“The Iris” applique quilt

The Bearded Iris in my garden are just about to bloom.  These Iris were a gift from a neighbor who got them from her grandmothers farm.  I have no Idea what variety they are or how old, but they bloom beautifully.  Here is a picture from last year

My “quilt head” friend Kristen in NY sent me a few pictures of her collection of Iris that are blooming now

All the Iris blooms made me think of an Iris Applique quilt kit that I have been itching to start.

This Kit was made by Tobin Home Crafts.  In 2005 Design Works acquired Tobin Home Crafts, and still produces the kits.  This pattern has been around for quite some time.  A vintage kit just sold on eBay for $249

Here is another one from a recent auction

These kits were made by the “Progress” Co.  I have to assume that at some point Tobin bought out the patterns because it is the same pattern.  My Kit is not 100% cotton as the older ones were but the 50/50 should wear well.

Here is a look inside the kit to show all the parts you get

I have not done much applique in the past but I think the kit is a good way to get started.  I have a peachy pink backing fabric to use that I think will go well with the Iris appliques.

I looked up the pattern in the quilt index and here are a few examples.

I think I would also like to make one of these using a dark fabric for the background, perhaps a dark purple or even black.  I plan to copy all the applique pieces before I use them so I can reproduce the pattern.

I will post  pictures of the progress once I get started.

Happy quilting !  and happy spring!!

Here are the instructions that came with the quilt kit

(  click iris instructions for PDF file)

36 thoughts on ““The Iris” applique quilt

  1. […] I looked up the pattern in the quilt index and … … Go here to see the original: The Iris applique quilt « Tim Latimer – Quilts etc ← SarahB Sews: Introducing My Windy Days Quilt […]

  2. KarenQuilt says:

    I’ll be curious to see how you like working with poly-cotton when you do the applique. I always thought it a bear to work with when I started quilting in the early 1980s. I think I would have to try paper-piecing if I was to use poly-cotton to applique with today.

    • timquilts says:

      I will let you know how it goes as soon as I get started. I plan to start as soon as I finish my pickle dish quilt. Im looking forward to starting, but resisting rushing the current quilt.

  3. Ann Champion says:

    I did a Rose kit years ago. They’re nice because the background has everything marked, including the quilting lines.
    When I made mine, my Mother commented that she really liked the pattern, but would like the quilt done in peach rather than the pink of the kit fabrics. I traced each piece and made her a peach version. It was a bear tracing out the placement/quilting on the other version though!
    I’m thinking your kit with the poly/cotton mix might be hard to work with too? If so..you can replace those fabrics with 100% cotton?

  4. Scott says:

    Not to sully your site with dumb questions but are iris blooms dependant of the bulb planted or can the color be manipulated with something like the ph of the soil? Anyway, great work!

    • timquilts says:

      Hi Scott
      Not a dumb question. There are flowers whose colors can be manipulated by the Soil pH. Hydrangea blooms can be changed from blue to pink by altering the soil pH (natures litums test) Iris colors, however, are manipulated by plant breeding. There are people who spend many years cross pollinating and and growing Iris to find the perfect color. I leave that work to the experts. I plan to put in a few more Iris of different colors this year. Check the Garden Journal section of the blog for updates and other garden progress.

  5. Kristen says:

    Wow, my iris are famous now! And I like how you suavely combine being Quilt Man with Plant Man – Tim does it all.

  6. Julie S. Johnson says:

    Hi! I’m quilting that design right now!! My kit was purchased 15 years ago(!), finally got the nerve to work on it!! My pieces are cotton on a poly/cotton background…had trouble with placing a couple
    of pieces to cover all the blue lines on the background, but was able to use pins, & turn edges under manually. Also, be sure to clip inside curves, v-notch outside curves—but not all the way into the
    sewing line! Also, for the scalloped edging, I purchased white bias edging (double folded), seamed it
    with the kit’s green edging. I wanted a wider green edge on right side, and white edge to blend with
    white backing… I took my time with this quilt–1 year applique, embroidery, basting, edging, in spare time, then my 2nd mo. doing the quilting, all while teaming with my husband on a semi-truck!!! Good luck with your quilt!!! Julie

    • timquilts says:

      Thanks for all the tips! I know they will come in handy when I finally get the nerve to start mine! I can’t imagine doing all that work in a semi truck….my hats off to you!!

