Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bargello plan and sewing the strata


   I spent some time with EQ7 and developed a plan for the bargello.  The first row is  "half-drop" pattern and the second row is "pieced block  pattern", and the third returns to "half-drop" pattern.  So working from left to right, each row drops 1/2 from the previous row. 
   Then I played with the width sizes of each row.  One thing I discovered was to step away from the computer screen about 6 feet.  It made a big  difference in seeing the pattern.  I colored it in a couple of different ways---time consuming! One colorway has the wave coming from the top left, and the other has the wave moving up from the bottom.  I am still deciding which I will use.
  Sewing the strata:
 First make a swatch card, or some type of guide that shows your color plan layout.  I  can't stress this enough.  If you can't get to the linked card, email me and I will send you the pdf.  It is that important.
  Because some of my fabrics were from fat quarters, I go ahead and cut the full width of fabric cuts in half.  It is really easier to work with the shorter lengths, but you will have some waste.    I leave my palette pinned to the design wall and only remove 3 at a time.  It is over whelming to me to have 18 different fabrics on the table and keep them in the correct order.  Three at a time works for my old brain.  And if I am interrupted or take a break, three is not too confusing. 
  Sew the group of 3 together in order. ( I chain piece like I would when I make 9 patch units.)  Then set them aside, and remove the next 3 fabrics  and sew in order.  Repeat until you have all fabrics joined in groups.  Your table will look like this---that's why you need the swatch card as your guide.
Then join the groups of three together in order according to the swatch card.  And you will get a strata that is in order.  Press all seams away from the #1 fabric.  I press on the back first and then flip the strata over and press from the front, too.  I am notorious for tucks at the seam line, but I try to avoid them.
    At this point, most of my time has been spent picking fabrics and  planning the color placement.  Cutting takes maybe 30 minutes so far, and the sewing time is probably about an hour to make 3 sets of strips sewn into the strata.  Pretty quick, huh?  The second part goes quickly too, just more pressing that tends to slow you down.    
   One other tip or hint in deciding the color placement.  The fabrics placed  in  #1 through  about #5 will flow across the center the quilt only, while the other places will show up at the bottom and the top creating multiple waves.  That's why I wanted the very dark fabrics spread out and not together. 


I'll sew the rest of the stratas and be done for today.  Off for a couple of days, but next week I'll have something more to show.  Happy stitching.


3 comments:

  1. Wow.... now that is a lot o' planning... but it will be worth it when you have a beautiful finished quilt!

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  2. I agree: lots of plannng! Those beautiful fabrics are so...so calming! Forgive me if you've already mentioned this but do you buy all the fabric for a quilt or go from stash or a little of both?(If it's from your stash, I wanna see a pic of it all! LOL Maybe I'm weird but I think to see someone's fabric stash is a way to learn a lot about that person, just like you say to know you is to read your quilts)

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  3. I really think these instructions would make more sense if I were actually making a quilt instead of sitting at my computer late in the evening (10.30) just reading! :-)

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