Bargello Kimono quilt by Diane McGregor of Castilleja Cotton, Quilted top - Stitch in the ditch bargello detail

Bargello Kimono

In 2012, Other Projects by S Adams

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I saw this kit at a quilt show at the Portland Convention Center and fell in love instantly.  I tried really hard not to buy it, but somehow I knew in my heart that it was going to come home with me.  I loved everything about it.  I loved the subtle bargello, I loved the colors, I loved the Asian style fabrics and I loved that it was a wall hanging.  Yep, pretty much everything about it.  As I was wandering around the show trying not to think about the kit, I realized that I hadn’t yet made anything for my niece Jessica.  I had made quilts for her boys Trevor and Jake, and even one for her brother Dean, but not one for her.  Once I realized this horrible oversight on my part, I marched directly to the stand and bought the kit.  Well, as directly as one can march at a quilt show.  Ya know… shiny things?

Anyway, the kit was great and I was pretty sure that Jessica would love the colors.  The pattern was well written and the fabrics nice to work with.  I did change a couple of the fabric placements, but only slightly so.  I took just a couple pictures (of questionable quality) while the quilt was in progress.

When I was finished piecing I contacted Karen for some custom quilting.   You can read about it on her blog here.  She did SID (stitch-in-the-ditch) in the Bargello part, background McTavishing, and modified piano key borders.  Even on this small project I learned a couple things:

  1. Let your longarmer design the quilting.  When Karen and I discussed how to quilt this wall hanging, I remember asking for something specific in the borders.  I don’t recall exactly what it was, but it was different than the “modified piano keys” border that she had suggested.  After I slept on it a few nights, I realized that her idea was actually much better than mine and that I should just let her design the quilting – always.  She has way more experience and is just plain better at it that I am.  Since then I’ve tried to just let her do her thing.  It’s hard for a control freak like me to do that, but I’ve not been disappointed in the results.
  2. Measure your fabric before you start cutting, especially in a kit.  The skinny black inner border was supposed to be a tiny bit wider (1/4″), but there wasn’t enough fabric in my kit to make it the designated width.  I don’t think that 1/4″ matters much in the end, but if I had started cutting without checking, I’d have had to either skip the inner border or buy more fabric.  Glad I checked.
  3. I loved the bargello process!  I haven’t yet done another quilt using this technique, but I know that I will.  I particularly like the subtle Bargello of this quilt.  I’ll probably lean that direction in the future too.

I’m not sure why I didn’t get any finished pictures of the quilt.  All my post-quilting pictures are from Karen.  I vaguely recall finishing the binding, and within minutes wrapping the quilt in Christmas wrapping paper.  Someday when I visit, I must take a full photo.

The Project Photos

The Project Details…

Pieced By: Me
Piecing Done: August 2012
Quilted By: Karen Walker
Quilting Done: November 2012
Pattern: “Bargello Kimono” by Diane McGregor, Castilleja Cotton
Fabric Line: Hoffman Fabrics (I believe the kit included fabrics from the Hoffman 2011 Challenge line).
Size: 29 x 40 inches
For: Niece Jessica and her family
Occasion: Christmas 2012