Have you ever wondered where some designs come from and how they were named? I do sometimes. It helps me remember the name if nothing else. Bargello actually started as a needlepoint style also known as Florentine, Flame, or Hungarian Point. An early example is on chairs in the Bargello Museum in Florence, Italy, hence the name. Bargello quilts look very complicated, but some people say they are actually very easy to make. Others I’ve talked to would disagree. Whatever view you have, we can all agree that the quilt I’m showing you today is beautiful. This is Kathleen’s Bargello Quilt.
The Bargello needlepoint and quilt designs are all made up of the same basic design element. Short straight lines of multiple colors placed in the same order but shifted slightly to create the desired design effect. In the case of Kathleen’s quilt, we see a swag. Her strips are the same height, but the varying widths gives the gentle rounded effect rather than a straight sharp pointed chevron.
Like any quilt, the colors of the fabrics can make or break a bargello design. I love the fabrics she chose. Looking closely, she has five different black fabrics with similar floral patterns and colors to the pink and white fabrics making up the swags. The black fabrics, though different, blend beautifully to appear as an almost solid black backdrop. I love the subtle pop of the stripe mixed it. Do you notice the polka dot fabric? I barely saw it, everything blends so nicely.
Daphne Quilt Design
To complete the look of this beautiful Bargello quilt, Kathleen asked me to quilt it with an edge to edge design called Daphne. Edge to edge designs are great for quilts that are intended to be on a bed as they add a lot of even texture without a lot of thread build up. Daphne is a cute slightly whimsical floral design. It just adds to the delicate floral nature of this quilt.
Bargello can be made in so many ways. I’ve seen chevrons, swags like Kathleen’s, and hearts. Because of all the possibilities from this quilt design, I can imagine this is a style you could create and recreate over and over without making a duplicate. The popularity of this style has made finding directions on how to create your own readily available. Send us pictures if you have a bargello quilt of your own, or better yet, share it at the Quilted Joy Clubhouse. We’d love to see what you’ve been working on.