Karen is an artist and creative thinker who enjoys blackwork embroidery.
How to Crochet a Bargello-Patterned Heart
Bargello is a beautifully elegant pattern, and it's ideal for the third and final pattern in this romantic set of cross-stitch hearts for Valentine's Day. (See the other two patterns in the links at the end of this article.) This pattern is quick and easy to follow, and the short list of materials makes it an attractive yet affordable handmade gift for someone you love.
Beautiful by itself or as a set with the other two designs, this heart in various shades of red would make a lovely seasonal decoration. You could even experiment with different colour combinations to create a wall decoration for different times of the year. How about using red, green, gold and blue for a Christmas theme?
What You'll Need
- Stranded cotton in dark red (DMC #814), bright red (DMC #321), pale red (DMC #3721) and White (DMC #B5200)
- White 18 count Aida fabric, approximately 7x7"
- Cross stitch sewing needle
- Frame with a 4x4" aperture (optional)
814 (2 strands)
321 (2 strands)
3721 (2 strands)
3721 (1 strand) + B5200 (1 strand)
814 (1 strand)
What Is Bargello?
Bargello is traditionally a pattern created using long stitches, and it is likened to flames with an elongated zig-zag. Because of the use of long stitches, Bargello is quick to put together, making it a popular pattern choice for large areas such as seat covers and wall hangings. There are limitless variations of Bargello, using different widths between peaks and colour variations. So while the pattern is technically very simple and mathematical, it can be customized to your needs.
The pattern given here is an interpretation based on the finished effect of Bargello, but it uses whole cross-stitches to create each line rather than the original long stitch.
Bargello has several other names, including:
- flame stitch
- Florentine stitch
- Byzantine work
- Hungarian point
A Brief History of Bargello
The name for this particular type of embroidery originated from chairs found in the Bargello Palace, Florence. The technique was used on the seat cushions. The pattern experienced a huge revival in the 1970s, but the earliest known uses of the stitch actually date back to the 15th century.
The original works of Bargello traditionally used woolen threads on a sturdy canvas, especially because it was mainly used for soft furnishing and needed to be durable. Today, the Bargello stitch is created using a wide variety of threads on fine and sturdy canvases alike. One of the most popular threads today for this stitch is Perle cotton, which has a beautiful silky sheen.
Bargello stitch has always usually been a vertical pattern, but needle-workers today have experimented with different directions.
Cross-Stitch Valentine's Day Hearts
This bargello heart pattern is the third in a series of free cross-stitch patterns for Valentine's Day. The full set includes:
I created these designs myself. Please feel free to share the link to this page, but do not reproduce or sell the pattern in any way. If you have ever worked Bargello or have used the pattern above, please do tell us about it below and leave a comment!
© 2013 Karen Creftor
AnitraF on September 11, 2019:
It is impossible to print this pattern without the advertising barn across the middle. Therefore it is of no use to me.
Marie White on March 03, 2018:
Lovely heart designs! The Bargello one is my favourite. Thank you so much for your free patterns. I appreciate your time and expertise.
Karen Creftor (author) from Kent, UK on September 17, 2013:
thanks for your comment. Traditionally bargello was done in long stitch, particularly with tapestry yarn. This design is actually cross stitch though inspired by the 'flame' patterns of bargello.
I have tried the traditional method before and love it!
Linda on September 15, 2013:
I'm enjoying your site .. I have a question ... Have you done actual bargello on aida cloth with embroidery floss ? Curious
Natasha from Hawaii on February 07, 2013:
I did a lot of this when I worked at Colonial Williamsburg. I simply called it flame stitch because that was a popular 18th century name for it, but it's the same idea. I love the patterns and the way fully embroidered fabric feels! I hadn't really thought about Bargello in years. I did mine as counted stitch, but not cross stitch, because (once again) it was more period approriate. It's cool looking, though, no matter which way it is done!
Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on January 15, 2013:
Wish I knew how to do cross stitch; there are some beautiful designs and patterns using that skill. Maybe I can get up my nerve and buy a kit to get started.
Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on January 15, 2013:
So cute. I do love them. I want to make this for next Christmas since I love to cross stitch. Thanks. Tweeting!
Karen Creftor (author) from Kent, UK on January 04, 2013:
Thanks Purl :D I'm glad you've enjoyed them!
I see you're extremely creative, so it's an even bigger compliment to me that you like these.
Please come back and let us know if you give the patterns a try.
Donna Herron from USA on January 04, 2013:
Although I love all of your hearts, this is definitely my favorite design! Voted up and pinned :)