Once you know the basic bargello stitches, there are many different variations you can enjoy. For example, if you combine a small zig zag with a large zig zag, you get a design that looks like hearts.
Learn how to stitch this complex-looking design in this tutorial. It’s easier than it looks.
Bargello is stitched on canvas, and there are a different options for materials. The samples are stitched with worsted weight yarn on plastic canvas, but the stitching technique is the same on traditional canvas with tapestry wool.
It is common for bargello to be stitched with multiple shades of a single colour, but feel free to experiment with different colour combinations.
This design can be done with four colours or more. The sample is stitched with spring colours – yellow, pink, green and blue.
Stitching the base rows
Cut the plastic canvas to size for your piece. The sample is a 4″ square that can be used as a coaster. But this design would also look nice on larger plastic canvas designs.
One of the things that makes this design different from traditional zig zag bargello is that the base is actually a group of rows rather than a single row.
Begin by finding the middle column between the right and left sides of the piece. Take a stitch over two bars. The top of the stitch should be in the square just below the centre square.
This stitch will be the bottom of the inner heart. Stitch four stitches on either side of it, moving up one step at a time.
When you get to the end of the heart, weave the end of the thread into the back of the stitches.
There are two methods for stitching bargello.
The first option is to always bring the needle up at the bottom of the stitch and take it down at the top of the stitchl
The second option is to take the stitches from bottom to top when you are moving “up” the zig zag and from top to bottom when you are moving “down” the zig zag.
Either of these techniques is fine, so choose the one you like better.
Next, stitch an echo heart over three posts around the inner heart. Notice at the sides of the heart, there are short stitches over two posts.
Then stitch zig zag rows above and below the heart over three posts.. If you are stitching a large piece, you might want to stitch just one heart in the middle, then full zig zag rows above and below it to use as reference.
Notice at the sides of the heart, there is one longer stitch over four posts.
Stitching the echo rows
Once the base rows have been stitched, use those as reference to fill in the rest of the hearts and stitch echo rows above and below.
This colour pattern works out from the middle rather than from bottom to top.
If the size of your piece will leave a single stitch of a colour on the top or bottom, you can choose to stitch in the pattern, or make one stitch of the previous row longer to fill in the spot.
Once all the stitching is complete, you can assemble your piece. The sample is just finished as a flat square with overcast stitching around the edge.
Weaving the ends of the thread into the backs of the stitches will give the back a neat appearance.
Have fun stitching this design on many different things.
Be sure to #epidastudio when you share your projects on social media!
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designer, teacher, speaker
Elizabeth enjoys doing all types of sewing and needlework and teaching others new techniques. Find out how to take a course or workshop.