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Thread: Bargello Question

  1. #1
    Junior Member FabrikQueen's Avatar
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    When sewing the strips together how does one keep them perfectly straight so they don't have a bow (commonly known as a dog leg) in the center of the strip . Even if you sew a perfectly straight 1/4" s eam there is still a bow the strip. There has to be a secret.

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    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FabrikQueen
    When sewing the strips together how does one keep them perfectly straight so they don't have a bow (commonly known as a dog leg) in the center of the strip . Even if you sew a perfectly straight 1/4" s eam there is still a bow the strip. There has to be a secret.
    Reverse directions when sewing the seams. In other words, when you sew 2 rows together and get to the end, turn around and sew from that end to the beginning of the row you previously sewed. Alternating directions keeps the rows from bowing.

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    that's correct Barb

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    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grann of 6
    Reverse directions when sewing the seams. In other words, when you sew 2 rows together and get to the end, turn around and sew from that end to the beginning of the row you previously sewed. Alternating directions keeps the rows from bowing.
    Yup!! To remember which end was my last start end I only snip the trailing thread and leave the leader thread long.

    Also, it's important to iron each sewn seam before you sew another seam.

  5. #5
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    Wow, let me go get my dirty little secret note book. This stuff is great! ! ! ..............

  6. #6
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogHouseMom
    Quote Originally Posted by grann of 6
    Reverse directions when sewing the seams. In other words, when you sew 2 rows together and get to the end, turn around and sew from that end to the beginning of the row you previously sewed. Alternating directions keeps the rows from bowing.
    Yup!! To remember which end was my last start end I only snip the trailing thread and leave the leader thread long.

    Also, it's important to iron each sewn seam before you sew another seam.
    I usually put a pin in the start of the first strip, so I don't get confused, then I can always look back and see where my starting point is. When I first started quilting a few years ago, this was difficult for me because I was an apparel sewer for 60 years and you always sew your seams in the same direction for clothes.

  7. #7
    Junior Member FabrikQueen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grann of 6
    Quote Originally Posted by FabrikQueen
    When sewing the strips together how does one keep them perfectly straight so they don't have a bow (commonly known as a dog leg) in the center of the strip . Even if you sew a perfectly straight 1/4" s eam there is still a bow the strip. There has to be a secret.
    Reverse directions when sewing the seams. In other words, when you sew 2 rows together and get to the end, turn around and sew from that end to the beginning of the row you previously sewed. Alternating directions keeps the rows from bowing.
    Thank you. Now how do you press the seams...open or to the side?

  8. #8
    Super Member Airwick156's Avatar
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    I press my seams to the dark side. I rarely open them.

  9. #9
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FabrikQueen
    Quote Originally Posted by grann of 6
    Quote Originally Posted by FabrikQueen
    When sewing the strips together how does one keep them perfectly straight so they don't have a bow (commonly known as a dog leg) in the center of the strip . Even if you sew a perfectly straight 1/4" s eam there is still a bow the strip. There has to be a secret.
    Reverse directions when sewing the seams. In other words, when you sew 2 rows together and get to the end, turn around and sew from that end to the beginning of the row you previously sewed. Alternating directions keeps the rows from bowing.
    Thank you. Now how do you press the seams...open or to the side?
    To the side. Since you are staggering seams anyway in a bargello, you can press them all in the same direction. I just find pressing to one side a whole lot easier than trying to press seams open, looks better too if you happen to have any shadowing in the blocks. When it is quilted, the shadowing goes away anyhow.

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    Are you sure the bow in the fabric didn't come when you were cutting the strips? That happens to me when I use the cutter. Look at your strips pulled out all the way,is there an "elbow" in the center?

    Carol J.

  11. #11
    Junior Member FabrikQueen's Avatar
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    Thank you for the help ladies, I appreciate it. I feel as though you've given me the confidence to try this quilt.

  12. #12
    Junior Member FabrikQueen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carol J.
    Are you sure the bow in the fabric didn't come when you were cutting the strips? That happens to me when I use the cutter. Look at your strips pulled out all the way,is there an "elbow" in the center?

