A Bargello quilt with a compelling focal point inspired this week’s Bargello Bell. The quilt used a very busy print as the focal point line. Not only was it completely different in texture from the shaded solids around it, it was different in color. I loved the way it drew your attention immediately.
But prints are very hard to reproduce in thread at a small scale. When you combine a print with a longer straight stitch, as is the case in Bargello, it’s much more difficult.
You need to hone in on only some aspects of the focal point line. I chose to focus on the different color combined with a thread that attracts attention. My top attention-grabbing thread is holographic Fyre Werks. I have never used this thread where it did not immediately become the focal point. This includes when it was one gold among many.
I had a lovely sparkly blue color. The sparkle also has something of the “busy” feel of the printed fabric.
To surround it, I used stranded threads in pink and white. They provide several kinds of contrast: light vs.dark, warm, vs. cool, solid vs. multi-colorr, and blue vs. red.
Using only solid threads created too strong a transition from color to color, so every third line uses a 50/50 blend of the two adjacent solids.
Burmilana was used for white and light pink. Simply Wool from Gentle Art was used for dark pink.
- 5×7″ 18-mesh canvas
- 1 card Rainbow Gallery Holographic Fyre Werks
- 3 packages stranded threads in colors to contrast with Fyre Werkes
- extrafine marking pen, safe for marking canvas
- coordinating metallic for the top (model uses white 12-strand Treasure 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.
Stitching the Bell
This bell uses the same offset swag line used earlier in the series.
Slightly off center and down about 1/4″ from the top, make a mark to show the peak of your establishing line.
To stitch the bell, you will stitch the establishing line with the holographic Fyre Werks, 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.
After the establishing line is made follow it to stitch the rest of the bell. You will stitch in this order (from focal line out):
- 2 rows lightest color
- 1 row 50/50 blend of light & middle color
- 2 rows middle color
- 1 row 50/50 blend middle and dark color
- 2 rows dark color
If needed fill in with additional rows of dark color.
When finished stitch the top in Tent-Gobelin Stripe, below, using your metallic.
Follow the series on-line!
Two more bells to go!
Come back next Tuesday for more ornaments.
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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