A few months ago I had never heard of “bargello” but it has been fun learning about it. “Bargello” is a quilting term that refers to a zigzag motif similar to a design found on some chairs in an old fortress (they call it a palace) in Florence, Italy. The Bargello Palace is now a museum, and in it you can find these chairs with the zigzag design in the seat and back coverings.
Some bargello designs are made with needlepoint, but quilters can also make a design that reflects the bargello style. Recently I went to a workshop to learn more about quilting a bargello.
The options are endless, but traditionally the colours are supposed to go from dark to light for that special effect. I did not go out shopping for well-matched colours, but used scraps of what I had. For learning how to do the process, I thought it would work well enough. Others in the workshop had much better colour matches and the effect was much more dramatic.
The process is basically this:
You lay out your strips of cloth using two sets of colours going from light to dark.
Sew the strips together. You even sew the last strip to the first one to make a tube.
Turn the tube sideways and cut into strips again.
Lay them out in a zigzag design that you find pleasing, opening up the top seams for the full length of the strip again. You can see this on some of the samples of designs that other quilters came up with.
The strips will be sewn together and evened out at the top and bottom, then batting and backing and binding is added to finish the quilt.
The possibilities are endless.