I got a question recently asking about kits to make a Bargello pillow.
There aren’t many of them out there, so it’s best to make your own. This is easier than you might think.
The pillow pictured here is a vintage pillow, made from an elsa Williams design. A great place to find over 30 Bargello patterns is my book Bargello Revisited. The book is available on Amazon, at Nordic Needle, and at your local shop through Unicorn Books.
1. Pick your mesh size. I think 14 or 16 mesh is the best for Bargello because it can use the widest choice of threads.
2. Decide on your finished pillow size. Cut your canvas to be 2″ wider on all sides.
3. Using a permanent marked made for fabric, mark out the edged of your pillow.
4. Using books or Internet resources, pick out a Bargello pattern you like and count how many colors of thread you will need.
5. Pick out your threads and colors. The classic look is done with multiple shades of the same color.
6. (optional) Using craft paint in a color slightly lighter than the lightest color of your thread, and a sponge brush, color the canvas inside the pillow outline. This helps prevent needlepoint dandruff.
7. Start stitching.
About Janet M Perry
Janet Perry is the Internet's leading authority on needlepoint. She designs, teaches and writes, getting raves from her fans for her innovative techniques, extensive knowledge and generous teaching style. A leading writer of stitch guides, she blogs here and lives on an island in the northeast corner of the SF Bay with her family
This is great. Thanks.
Sharon Zotti says
You are. Fantastic. I have your boook. Bargello revisited,. Do you have a pattern for a missoni like pillow in your llibrary of pamphlets and books. How would. We enlarge your purse to make it a pattern for a quick Missoni like pillow. Thank you my bargello master sent from Heaven. ( i have done and loved bargello since before my son was born so I know its more than 35 years)
Christine J PAUL says
Looking for seat cushions …no luck so far… Top only, Bargello…sewed onto a pillow…
Have enjoyed your site, discovered ONLY today! Elsa is smiling down on YOU……
Will continue my search now….Seat cushions intended for six rattan chairs…Though only I need the extra padding for my skinny butt… The other five intended to keep peace around the table…As in “our princess feels a pea”!!!
Janet M Perry says
Try looking on eBay. I’ve seen some pretty large Bargello pillow tops there. You’d have to have them made into cushions.
Another idea would be to get already-made cushions and sew the stitched Bargello to them. I’d still look on eBay for them though.
mary ann casey says
thank you for your great tips on Bargello. Can you tell me how I figure out how much threads I need for a Bargello pillow I am making? thank you, I am going to buy your book!!!! Mary Ann. p.s. I have been doing Bargello for over 50 years, I have two bargello pillows that I did for my Mother 40 years ago!!! Once you find something you love just continue doing it!! Thanks again for keeping this stitching alive!!!
Janet M Perry says
I tend to buy way more than I need for projects, that’s why I have a huge stash. This blog post, by a shipowner, might help you: