Friday, February 24, 2017

Irresistible Iris in Print!

Today we're showing Ann Lauer's Irresistible Iris collection in two very different looks. These are both projects Ann designed for magazines; you'll find links to the magazines and to kits for the projects below. 

First is "Perennial Favorite," the name a nod to these old-time favorite flowers that many people fondly remember from grandmother's yard. This classic bargello has plenty of movement and is accented with fussy cut iris blooms. 

"Perennial Favorite" designed by Ann Lauer
and pieced by Linda Brady Peterson;
featured in American Quilter magazine March 2017

Why do you enjoy designing bargello style quilts so much?
I wanted to experiment with using the wonderful medallion tonals and the color play in values. I also chopped up several of the big prints that have a lot of movement. Everything came together, and I was really happy with the result.

How do you design a quilt like this?
I play around on the computer. I’ve designed many bargellos, so I look at previous quilts and pick an area of peaks and valleys to start with, and work from there. I generally choose an asymmetrical design, with peaks of different sizes. This allows the bargello to be the focus of the design. In Perennial Favorite, the peaks are the same height, but they create plenty of cream background space to highlight the fussy cut irises.

What makes this collection work so well with the bargello concept?
The irises are the key print in the collection, but I’ve used the blenders in the pieced background. The prints have a fluid, watercolor feel to them.

I love how the lacey medallion print has so much depth because it includes multiple colors (as opposed to the tonals). The medallions dance across the fabric, and they’re a great blender between the more solid colored prints.
The kaleidoscope print is great as well—so much movement and such a good transition fabric.
The Vari Recs print as well—because they are filled with variegated color rectangles, they create a great transition. These prints work well for color changes in the bargello, shifting from “solid-look” print to “solid-look” print.

Tell us about the fussy-cut irises.
There are two sizes of irises fussy cut out of two different fabric. They’re fused and then fastened with raw edge applique. The background of the iris prints is the same as the background of the bargello, so they blend nicely. Benartex’s printing of these irises in particular is just spectacular. The details are exquisite and it printed gorgeously.  They become the focal point of the quilt.

What else can you tell us about this quilt?
I recommend making it in a quilt as you go style. The quilt comes out totally flat, and you’re not dealing with stretching or an accordion appearance. I also use the gridded flannel as a base. It helps keep all of the pieces straight, and it stabilizes them as well. The lines from quilt as you go enhance the movement of the bargello without having to stitch over the top of it, which could be distracting.

Click here to purchase the Perennial Favorite kit.
Click here to find American Quilter magazine.

Here are the Irresistible Iris prints in a totally different look. Ann built the design around the kaleidoscope print, combining it with blenders. The only flowers evident are the tiny flowerettes in the black background fabric. 
"Floral Fantasy" runner designed by Ann Lauer, pieced by Linda Brady Peterson and quilted by Ann Lauer;
featured in Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting March/April 2017

What prompted you to design a quilt without any iris prints?
I really wanted to showcase the kaleidoscope print, so that’s what I did. It’s the focal square in the middle of each block, and then the tonals work together, and the flowerette print segues into the purple and pink. I like the how the lighter green stars come toward you and the darker green fades back.

What do you like best about the runner?
Besides a chance to showcase the kaleidoscope print, I like the green and purple prints together. Then the black adds depth and the pink is an accent. Using the black print in the binding pulls it all together as well.

Is this a difficult block?

No! You’re working with basic units here—four-patches, flying geese and half-square triangles. So the runner goes together really fast. It’s a fun design. I also played around with this design in quilt form. You can see what that looks like:

Click here to see Ann's entire Irresistible Iris collection. 
Click here to visit Ann's website.
Click here to purchase the Floral Fantasy table runner kit.
Click here to find Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting magazine.

Love It? Share It! Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest Email


  1. The Perennial Favorite bargello quilt is gorgeous! I've never seen one done that way.

  2. Fantastic pattern and love your fabric combo!