Color-Shift Bargello Quilted Wall HangingsAfter making my bargello jackets and vest for four years (see quiltedgallery.com), I had a lot of left over strips sewn into color families of eight shades, from light to dark. My first color-shift bargello wall hanging used just left overs and, when I ran out of one color family, I shifted to another one. Even though bargellos use only straight lines, the resulting designs appear curved. Using color families gives depth and movement to my bargellos, and using prints rather than solids gives interest both from a distance and close up. With my construction method, the machine quilting shows only on the back.
I work in two scales for my color-shift bargellos. The large scale begins with 2” strips; the small scale begins with 1½” strips. Which scale I use depends on the size of the piece and the detail needed. Color Rules is a large piece made with the small scale: it has fifty-five color families made from over 500 different fabrics.
WaterscapesAfter doing several purely abstract color-shift bargellos, I decided to try a waterscape. My first waterscape was Neptune’s Realm, where I used every fish, water, sand, and shell fabric I could find that year. As with my abstract color-shift bargellos, I organized my fabrics into color families of eight fabrics, from light to dark. Waterscapes with sand and shells at the bottom are called Coves, and those with just fish and water fabrics are called Aquariums.
LandscapesMany people see mountains and valleys in bargello designs, so my next step was to make pieces that indeed were scenic landscapes. In Seasons of My Imagination, I created four wall hangings of a place in my imagination—one for each season.
CityscapesBuildings are another shape that people can see in bargello designs. I was asked to make a piece as a gift for an architect that looked even more like buildings. I found several navy fabrics with stars or snowflakes on them, so I decided to make a nighttime sky and then make the buildings out of lighter fabrics (Midnight Cityscape). As with my landscapes, these wall hangings do not represent any particular city.
Sweep BargellosIn my Sweep Bargello series, I am exploring what I call a sweep. A sweep is a shape that goes from narrow strips to wide strips and then back to narrow strips. These still use color families of eight fabrics, from light to dark. In some of these, I have made a symmetrical piece (such as Sands of Time) and then have moved the middle off center to get quite a different design (Sands of Time Off-Center).
Color FamiliesRecently, I have been working with color families, but not using the color-shift technique. Some wall hangings use just one color and make several color families in that color (Flowing Pink and Blue Bargello). Others use more than one color family like Volcano at Sea. After making this piece I was intrigued with the shapes in the red when the piece was turned on it’s side. So I expanded on these shapes in Red Lanterns and Blue Lanterns. Then I took three teal color families and just one of the shapes to make Stacked Tops.