Thursday 30 January 2014

Bargello Cushions

Bargello Cushion 1
Wow, I'm been so busy visiting other peoples' blogs and answering all the lovely comments left on my blog, that I haven't had time to write any new posts for a while. I'm very grateful to Vicki from 2 bags full  for organising this blog hop. It's a great way to see what other people are making and blogging about.

I made these bargello cushions in a class at Nancy's Embroidery Shop in Wellington, New Zealand. The instructor's cushion was rather more free form than mine, but I like straight lines and segmentation, so I came up with the designs that you see.

Bargello cushion 2
I initially thought that bargello was rather dated, because most of the work I'd seen was done in olive geens, browns and oranges from the 1970s and 80s. Of course I didn't want to use those colours, so I opted for blues, greens and pinks. The secret to good bargello is to have three or four shades of the same colour and then you will get the shading effects you can see in my cushions. I used dark navy canvas and Perle 5 for these cushions.

For my first cushion I divided the space into nine equal squares and then chose a pattern to fill each square. I used a bargello book (The Bargello Book by Frances Salter) and selected the designs that I liked the best.

I used graph paper to map out the designs and check that I was going to see the pattern repeating enough times within the squares. The tumbling block pattern appealed of course, because it's also used in quilting.

For the second cushion I used parts of a pattern that I'd seen in another bargello book. It might have been 
Bargello : a fresh approach to Florentine embroidery by Brenda Day but I can't be sure now.

I put a different pattern on each side of the main panel, and sneakily incorporated one square of the wave pattern into the grid cushion so there would be a linkage between them.

I make sure that these cushions are looked after because they did take a lot of time to make. Teenage boys have a habit of throwing cushions on the floor, so these cushions live beside my chair and are for my use only!

Bargello cushions


Carol D. said...

Lovely work Wendy! I think I might enjoy this kind of stitchery.

Heather said...

Wonderful! Your color choices are lively and set of the patterns wonderfully.

Rachel said...

Very pretty. Do you just use regular canvas? Do you put the design on the fabric somehow, or is it all done freehand?

Lorraine said...

These turned out beautifully Wendy. Love the colour variations and the stitches. Really shows off the threads. Now, you've given me another idea - just what I need girl!

Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation said...

This is so bright and fun!

Thanks so much for linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday!

:) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

Sarah @ mila+cuatro said...

They're lovely and bright, and look like a ton of work has gone into them. Hello from South Canterbury.

ratama said...

Beautiful cushions !

Deb said...

Such a pretty cushion. So bright and cheery

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

Those are very pretty. I came from Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Nice job!

Gemini Jen NZ said...

Very very lovely work! I haven't seen the tumbling blocks pattern in stitching before and it looks awesome. I made two traditional bargello cushion panels for my grandmother when I was a teenager, using up the leftover cottons in her sewing box. Might just have to make some again after seeing yours!

Linda Wulf Koenig said...

Oh my gosh, these are incredible. I'd never be able to do this!

Wendy said...

they are beautiful! Definitely very modern

Angie in SoCal said...

Gorgeous cushion, Wendy!

Tisha Dolton said...

Love this needlework. I've nver heard of bargello before.

Thanks for sharing your blog. I'm still trying to make it to all of the blogs (GYB). What a list! please check out my embroidery blog is you are so inclined. (I'm in the 1st set of the GYB links.)