  7. Sandra Bishop says:

    Looked up The Iris Applique Quilt. I was trying to find instructions on it. Have a kit given to me but it has no instructions. Do you know where I might find some instructions?

    • timquilts says:

      Ican dig up my kit and copy the instructions and send them to you if you would like

      • Sandra Bishop says:

        That would be great. I have never appliqued before and if I’m going to attempt this, I would love to do it right.

      • timquilts says:

        Give me a day or two and I will find the instruction sheet for mine and send it to you via email
        It is a great quilt pattern! Have fun making it

      • Sandra Bishop says:

        Thanks. I’m sure I wil enjoy trying my luck with this quilt. Looking forward to having the instructions.

      • Sandra Bishop says:

        Been checking every day for instructions to The Iris. Will keep checking. Hope you can find the instructions

      • timquilts says:


        I found the instructions and added them as a PDF file at the end of the post…click on the link and it will open the instruction sheet….I had to do the first page in 2 scans because it was too large so you will have to print and past the pages together….I hope that worksyou have to

      • Sandra Bishop says:

        I cant find a pdf file at the end of your post. Sorry to be so much trouble but I don’t know what to do from here.

      • timquilts says:

        at the end of the post it says
        Here are the instructions that came with the quilt kit
        iris instructions….click on the words Iris instructions and it will open the file

      • Sandra Bishop says:

        Im sorry but I never got the full message. All I got is what is posted two messanges up. could you please send it again. If it doesn’t come through this time, I won’t bother you again. I appreciate what you have done and the trouble you have gone to.

      • timquilts says:

        try to open the file that is at the end of the post…scroll down to the bottom of the post and look for it there…it should open you can print it from there

      • Sandra Bishop says:

        OK I’m slow but I figured out what you were talking about after you sent the file directly to me. THANK YOU! I now have the instructions and will let you know in the future how I’m doing. Bless You!

      • timquilts says:

        great! I hope it works out for you….there are a lot of peices to applique in that quilt so take your time and enjoy it!

  8. Judi Fibush says:

    I have done several of the vintage quilt kits and the ply/cotton are the worse to deal with the pieces. However, using a light spray of spray starch will keep the pieces from fraying and do so before turning under the seam allowances. Got to my web site at http://www.vintagkitquilts.net to see some of my collection. Click on Kit Quilts at the top of the page and number 43 is the Daffodil Progress kit I did. I am currently working on the Progress Tree of Life quilt.

  9. Shryl Pugh says:

    I have recently purchased the Progress Tree of Life quilt kit, and want to know if all stamped marks disappear when washed. Both the quilt top and applique pieces have been stamped. It should wash out, but does anyone know for sure? Thanks-Shryl

  10. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for posting instructions! Greatly appreciate it! Have a fantastic day!

  11. Debbie Ament says:

    I just found this kit with the marked top and it looks like most of the colored portions at a thrift shop for $15.00. I am so excited to find this entry and get the actual instructions to go with this. I have never done any hand quilting and love all of the hints. How is yours going?

  12. Nerida Duncan says:

    I havent appliqued for many years but have seen a completed applique quilt come up on ebay a few times and love it but have been reluctant to spend the money. None of the sellers seemed sure as to whether it was a kit or a popular pattern and guestimates as to vintage varied a bit – not that I liked it any less. Well I have now found and bought the kit. I am thrilled to pieces. It is a Bucilla called “Heavenly Roses”.

    I have managed to work out a cross match of the thread numbers for Bucilla to DMC (which I can buy here) and then track those numbers to find they are all still available – yeah!. I have a pretty good collection of threads anyway so I wasnt stressing about it but wanted to get the original colours if I could.

    I have also worked out that it must date from 1950 or later – still researching. Only because the instructions suggests a polyester batting or cotton batting. So then research polyester and find polyester wasnt produced in the USA until 1950/1. I love knowing the history if I can find it.

    I have just been looking at this iris one as well but so far have not found a seller who will ship to Australia – oh well.

    However, I too still have many to do before I tackle my ‘Heavenly Roses”.

  13. Rosemary Lynch says:

    Hi, Tim —

    I inherited a Progress iris Quilt kit from my mother. I think she bought it in the early 1950’s, did a little bit of the applique, and then “put it away for later.” She had nine children, so later never happened for the quilt kit. She gave it to me about 12 years ago, and I finally got it out and did all the appliqué and embroidery in 2015. I have just in the past few weeks begun to do the quilting on it. I’m slow, so it will take me a while. Have you done yours yet?


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