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.
- 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.
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.
3. Trim to square up the strip set.
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.
6. Make sure that the sides match well if not, trim where necessary so the tube lies 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”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.