04 August 2011

“Blood Iris” is Complete – a grim name for a lovely flower

Themel_Iris_finishedSMAll done!  “Blood Iris” (also known as iris sanguinea) is complete, finished size 33” x 46”.  I just finished the binding, which is a very light khaki green batik. 

It was scary cutting so much off the top and sides, but in the end I think the tighter composition works better.  There was just too much white space around the flower. 

I also added a few different colors into the background stitching, to give an impression of something blurred in the background and further break up the white space.  It’s very light, like a diluted watercolor wash.  Some of the detail is lost because I took this photo with a flash, but you may be able to see some color variation in the detail below.

Thanks to my friend and fellow artist Martha Wolfe for the idea of quilting the background first (before I added the layers of fabric for the flower). That step saved me a lot of headaches later!  I could really stitch a lot of details while the foundation remained flat.  I didn’t have to worry about starting in the middle and working out towards the edges like you would do for a traditional quilt.  I could just work on a section at a time, one color then the next. 

I’m very happy with how this piece turned out.  I’m considering entering it into a few shows but I’m kind of looking forward to just hanging it in my living room.



  1. I think focusing the iris by reducing the background creates a very powerful image. Well done!

  2. Thanks Diane! No pun intended ("focus" the iris), right? LOL

  3. Fabulous! I like the background cropped, too.

  4. Quilting the background first is a great idea! It turned out beautifully - I love how vibrant the Iris looks. Hope to see it in person one day!


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