Large Wild Iris (Dietes grandiflora)|
Learn more about the Wild Iris at Wikipedia.
WILD IRIS, one of the most complicated blocks in quiltdom, is attributed to Prudence Penny (aka Bernice Reddington), who authored a quilt column in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, in the 1920's and 30's. She also published a booklet, OLD TIME QUILTS, 1927.
Penny had a fondness for designs that configured nature's flora and fauna. Maggie Malone's index in 5,500 QUILT BLOCK DESIGNS, under the entry for "Prudence Penny," includes such titles as Beaver, Buffalo, Buttercup, Camel, Colt's Corral, Crocodile, Dogwood, Elephant, Giraffe, Hippopotamus, Indian Paint Brush, Monkey, Ostrich, Reindeer, Seal, Silver Maple, Squirrel, Wild Iris (p.236) and Zebra. Many of the designs are pictorial. WILD IRIS is one of the most successful of the geometric abstractions (compare with the photo left).
The block is actually designed as a continuous pattern, where it can show off its amazing detail in all its glory, see tiling below. See also Barbara Brackman's ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PIECED QUILT PATTERNS, #2203.
In nature, there are two versions of the flower, a small and a larger one, but otherwise they look almost identical. The Latin names are Dietes iridioides (Wild Iris) and Dietes grandiflora, (Large Wild Iris, also called the Fairy Iris). "This species is common in horticulture in its native South Africa, where it is often used in public gardens, beautification of commercial premises and along roadsides." (Wikipedia)
More floral patterns at this site include:
FLOWERING NINE PATCH