Quilted Bargello

I have had this Bargello quilt finished for months, possibly a year now, backing finished and all.  It has been hanging quietly in my sewing room just waiting patiently for me to quilt it.

The problem was I didn't know what to quilt on it, and quite honestly I was terrified to start.  The quilt was such a huge accomplishment for me to finish.  Just the thought of quilting it and not liking how it turned out was enough to deter me from starting.

About a month a go I broke down and just loaded it onto my long-arm machine.  I thought maybe if I just looked at it everyday for a while I would be struck with inspiration.  Well it worked.  I sat down and sketched out idea after idea until I found one I thought I could live with.

The fabric I used on the border faded ever so lightly from Tan to cream, as you may be able to tell from the not so high quality photo. I knew I wanted to incorporate this fading into the quilting design.  What I came up with was a flower and vine combination that, in theory, was to be densely quilted in the darker areas and fade to a lightly quilted design in the lighter area.

 I'll admit I got a little carried away and the design did not fade as much as I would have liked.  However I still love how it turned out.

From the moment I planned this quilt I knew what I wanted the visual aspect of this quilt to represent.  I started this quilt in El Paso, and our moving plans had already taken shape.  I chose colors that would represent the mountainous, dry areas of the city and the cool flowing water of the Rio Grande. I used a combination of water and pebbles to quilt the entire surface of the quilt inside the border.  Also, symbolically representing El Paso as the Rio Grande acts as a border for the U.S. and Mexico.

 What I was trying to accomplish when quilting this is the feeling of flow.  I wanted to be reminded of the trip we took daily climbing from the valley up to our home on the mountain.  The flow of the water was also important and water it's self is essential in the desert environment of El Paso.

Ultimately when I get this quilt bound and the rod pocket sewn on I plan on using it to replace this quilt hanging in my dinning room.  (also another El Paso inspired Quilt!)

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