Eileen Wright’s More Twist-and-Turn Bargello Quilts offers ten new projects for quilters to try. This How-To book was a Christmas gift. And quite possibly a hint.
Bargello quilts look complicated and are quite daunting. The optical illusion of curved lines creates beautiful works of art. Previously, I have been quite drawn to them in museums and exhibits. But too unsure of the skills required to attempt one.
Challenge from Offspring
Fortunately, my youngest believed in me enough to gift me this book. So, I decided to try the crib quilt pattern as a test. One week later, I am hooked. Wright gives very detailed instructions and if one pays attention, it is smooth sailing.
The first dozen pages give background instruction. This includes the tools needed as well as hints on fabric selection. Furthermore, a critical part of designing Bargello quilts is the color gradation. Knowledge of the color wheel is important. Fortunately, working with color is one of my strengths.
Precise instructions pertaining to all the patterns in the book complete the introductory pages. This information included creating a fabric map. In past quilts such as the Trip Around the World quilts, I indicated my fabric choices on note charts. However, there are definite advantages to using a fabric map. A fabric map consists of scraps of each fabric. So, I affixed my scraps to felt and referred to the placement numerous times. This was an improvement over my former technique.
Additionally, Wright is adamant in her pressing directions. Each seem needed ironing in a particular direction. Furthermore, the timing of the presses was also stressed. I followed her directions to press immediately after each seam. I truly believe the detailed attention to the seam allowances was necessary.
Specific Directions for Wright’s Bargello Designs
A natural choice to practice this new skill set on was the Bargello for Baby. Small in size, the quilt only needed ten fabrics to flow together. The difficulty of blending fabrics is increased with each additional textile.
Key points the author stressed in addition to pressing was the need for exactness in cutting, stitching at a smaller length such as 2 mm and maintaining a scant ¼ inch seam. Adhering to those instructions yielded a beautiful quilt.
My comfort zone was again challenged by the no pin method Wright uses in piecing the strips together. She uses the term “nesting.” If the pressing direction is followed, the two fabrics line up beautifully. However, it is important to pay attention to the sewing and act with deliberation. This is not a pattern to zip through the seams.
Recommendation for More Twist-and-Turn Bargello Quilts
I loved this How-To quilt book. Even beginning quilters can succeed with this guide. But one must pay attention to the instructions. Wright includes website information for additional tips which can be downloaded at ShopMartingale.com/HowtoQuilt . For example, if the quilter needs help with sandwiching or quilting, the website has a link. Now after completing my first Bargello quilt I encourage any quilter to try. This wonderful publication will make the process smooth. Enjoy the slide show.