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Accurately piecing the Batty for Bargello Table Runner

Accurately piecing the Batty for Bargello Table Runner

by Robin Bogaert

In yesterday’s post, I discussed tips for effectively preparing and cutting Bargello patchwork strips. Today’s tips for effective piecing are crucial. Working with Gütermann Sew-all Thread, a ¼” machine sewing foot, seam ripper, and flat flower head pins will insure accurate piecing.

Showing Gray Gütermann MCT Sew-all Thread thread on a thread spool of a machine

Piecing thread from Gütermann MCT Sew-all Thread, strong and fine

Sewing Instructions

  1. Sew all strips together lengthwise with right sides together starting with strip 1 and ending with strip 12 as shown. Insert a ¼” foot, and sew slowly and accurately with fine thread to match or blend with the colors of the strips.

TIP It is recommended to stitch with a fine strong thread like Gütermann Sew-all Thread as the stitches show up as very fine so as not to increase the bulk in all the many seams a bargello block creates. I used a soft gray to blend with all colors. Focus and sew slowly as accuracy is key.

Sewing strips for bargello strip piecing

Sewing the strips together with a ¼” foot

2. Press in one direction for all strips as shown. This will allow for flat seam intersections. Do not use steam, as the pre           -starched fabric is stable at this point. A hot dry iron works the best.

Strip set shown on the back side with pressing direction showing on all strips in one direction

Seams are pressed with a hot dry iron in one direction.

3. Trim to square up the strip set.

Bargello strip set is sewed together and trimmed

The strip set is trimmed

4. Make 2 more of these strip sets, sewing from 1 to 12 right sides together, pressing in the same direction and                         squaring.

5. Sew strips 1 to 12 right sides together lengthwise to make a tube as shown below, matching raw edges. Make 3                      tubes from all strip sets.

Showing the bargello strip set folded so that it can be sewn along the long side into a tube

Sewing the strip set into a tube

6. Make sure that the sides match well if not, trim where necessary so the tube lies flat.

Bargello tube sewn together on the long side and trimmed to lay flat

Tube is sewn together and trimmed square to lay flat

7. Cut the following from the left-hand side of the squared strip set as shown, if you’re left-handed you could cut from             the right side. Cut into the second strip set to get all of these cuts for one block:

  • 3 strips 1½”
  • 2 strips 1¾”
  • 2 strips 2”
  • 2 strips 2½”
  • 2 strips 2¾”

Sub-cut stacks of strips laid on a cutting mat ready for more sewing

Strips are sub cut from 2 tubed strip sets, follow the cutting directions above.

8. Referring to the layout diagram below, seam rip at different sections of each strip to create the strip configuration               needed to lay out the correct pattern. You’ll be staggering each color to create the pattern.

Seam ripping specific section of the sub cut fabric strips to be used for a bargello layout

Seam ripping at specific sections to achieve the layout shown below

Bargello layout diagram for one block in black, gray, white and orange fabric

Bargello layout diagram

9. Once all the strips are seam ripped where needed, lay them out and number the rows 1-11 as shown. I used                           masking tape at the top of each strip so that the numbering system would not come off.

Note: These are row #’s and not color numbers.

Rows of bargello fabric strips numbered and ready for sewing

Rows of strips numbered so they are accurately sewn together

10. Sew each row together in groups of two, use flat pins or fine pins at each intersection of the seams, pinning                        through one seam to the other carefully. With careful pinning, you’ll achieve success but this is a crucial moment in                the process, well worth the time it takes. Sew carefully with a ¼” foot making sure all seams lie flat.

Pinned bargello strips with flat flower head pins

Starting the process of careful pinning the rows in groups of 2. initially using flat flower head pins

Bargello block shown completed with Gütermann MCT Sew-all Thread

The bargello block is complete

11. Remove the taped labels and press in the same direction for all units. Pressing in the same direction at the strip                   piecing and block construction stage will allow the block to lay flat and it’ll also make it easier to quilt through.

Showing the reverse side of the bargello block with seams pressed in one direction.

Strips are pressed in the same direction.

12. Make one more of these blocks to get ready to choose a table runner layout. You’ll need 2 blocks to make a table               runner measuring approximately 22½” x 48”.

Inching forward… I hope you enjoyed today’s piecing tutorial with Gütermann MCT Sew- all Thread. By now I’m thinking you can imagine the possibilities with this big block. Join me tomorrow when I show you some interesting layout possibilities.

This is part 3 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 2: 2 essential TIPS for cutting perfect Bargello patchwork strips

Go to part 4: Creative quilt layouts with a Bargello quilt block


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