How to Piece a Bargello Baby Quilt - Prism Path #3

Welcome back to the Machine Quilting Party, the quilt along where we’re piecing AND quilting together to make pretty rainbow baby quilt. This week we’re piecing the Prism Path quilt top together.

Learn how to piece this baby quilt in this new quilting tutorial video:

How do you put this together? Find the cutting chart, diagrams, and everything you need to make your own Prism Path quilt in the book Explore Walking Foot Quilting with Leah Day.


rainbow baby quilt tutorial
Tips for Piecing a Bargello Baby Quilt

There are many quilts that I call blockers - quilts created from one quilt block that can be put together practically with your eyes closed because every single block is the same as the last. Just piece them together into rows, then piece the quilt together and Bada Bing! You’re done!

Then there are other quilt that require a bit more time and patience to piece the quilt top because they have a unique layout that requires careful planning in order to construct properly. Bargello quilts are this style.

How to piece a rainbow baby quilt

In order to piece Prism Path, begin by arranging all the pieces on your table in rows. Use the diagram on page 92 of the book Explore Walking Foot Quilting to guide you.

While the pattern and obvious rainbow design are very eye-catching, it can require a bit of thinking in order to get this quilt arranged properly. If you don’t have space on your table to arrange the entire quilt, consider laying out 8-10 rows at a time so you can see the color pattern taking shape.

Rip, Don’t Cut the Seams

Please take notice of how we’re ripping apart the Bargello pieced units. Instead of cutting the fabric across the seams, use a seam ripper instead. This will preserve the seam allowance (extra ¼-inch of fabric on the edge of the pieces) so your smaller units come out the right size.

How to piece a rainbow baby quilt

If you cut across the seams, the pieces on the edges will finish ¼-inch smaller than needed. That’s a tiny amount, yes, but it’s one of those things that can throw off look of your finished Prism Path quilt.

Piecing the Rows

This quilt is pieced in vertical rows. I really like chaining the pieces together using Wonder Clips and then taking them to the machine to stitch all the seams in one row. That way I know which row I’m piecing and I don’t accidently get confused between one row and the next.

How to piece a rainbow baby quilt

It’s easy to get flipped around with a Bargello quilt and forget where you are in the process. Take your time and clip or pin the pieces together first, then stitch each with an accurate ¼-inch seam allowance.
Do you need help piecing your quilt accurately? Learn more about quilt piecing with the book How to Piece Perfect Quilts.

Yes, I’m pressing my seams OPEN

Every single quilt along I’ve ever shared, and almost every video I’ve ever uploaded about piecing I get asked this question. I piece with a 1.5 mm stitch length which is super tight stitching that’s very secure. I press my seams open so the extra fabrics on the back of the quilt are flattened out and the bulk behind the quilt is greatly reduced.

This makes the quilt much easier to machine quilt and your piecing more accurate too. Learn more about pressing seams open in this Great Quilting Debate podcast episode.

Another question I'm asked a lot is about scant verses accurate 1/4 inch seams. That's another topic I can rant about all day! Click Here to find another podcast episode about scant.

Check Twice, Piece Once

The key to Prism Path is using the quilt layout on your sewing table as a guide. Return your pieces to the layout and double and triple check yourself before pinning and stitching the rows together.

As I mentioned in the video, everyone has a different brain and I know I’m able to keep things more organized in my head than my husband Josh. He would need to piece every single row separately, then piece the rows together two at a time.

How to piece a rainbow baby quilt

Keep this in mind as you piece the Prism Path quilt top and change things up if you struggle to get the rows lined up correctly.

Prism Path Quilting Homework

Your homework this week is to piece your entire Prism Path baby quilt. Arrange the rows on a table and work 5-10 at a time so the pieces stay in the right order. Feel free to pin as much as you like. I pinned at the start and end of each rainbow space, but if you want to pin every seam that's fine too!

Yes, you will have a few rainbow Bargello units left over at the end. I wrote the pattern that way so just in case your ruler slips or something happens, you have plenty of extra pieces.

Remember, you can find all of the piecing and cutting instructions in the book Explore Walking Foot Quilting with Leah Day.

If you're enjoying this Bargello baby quilt technique, you should check out the Waterfall Bargello Workshop.

This quilting class goes into a lot more detail about the Bargello technique and you'll learn how to piece a gorgeous waterfall wall hanging, then how to quilt it with walking foot quilting and free motion quilting.

Click Here to learn more about this quilting class!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Find all of the posts for this baby quilt along by clicking the images below!

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