Thursday, January 31, 2013

Life's Ups and Downs Stitched

I stitched my bargello strips into a quilt top.

bargello quilt top

You may recall that I used the Life's Ups and Downs pattern in Quilt It with Love: The Project Linus Story as my guide for this quilt. I made one major detour from the instructions.

The Life's Ups and Downs instructions say to sew a strip of border fabric to both the top and bottom of your strip set. You crosscut the strip set, arrange the pieced strips to create a curve you like and stitch the strips together. Then you trim the top and bottom to make them straight, creating a large amount of scraps.

I hate waste. My scrap drawer is overflowing. I knew there had to be a way to do this without deliberately creating all those scraps.

Some bargello patterns have you sew the strip set into a tube, crosscut into narrow tubes and either cut fabric or unstitch seams at predetermined intervals. Life's Ups and Downs doesn't shift the strips by predetermined intervals. You arrange them to create a design you like. So the tube doesn't work.

SusanB's Bargello Magic Trick

You may remember from my Design Wall Monday post that I had a wide strip of a pale yellow fabric on the bottom of my pieced strips. That pale yellow was for my top and bottom borders.

When I sewed my strips together, I left a couple of inches of the seams unstitched on both the top and the bottom. The picture below shows the top of some of the seams.

partial stitched seams

I did some measuring and cut that curvy section of pale yellow into 2 pieces. One piece was attached to the bottom of the quilt top. The loose piece got moved to the top of the quilt top.

bottom moved to top

I stitched the ends of all the strips together, stitched the gaps in all the vertical seams, added the side borders and it's all done. No wasted border fabric. No scraps!

Click on any of the photos to see a bigger version.

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