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Bargello Quilt Along – Part 3 – Quilting and Finishing

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Miss the earlier parts?  Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here!

Hopefully you’ve got either a placemat or a tablerunner top pieced together if you followed the steps in parts 1 and 2. I’m not going to go into too much detail on how to quilt your top but I will link to some tutorials if you’ve never quilted anything before and need to learn how. My last post is more of a design suggestion  - feel free to finish it however you like!

Step 1 is to make your sandwich:

I lay my pieced top on top of my batting and trim it so I have a least 1″ extra on all sides. Then I trim my backing fabric with some extra on the sides too using my batting as a template.  Spray some basting spray on your trimmed backing fabric and smooth your trimmed batting on top of that.  Spray your basting spray on top of your batting, center your top and smooth that over the batting.  You want to make sure there aren’t any wrinkles and your basting spray holds well!

**Don’t use too much basting spray or it will gum up your needle while you quilt!  I also recommend spraying outside in a ventilated area.

For one of my placemats I used pins:

For straight line quilting: here is a good tutorial on how to do straight line quilting. I will say I preferred the overall effect of the straight line quilting on my bargello tops over the free motion placemat that I did.  It all comes down to preference!  Try both and see what you like.

The placemats will be easy since they are so small but I wanted to show how I rolled up my table runner since it is longer and can become bulky. I recommend quilting all your straight lines coming from the same side so you don’t get wonkyness in your quilt! This means you’ll be cutting more threads since you won’t be flipping the project back and forth but I find it creates better consistency in my project and less tucks or puckers.

Check your thread tension!  If your thread is breaking or making a weird noise check the bottom of your sandwich.

For Free Motion Quilting: there are a million great tutorials out there – here is a good page to start with from Leah Day.  Due to the bargello pattern I found that the quilting sort of got lost in the fabric.  If you don’t want your quilting to be obvious this may be the best option for you.  Choose a thread that blends well with your fabrics and do an all-over meander.  It is the fastest way to quilt it though I will admit!

You can kind of see how the quilting got lost in the photo below:

Here is a video tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company on free motion quilting basics.

There are lots of different variations on how to quilt out your project!  Try a different design on each placemat and see what you like.  Experiment!

Binding: I chose to bind my placemats and table runner by machine. You can bind your pieces the traditional way if you want.

Here is my favorite binding video for bumpless binding:

And another great video for doing all your binding by machine which is what I chose to do:

I used up some really narrow strips of binding that I had in the drawer so I utilized my favorite tool – a post it!

So after all that hard work you should have a fun project to enjoy now and celebrate your new bargello addiction! Here are my samples on my little card table:


I hope you enjoyed the quilt along!  I’d love to do a follow-up post showing your finished projects so please e-mail me and share your photos if you’d like to be included! I’ve loved hearing from all of you and seeing everyone get inspired to do a bigger bargello project.  I know I’ve got one on my list for 2012!

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