What inspired this Mauve Irises cushion design?


A book of black and white illustrations of 19th century wallpaper and frieze patterns!

An unusual source, I admit!

This particular wallpaper design was created in a period when there were decorative patterns on everything----walls, carpets, draperies, upholstery, etc.

Today that’s considered to be too busy, but the design itself could still work as a lovely accent piece in a contemporary interior.




What excited me the most about the pattern is its versatility.

It could be used for a variety of needlepoint applications, such as a seat cover, a seat pad, or of course, a cushion design.


The original pattern is staggered with diamond-shaped irises and very graphic elongated leaves.

The organic motif of the background lends itself well to the texture of needlepoint.

With the basic design established, I ‘contained’ the repetitive pattern by adding a wide border... with  three of the iris shapes ‘spilling over’ into the border.


 Because the only image I had of the original design was in black and white, I looked to the ART NOUVEAU period and to the actual iris flower for colour inspiration-----

a range of soft blue and red mauves would be ideal.

To give a contemporary feel, I chose a light and medium taupe colour and a rich dark brown for the background pattern and border.

To break up the repetitive design,I increased the colour intensity of one vertical row of leaves and one iris. 



I particularly like it with the wicker texture of the contemporary Mies van der Rohe chair, as you can see in this photo.


What a lovely colour accent to this dining room!


I’m still considering applying this repetitve pattern to other needlepoint projects, such as a needlepoint piano seat cover.





Go to Mauve Irises seat covers page, to see my thoughts. It may interest you!

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