    Carol J.
    Not often, I know that problem stems from not having the fabric properly squared up. And the bow is usually in the fold area in the middle.

  13. #13
    Junior Member mom dusty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogHouseMom
    Quote Originally Posted by grann of 6
    Reverse directions when sewing the seams. In other words, when you sew 2 rows together and get to the end, turn around and sew from that end to the beginning of the row you previously sewed. Alternating directions keeps the rows from bowing.
    Yup!! To remember which end was my last start end I only snip the trailing thread and leave the leader thread long.

    Also, it's important to iron each sewn seam before you sew another seam.
    The above is good advice. I just finished a Barjello and the most important thing is alternating direction of rows and pressing one to the right and one to the left so when you butt them together they rock into a smooth seam.

  14. #14
    Super Member suezquilts's Avatar
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    thanks for all the tips... I have a trip around the world I'm going to be doing soon!

  15. #15
    Junior Member FabrikQueen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mom dusty
    Quote Originally Posted by DogHouseMom
    Quote Originally Posted by grann of 6
    Reverse directions when sewing the seams. In other words, when you sew 2 rows together and get to the end, turn around and sew from that end to the beginning of the row you previously sewed. Alternating directions keeps the rows from bowing.
    Yup!! To remember which end was my last start end I only snip the trailing thread and leave the leader thread long.

    Also, it's important to iron each sewn seam before you sew another seam.

    Great, I'll remember that. Thank you!

    The above is good advice. I just finished a Barjello and the most important thing is alternating direction of rows and pressing one to the right and one to the left so when you butt them together they rock into a smooth seam.

  16. #16
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airwick156
    I press my seams to the dark side. I rarely open them.
    And how do you determine the "dark side" when it's bargello??




    Yes, press them to the side, and keep pressing all the subsequent seams in that same direction.

  17. #17
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FabrikQueen
    Quote Originally Posted by mom dusty
    Quote Originally Posted by DogHouseMom
    Quote Originally Posted by grann of 6
    Reverse directions when sewing the seams. In other words, when you sew 2 rows together and get to the end, turn around and sew from that end to the beginning of the row you previously sewed. Alternating directions keeps the rows from bowing.
    Yup!! To remember which end was my last start end I only snip the trailing thread and leave the leader thread long.

    Also, it's important to iron each sewn seam before you sew another seam.



    Great, I'll remember that. Thank you!

    The above is good advice. I just finished a Barjello and the most important thing is alternating direction of rows and pressing one to the right and one to the left so when you butt them together they rock into a smooth seam.


    If you check your pattern, it will tell you which way to iron the seams....mine is always press towards the even numbered fabrics.

  18. #18
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    For worry-free evenly stitched seams, use a walking foot, aka even feed foot.

  19. #19
    MTS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carol J.
    Are you sure the bow in the fabric didn't come when you were cutting the strips? That happens to me when I use the cutter. Look at your strips pulled out all the way,is there an "elbow" in the center?
    Carol J.
    That's what I was thinking.
    If it's the first part of the process, sewing plain strips together, it could be one of or a combo of the way the strips were cut (which would have the bow in the middle if the fabric wasn't aligned properly at the time), and/or not reversing directions for each strip (which gives more of J curve towards one end).

  20. #20
    Super Member carslo's Avatar
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    I read this in a jelly roll book I bought and have started to use this method when cutting strips. It works for all size strips - bargellos too trust me it works!

    "If you have strips that have been cut selvage to selvage(WOF) along the crosswise grain (which most are as it is easiest), just cut the strips in half on the fold. This works well for a number of reasons.

    - it helps keep fabrics on-grain and eliminates the bowing or curving that may occur when fabrics of differing thread counts are used.
    - You can get more fabric variation in your quilt design also.
    - You can use fat quarters too
    - some pre-cut jelly rolls don't have many multiples and this lends itself to more variation."
    The above quote is taken from
    Nancy J. Martin's Rolling Along - Easy Quilts from 2 1/2 strips ISBN:978-1-56477-841-3 p. 13.

    I found out even in high end fabric the strips can curve when sewing the longer strips together.

