I had seen some beautiful bargello quilts on display and really wanted to make one. Of course I wanted a stunningly beautiful one, but didn’t understand the concepts well enough to design one myself. So I signed up for a class at Sew Etc. and worked from this pattern, “Links”, by Derek Lockwood.
Overall, even using the strip piecing technique recommended in the pattern, this was a challenging quilt to assemble. I did learn a couple of useful tips about strip piecing during the construction of the original strip sets:
- Don’t use strips that are too long. I used half the width of the yardage – about 22 inches. The longer the strips are, the harder it is to keep the seam absolutely straight. And if the seams aren’t straight, the squares won’t line up properly when you try to piece the rows on the quilt.
- It’s a good idea to press each strip as you attach it to the next, otherwise results are less accurate when you try to press the whole set, and you lose width from the strips.
It was very interesting to learn how the juxtaposition of the colours combined with varying widths of columns creates the curving movement.
Why was this one a UFO? Once again it was time. The quilt top was about half completed during the class, and took me a further 20 or so hours to finish. On top of that add 18 hours for basting, quilting, and binding. I did notice again that spending so much time with the quilt was very pleasant, I really had a chance to appreciate the interplay of the colours.
Could I design one myself? Definitely not one as complex as this, more practice is required. Not sure how soon I’ll attempt another bargello quilt, but it sure feels good to complete another unfinished object.