Friday, April 27, 2012

More fabulous bargello quilts !

Join us today for more fabulous bargello quilts, as we take a look at the wonderful work of New Zealand artist, designer, and teacher, Ruth Blanchet. Well-known for her numerous award-winning quilts, Ruth is the owner of Arbee Designs. Her company publishes quilt patterns in New Zealand and the U.S.A, supplying the major countries of the world with innovative designs.

Bargello Blues, 24 x 36, by Ruth Blanchet at Arbee Designs

When a quilter designs a bargello quilt, she traditionally begins by drawing a wavy line on paper or a computer screen. She then designs rectangles and squares of fabric which follow the wavy line in a stair-step or offset pattern. That way, the straight edge of the fabric is able to approximate the wavy line. This pattern is known as "the bargello curve."  When you look at a bargello quilt, you will always be able to see the curve  that defines the pattern; and you will also be able to see the rows of fabric adjacent to it, whose arrangement echoes that curve.

In the case of "Bargello Blues",  the bargello curve is a very sophisticated type of whorl or vortex, done in deep midnight blue to clearly define it.  Gorgeous monochromatic and analogous colors of icy blue, mint green, and shades of cyan blue follow the curve and create a glowing, beautiful background. This bestselling pattern can be found at Arbee Designs, and Ruth also teaches an online class for this advanced design at Quilt University.  In addition to the smaller size wall hanging, you can choose to make this quilt in size 47 x 51.

Bargello Swirl, 45 x 45 by Ruth Blanchet at Arbee Designs

In "Bargello Swirl" you can see 5 distinct bargello curves which create a fantastic pinwheel or kaleidoscope effect. Ruth writes, "This colorful bargello is circular rather than the standard rectangular shape. The bargello is created with a 9 degree wedge ruler, and after the piecing is all finished, it is sewn to the background square. The raw edges can be turned under and stitched in place, or finished with a binding edge. Afraid of small pieces ?  Don't be. This design is strip pieced, and then wedges are cut from the pieced block, making them much more manageable."  Ruth teaches a class in this circular bargello - and other patterns - at her own website, Academy of Quilting.

Color Connections, 35 x 52, by Ruth Blanchet at Arbee Designs

This dazzling quilt is comprised of three interlocking bargello curves which use monochromatic colorways to produce a very intriguing three dimensional effect.Notice that they are pointed both at the top and the bottom, changing the traditional bargello flame shape to more of a curved diamond effect.

Ruth says,  "Color Connections" is an advanced bargello design using three color gradients of fabric on black. This design lends itself to any color combination. Imagine using the primary colors red, blue, and yellow, or the secondary colors green, purple, and orange. You can also use just two color gradients making the two outside links of the same color set. The ideas are endless.  This pattern comes with full details on how to piece and quilt this beautiful design and also includes a full color insert grid so you can follow the directions with ease."

Image credits:  Images are shown with the generous permission of Ruth Blanchet.


  1. I hadn't seen Ruth's designs before - these are wonderful! Thanks!

  2. how do you download the free patterns thanks

    1. Hi ! If you're looking at a free pattern on our sidebar here, simply click on the image of the quilt you like on the sidebar, and the pattern should open right up for you. Please let us know if these instructions work for you. Thanks for visiting, from Marina and Daryl Lynn

    2. Also, you might be looking at the "Free Pattern Day for Bargello Quilts", which is a separate page from this one.
      The "Free Pattern Day for Bargello Quilts" is available by clicking the link below:

      Once you get to the Free Pattern for Bargello Quilts page, simply click on the pink lettering above each quilt which says "PDF download".

      Thanks very much, from Marina and Daryl Lynn


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