designs, helped organise a fundraising High Tea for Days for Girls, and all the administration for our next batch of inbound and outbound exchange students. Phew! I also wanted to spend some time with my mum so we decided to make a king size rainbow bargello wave patchwork quilt for my new king size bed. 

Aren't these colours just glorious?! Most of them are the same print, a (now discontinued) fabric called Flutter, plus a few ring-ins to smooth out the rainbow gradient.

I think the thing I love most about making bargello patchwork is that it is as much about organisation as it is sewing. Sewing is not my greatest skill; I can do it, but not nearly as accurately or well as my mother can. But I can contribute to a bargello by doing the maths, organising the pieces, keeping track of where we're up to, and enabling mum to just concentrate on sewing! 

The first step in a bargello is making the strip sets. This involved cutting strips of each colour, then sewing them together in the right order to make panels of striped fabric. Then, we cut the strip sets into strips the other way, at different widths. 

The easiest way to keep track of each size (as they are only 1/4" different!) is to have a ziploc bag for each size! Then I can take out what I need for the next thing without having to keep track in my head of what's going on.

Once the strips are all cut and the ends sewn together to make a loop, the bargello fun begins! Each strip gets unpicked at the right spot, its row number pinned on, the correct edge pinned together, and then back to the sewing machine!

I made two mistakes with this quilt, fortunately both fixable but still irritating. 

My first error was, I very carefully calculated the width of the quilt and worked out how many strips of each size we would need; except, I forgot to account for seam allowances. So it was too narrow by 1/2" per column. SIGH. We ended up adding rows -3, -2, -1, 64, 65, 66 and 67 to make up the extra width.

My second error was caused by getting too excited about being finished, and I unpicked a few strips in the wrong place. This caused metres of unpicking but it was all worked out! Unpicking in sewing is even sadder than frogging crochet :'( 

The quilt grew bit by bit, wave by wave...

... until it was finished!! 

Now it's off to Goulburn to visit Yvonne and get quilted, with that glorious teal fabric on the back, and I cannot wait to get it onto my bed!! 


  1. This is so WOW! Gorgeous work from your and your mom! Can't wait to see it completely finished.

  2. wow! Its fantastic! I am working on a rainbow bargello crochet blanket but haven't touched it for about a year! Must get back on it!