29 July 2011

Show & Tell Time: Update on “Iris”

Iris_finishedpiecing (6)

So here we are at the end of Phase 1.  All the fabric pieces are in place, the background is quilted with big meandering stitches to give it some structure and strength as we move to Phase 2, quilting.

I was able to get quite a bit of detail with the pieces of fabric, partly because the composition is so large overall and I didn’t have to cut very tiny pieces.  The finished work will be about the same size as “Dandelion”, roughly 3ft x 4ft.

Also, the hand dyed fabrics provide a lot of energy and variation within each color.  The fabrics are doing a lot of the work for me.  I love working with tie dyes and batiks, its like painting with watercolors.

Thinking of titles for the finished piece… 

If you know my work you’ll know I don’t get all that fancy with the titles.  I’m pretty literal most of the time. It makes it easier when I’m talking about a specific piece because people remember what it looks like, not the stylish name I made up.  For example, I thought of naming this “The Day Before the Big Storm” because that’s when I took the original photo.  But in the end I know everyone would end up calling this the Purple Flower quilt, or Japanese Iris.  So maybe I’ll just go with that.   It’s easier to put on a title card anyway.  :-)

I know this flower is in the Japanese iris family but to be truly accurate, I had to look it up.  Yes I have botany books in my library.  Why?  I never successfully cultivated a flower in my life (unless you count the Peace Lily that a friend gave me 10 years ago that I managed not to let die).  But I love looking at flowers and learning their names – they have such cool names!  I’m pretty sure the species I have in my yard is actually called “Iris sanguinea” or “Blood Iris”.   Gardeners out there – any thoughts?

Stay tuned for updates on Phase 2 – detail stitching!


  1. It's going to be gorgeous, but are sure it is a Japanese Iris? They usually have a much flatter head, no beards and like to grow in wet areas, like on the edge of a a pond. This looks like a bearded iris to me, but I could be wrong. I used to grow Japanese Iris in a previous house.

  2. Hi Norma,
    I'm definitely not an expert in flowers. I can't verify that my sources are totally accurate since I only found them on line, but from the photos I've seen it looks like Iris sanguinea, or “ayame” which is sometimes under the larger heading of Siberian or Japanese iris. You’re right it looks much different than the regular Japanese Iris.
    Sourced from Wikipedia
    and Dave's Plant Garden website:

    I have an encyclopedia of garden plants too. There’s nothing that looks exactly like this one in the book but the closest is iris germanica. Still, I think “Blood Iris” is the closest, and it sounds kinda cool.

  3. On further review, this is much closer to iris siberica (Siberian iris) than Japanese iris. Sanguinea has more purple on the lower petals. Iris siberica tends to be more white with purple veins. But the shape is the same.


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