    Good luck and have fun

  21. #21
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carslo
    I read this in a jelly roll book I bought and have started to use this method when cutting strips. It works for all size strips - bargellos too trust me it works!

    "If you have strips that have been cut selvage to selvage(WOF) along the crosswise grain (which most are as it is easiest), just cut the strips in half on the fold. This works well for a number of reasons.

    - it helps keep fabrics on-grain and eliminates the bowing or curving that may occur when fabrics of differing thread counts are used.
    - You can get more fabric variation in your quilt design also.
    - You can use fat quarters too
    - some pre-cut jelly rolls don't have many multiples and this lends itself to more variation."
    The above quote is taken from
    Nancy J. Martin's Rolling Along - Easy Quilts from 2 1/2 strips ISBN:978-1-56477-841-3 p. 13.

    I found out even in high end fabric the strips can curve when sewing the longer strips together.

    Good luck and have fun
    NOT on the list and probably the MOST important one ....

    * cut accurately, squaring with the fold .... if you don't you are already creating a curve. Worse still if you fold it twice and have two folds, then you're heading towards a ^^ or snake effect

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carol J.
    Are you sure the bow in the fabric didn't come when you were cutting the strips? That happens to me when I use the cutter. Look at your strips pulled out all the way,is there an "elbow" in the center?

    Carol J.
    Hi Carol,
    What would cause the 'elbow' to happen? Is it the way I cut the fabric? Am I not cutting it straight in the first place? So curious? Thanks.......Patti

  23. #23
    MTS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patti Mahoney
    Quote Originally Posted by Carol J.
    Are you sure the bow in the fabric didn't come when you were cutting the strips? That happens to me when I use the cutter. Look at your strips pulled out all the way,is there an "elbow" in the center?
    Carol J.
    Hi Carol,
    What would cause the 'elbow' to happen? Is it the way I cut the fabric? Am I not cutting it straight in the first place? So curious? Thanks.......Patti
    I'm just picking a random video to show how to prevent the V notch in the center.

    Watch how she adjusts her fabric before cutting.
    You can't just cut straight off the bolt.
    I only fold once, but it's for the same purpose.
    The important part is the very beginning where she REFOLDS her fabric when rematching up the selvages.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwSjN1MB3wI


    Here's another explanation (sans video):
    http://www.thequiltingcoach.com/public/847.cfm?sd=2


    There was another video that I saw a while back - I'm looking for it..........

    eta: sorry can't find it now. :roll:
    But those links above should give you an explanation of the how the problem occurs, and the solution to prevent it.

    Also, you still need to re-true-up after every few strips are cut.

    I made a dozen or so Bloomin' 9 Patch quilts several years ago. You find out really quickly how NOT first truing-up the fabric can screw up all the subsequent blocks and sub-units.

  24. #24
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carslo
    I read this in a jelly roll book I bought and have started to use this method when cutting strips. It works for all size strips - bargellos too trust me it works!

    "If you have strips that have been cut selvage to selvage(WOF) along the crosswise grain (which most are as it is easiest), just cut the strips in half on the fold. This works well for a number of reasons.

    - it helps keep fabrics on-grain and eliminates the bowing or curving that may occur when fabrics of differing thread counts are used.
    - You can get more fabric variation in your quilt design also.
    - You can use fat quarters too
    - some pre-cut jelly rolls don't have many multiples and this lends itself to more variation."
    The above quote is taken from
    Nancy J. Martin's Rolling Along - Easy Quilts from 2 1/2 strips ISBN:978-1-56477-841-3 p. 13.

    I found out even in high end fabric the strips can curve when sewing the longer strips together.

    Good luck and have fun
    I would be careful cutting fabrics at the fold unless I knew I had plenty of fabric strips, but that is just me.

  25. #25
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    Thanks MTS, I looked at both sites you mentioned and I see what I am doing wrong. I cut from the bolt many times. I should cut off a yard and work with it instead. I will follow the instructions from both of these videos and see if I can do better on my cutting. Saving time is not always the best answer as I have found out. Take the time is better. I have been sewing since childhood and I am still learning from you girls.

    That elbow in the strip has always bugged me and I will work harder to do the job right.

    Carol J.

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