Stitch of the Month
June 2008: Four-way Bargello

by Lois Kershner

Four-Way Bargello makes a kaleidoscope pattern, radiating out from a center point in four identical quadrants. Carefully plotted, the design can take a circular shape our theme for the 2008 Stitch of the Month.

This bargello pattern has rows of straight stitches over 2 or 4 canvas threads creating an undulating wave pattern with soft peaks and valleys. The charted stitch pattern rows are represented in blue over 4 canvas threads, red over 4, green over 2, and gray over 4. The pattern then repeats.

Bargello Pattern

The black pie-shaped arc in the above chart represents the stitches, or parts thereof, that form one quadrant of a four-way bargello pattern. Notice in the chart below how the selected stitches of the quadrant are repeated around a circle.

Bargello Four-Way Pattern

Often, the stitched colors of a bargello pattern have several values of one hue, for example dark blue, medium blue, light blue, and very light blue as illustrated in the stitched sample below.

Stitched Bargello Four-Way Pattern

When taking long stitches, you will find that your thread will be straighter if turn your canvas so that you take stitches either toward you or away from you. Stitch one quadrant, then turn your canvas 90° to stitch the next quadrant.

I consciously left the center of the stitched illustration unstitched so that you might see several possibilities for this area. The Bargello chart indicates using four straight stitches in the very light blue color. However, for interest I could use a cross stitch, beads, or other small stitch of choice.

Variation on the Four-Way Bargello Theme

Another example of a bargello pattern uses fill stitches from the central Four-Way Bargello pattern to the outside circular shape. Notice the white stitches in the stitched sample and chart below.

Four-Way Bargello Variation

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