This week’s Bargello Bell Pattern is based on a charming quilt design with a simple Bargello needlepoint pattern.
Most Bargello has patterns that repeat. That’s what makes Bargello such a wonderful technique that fits in with absolutely any kind of decor.
They repeat in two ways. First off the sequence of colors repeats throughout the piece. You can see this repetition in this piece.
The second kind of repetition repeats the basic motif or line over and over again. The mini-sock below (pattern here) shows this.
If the pattern is repeated often enough. centering it won’t matter, it’s the repetition you see.
What happens if it’s only one large pattern? If it’s centered the design looks rather static and dull. Move the peak off to one side and you get an exciting and dynamic design. It’s one that has a lovely tension between the traditional feel of Bargello and the more quirky and modern asymmetrical pattern.
That’s why this bell is such a great project.
Materials & Marking
- 6×8″ piece of 18-mesh mono canvas
- multi-colored thread
- light neutral thread to coordinate with multi-colo
- metallic ribbon thread to coordinate with multi-color
- solid thread to coordinate with multi-color
- gold or silver metallic for top
I used stash thread for my project. The multi-color was an over-dyed wool from Cascade (no longer made). With it I used Soft Sheen Fyre Werks, a hand-dyed cotton, and a Walsh silk/wool (no longer made). The top uses Kreinik #12 (Tapestry) braid.
Trace your bell shape onto canvas (find it here). You could also use other simple shapes, such as rounds, teardrops, eggs, or mini-socks. Because they are designed to be ornaments, always put a square topper at the top.
Begin by tracing your ornament outline onto your canvas using an extra fine permanent marker made for marking fabrics (I use Pigma Microns). Because Bargello uses straight stitches you might find your finished piece looks better if you color your shape in a light version of your main colors. Use thicker markers or acrylic paints to do this. The coloring does not have to be even.
Slightly off center and down about 1/4″ from the top, make a mark to show the peak of your establishing line.
Making the Bell
To stitch the bell, you will stitch the establishing line with the light neutral thread, beginning at the peak and working down to each side.
The pattern, below, shows more of the line than you will need. This is so that it is even on both sides. Because of the off-center peak, yours will not be even. Just stitch as much of the line as will fit in your outline.
Once the establishing line is complete, fill in the outline. First stitch the rows below the establishing line. Then stitch the row above. Here is the color sequence:
Once the bell is stitched, stitch the top in Woven Plait, below, using the gold metallic.
Follow the Series On-line!
Come back next Tuesday for more ornaments.
- Landscape Bargello
- Offset Swag
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
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