Not Your Mother’s Bargello Tablerunner

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Have you ever made a bargello quilt or table runner? I have made a few and today I’m going to share a bargello quilt that is not made like your mother’s bargello quilt. I hope you enjoy it!

Bargello runner tutorial

Not Your Mother’s Bargello Tablerunner

batik bargello tablerunner on bench

Bargello Tablerunner
22″ x 50″

Island Batik April Quilt Projects

Island Batik Ambassadors are sharing projects in April that are inspired by vintage quilts using some of the batiks we received in our box of batiks received in February. Here is the entire list of 2018 Island Batik Ambassadors if you would like to visit them.

I received a Fat Eighth bundle of Island Batik’s Southern Bloom Collection and I knew I wanted to make something fun that we would use a lot.

A Fat Eighth is 11″ x 18″ and is a great way to get an entire collection. I couldn’t wait to press all of the pieces and then pick some of them for my Bargello vintage quilt project.

Southern Blooms Fat Eighth bundle ironed

I cut 2″ x 18″ strips of all of the fabrics.

Island Batik fat eighth batiks

Next, I chose groups of 5 different batiks for a color strata and sewed them together, then I sub-cut them into 2½” strips.

batiks used for bargello

Now it was time for fun, placing the color strata strips on my design wall and coming up with a design. At this point, I wasn’t sure what I was going to end up making.

batik strip sets on wall

I decided it would be fun to combine two different batiks for the background of my quilt project. One is Rice which has a blue tint and is in the Island Batik Neutral Collection and the other was Cream from the Island Batik Basic Collection.

  • I cut 2½” x 11″ strips of the Rice batik and added one to each side of the strips.
  • Move the color strata strip up one block or down one block depending on how you want the design to flow.
  • I wanted a little separation between the strips so I cut 1½” x the width of fabric (WOF) of the Cream batik.
  • I folded the strip in half and matched the center with the center of the color strata strip.
  • Sew together with a ¼” seam allowance.
not your mothers bargello

Once you have all of the Southern Blooms color strata strips and the cream strips are sewn together it is time to trim your table runner. Look for the shortest strip on each side and use that as a guide to trim the table runner.

Color Strata Bargello table runner ready to trim

Yes, there is waste, but I’m not worried, I’ll be using them in another project. Now you can see that the way I created this bargello table runner is not your mother’s bargello quilt or not the way they are generally made.

I used Hobbs 80/20 cotton batting and Aurifil thread for my quilting.  I am also a Aurifil Artisan and receive different weights of thread from Aurifil.

This is the first time that I have used Aurifil’s 40wt thread for freemotion quilting but I can assure you it won’t be the last!

Aurifil 40wt thread

I use a vintage 15-91 Singer sewing machine for all of my piecing and quilting and my sewing machine made beautiful stitches with this thread.

Karen Miller from Redbird Quilt Co. has created a beautiful Aurifil collection called The Subtle Sampler which contains several different weights of Aurifil thread.

Following her advice, I used the Aurifil 40wt thread on top and Aurifil 50wt thread in the bobbin. I also used a Schmetz 80/12 top stitch needle. It turned out perfectly!

I happened to have a beautiful teal batik leftover from a quilt that I designed last year and it worked perfectly for the binding on my table runner.

I cut the strips 2½” and sewed the binding to the front of my table runner.

I then folded it to the back and machine stitched it down.

Most of my quilt projects get used and washed over and over. Machine stitched binding holds up very well for this kind of use.

Batik Bargello tablerunner on deck

I know this looks like a very, very boring room but I just wanted to show that this bargello table runner could also be used as a bed runner. I still don’t have the two twin quilts done for the spare room and….no pictures on the wall yet.

Batik Bargello tablerunner on bed

Here is the bargello table runner on the island in our kitchen, at 22″ x 50″ it is a perfect size!

I have plenty of the Summer Blooms collection left and I plan on making placemats to match. Won’t those be beautiful!

Batik Bargello tablerunner kitchen island

This closeup shows my free-motion stitching with the 40wt Aurifil thread and you can also see the contrast in the neutral background batik.

Batik Color Strata Bargello tablerunner closerup

There is lots of neat driftwood along the river, I need to go back and grab some pieces of it. A long piece makes a great hanger for a small quilt.

batik bargello tablerunner by river

Having a large cone of Aurifil thread with 6,462 yards of thread on it makes it so I don’t have to worry about running out of thread when I am piecing. Also since the 50wt thread is finer, I can get more on my bobbin.

Aurifil 40wt and 50wt thread used for quilting

It is so nice to finally have some nice weather so I can take photos of my quilt projects outside. It won’t be much longer and we’ll be spending our evenings sitting on the deck looking at the river.

Have you ever made a bargello quilt? I would love to know what you think of the way I made my bargello table runner.

Get a PDF of this tutorial.

Here are the placemats and a tutorial that I made using the leftovers.

Great deals for you!

Looking for great buys on fabric and things? Check out these links

Bargello quilted tablerunner tutorial

Looking for more ideas for a bargello quilt? Take a look at a few other projects I have made.

Bargello Tablerunner kitchen
Connie with her dogs

About Connie

Hi, I’m Connie Kresin Campbell, the quilter, writer, and photographer behind Freemotion By the River. I enjoy inspiring others with my quilt tutorials and patterns. You’ll also see my sweet adopted dogs from time to time.

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  1. Neat bargello runner! I like doing small bargello projects, and I like finding projects our quilt club might like. I think this will qualify. I haven’t tried Aurifil 40 wt for FMQ yet–guess I should since I have several spools. I use 50 wt quite often. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Very cute! I’m behind on blog reading… I need to try that thread for my long arm, I’m a bit scared of it.btw when I look in Feedly blog reader, your blog only shows one picture then I have to go to website to see more.

  3. Hello Connie, so glad I found your site, I love the modern bargello Table Runner, I will be making one with some springfabric jelly rolls, thank you for your generosity I providing your patterns and instructions. Although I will start this table runner the end of April, I hope to finish by end of May 2018.

  4. I love your Bargello table runner!! I just finished making a quilt that I made a Bargello flag for the center. First time for me making a Bargello and I haven’t a clue if I did it correctly, but I had to rip out the part with the blue stars, trim (and replace one strip) and resew…it was horribly bent out of shape! I have a Bargello pattern but I’m not sure I want to make it now that I have made the one with the flag. Unless I can make it the way you did yours – it is awesome!

  5. Very nicely done Connie! Thank you for sharing your method also. Another I will have to put on the list. Now that I am back home I am ready and raring to go!!

  6. Hello Connie; Yes, I have made a Bargello quilt before. It was a lot of fun, yet it also is at the same time a lot of work. Maybe, I should say just time consuming. The way in which you designed and put your quilt together is brilliant. It is a fun and easier way to get the bargello look without all of the time! Thank you so much for sharing your great design project. It is one I would love to make in the future. Have a great day.

  7. Love your table runner, Connie! I have made a bargello – my first and last (named appropriately Twisted Sister!!)
    But I think I could make others using your method! The 40 wt Aurifil quilted up very nicely!

  8. Connie, this is gorgeous! So many of your projects make me want to drop everything and run to my sewing room to follow your pattern. This is just one more! Making a bargello is on my bucket list and to fit it into a table runner is just perfect. Thank you!

  9. I haven’t made a bargello (yet), but I have sat in the room while a close friend made one and I offered plenty of praise and encouragement…. does that count? 🙂 A lovely project from you as usual…. that Southern Bloom fabric is just beautiful!

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