It’s always interesting when we find out that something we think is new and modern and avant garde is really very, very old. Maybe it’s even so old that it goes back to the 16th century and places like Florence and, perhaps, even to the cities of Hungary. But then, again, we stop and remember seeing a 1960’s upholstery fabric someone called “flame stitch” and then we remember tapestries and wall coverings and needlepoint designs that went back…way back…to Tudor castles and closets and bed drapery. So Bargello isn’t new? It’s not some new, cutting-edge technique symbolizing pixels or light waves or segments of fractals? It’s actually old? Very old?
Today’s Bargello quilt patterns are based on the historic embroidery and tapestry stitches that do go way back to the Renaissance. But where the early fabric artists used mainly wool and silk and worked stitch by stitch, today’s Bargello quilters use any fabric they wish for cutting into strips, sewing together generally by machine, looping, cutting again, etc, etc, to make a quilt that seems to weave and wave with fascinating color. Bargello quilts have become very popular and are fun to make. There are many books on the subject and the technique is frequently offered in quilting retreats and at shows. The result is beautiful…contemporary but yet very much based in time and tradition.
Here are a few that have recently been shared with us by members of our community at 24 Blocks. Our thanks go to Jean, Sherry, Laura, Gail and to everyone else who has shared their love of quilting. This is but a sampling. There are many others…all beautiful and rooted in time.