Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Cute Star Block

Setting Block 5
Originally uploaded by quilterinagarden
I worked this afternoon to get this cute little block done for Shelly's quilt along. I really like the way the center square is highlighed inside the star. Once I got the pieces cut it was easy sewing!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Zephyranthes is a Unique Plant

Here's what's in bloom at the home garden today:

Rain Lilies, Zephyr Lilies, Amaryllis, Zephyranthes, or Surprise lilies;  what every you may call them, they are beautiful in my garden journal.  I have been growing the same bulbs for more that 20 years and they never give up!  It is a plant that looks good all summer long.

A fresh, tight bud = a flower for tomorrow
As I understand it, this plant belongs to the amaryllis family.  It is related to the same amaryllis that some gardeners bring into bloom at Christmas time.  Now that I think about it, the bulb resembles the amarylis bulb more than a lily bulb.  The bulb is very round and the leaf growth is flat and long like a blade of grass.  The plant is very unique in that just a few days after rain it will send up a number of buds that blossom the following day.  Water from the garden hose just does not produce the same result, it really needs to be natural rain.  Many people refer to this plant as the Rain Lily for this reason.

Beautiful Rewards After a Rain
My mom has a nice pot of the bulbs too.  I was over to her place this week and her pot happened to have four blossoms on it when I took the photo and 3 buds for the next day.  She calls hers the "Surprise Lilies".
I received my bulbs from my grandma after she passed away.  My mom had all of them while I was attending college, but when I moved out on my own she gave me half of what came from my grandma's house.  I remember seeing them where she kept them in a pot next to her hostas.  She also grew oxalis in a pot, but I don't always grow those.  They have increased in number about 3 or 4 times over since I've had them in my pot.  I've gotten a bigger pot twice in 20 or so years.  Next year I could probably go with 2 pots by dividing the bulbs. 

To take care of my bulbs I only grow them outside in my yard during the summer season.  Around October 15th I will bring in the pot and allow the bulbs to dry out right in the dirt.  I then cut down all the dried foliage to about 2 inches and carry the pot to the basement for the entire winter.  On about May 7th I will bring up the pot and set it outside and water it well the first day.  Then I will water it about once a week and within a few days it comes to life with lots of growth.  The leaves look like large blades of grass.  I have noticed that mine usually blossom about 4 days after the first spring rain.  There may be as many as 7 or 8 flowers at first.  I then enjoy the plant every day of the summer.  Sometimes it is in bloom, sometimes not.  I can always count on good looking green grassy foliage.  It reminds me of mondo grass that grows in clumps.  To maintain the good looks all summer, all I need to do is pull out old blossoms and once in a while a dried leaf or two.  It is an extra easy plant to keep.  

A Single Blossom for Today

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Enjoying a Spectacular Bloom

Stargazer blossom - end of July

Just before leaving on vacation, I snapped this photo.  I am so glad I did, because I just love the way the sun was shining through the wild sunflowers.  It frames up the stargazer lily so perfectly.  I have 3 of these bulbs and this year the main stalk grew to be 5 1/2 feet tall.  This one was about 2 weeks slower to bloom than the others, but just as tall.  The others are planted among the peonies and bloomed just after the peonies finished.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Quilting Fun

Cutting the batting a bit larger than the quilt top.
Quilting Fun
Originally uploaded by quilterinagarden
Anna is concentrating on cutting the cotton batting to match the shape of her special quilt. This is the second summer she has quilted with me. Last week, she started out making a strip quilted piece. However, with her very creative spirit; the idea evolved into a house shaped piece. Because of her choices of jungle prints and animal skin print in the fabrics, she has appropriately entitled it the "Jungle House Quilt".  I think it turned out to be an awesome piece!

Anna gained proficiency with ironing this summer!
Anna's completed quilt, "Jungle House"

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ornament for Bev

Ornament for Bev
Originally uploaded by quilterinagarden
I heard from Bev that she received the package and was very pleased. So I wanted to go ahead and share the details of what I made for Terri's Ornament Swap this summer. Here's a front view of the ornament. I liked the way it tuned out and want to make a few more soft ones like this for my own collection.

Flip Side of the Bell Ornament

I was just finishing up on the ornament and decided to snap a picture. This is the first soft version of the crazy quilt ornament that I've made following the instructions in Judith Baker Montano's book "Crazy Quilt Odessy", page 104 - 106. In the past I have usually stretched the crazy patched piece over a shaped piece of mattboard. In this case I sewed the front to the back and turned it inside out. I was very fortunate to be in two of her classes at a Minnesota Quilt Show a few years ago. I picked up so many tips from her that weekend.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Rooster Party with A Cottage Garden Quilter

Welcome fellow Rooster lovers.  I am glad you dropped by for a visit to the wonderful Rooster Party put on by Barb at Bella Vista.
Rooster Table Setting
No Hen Pecking Allowed Here
Warm Glow from the 3 wick candle
Zooming In
Protector of the Eggs
I am pleased that you were able to drop by and have a look around.  Hope you liked the photos of my simple table setting.  I am looking forward to visiting many of the blogs with other Roosters in the very near future.