Hergest Helly

Stories about my art and craft and home…


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28 Spinning Blocks…

Here they are…

All done...

All done…

… all 28 of them, just quickly put together on my design boards – I will play with the arrangement over the next few days.

You can see that I have started to appliqué the middles.  I chose a dark gold colour with tiny dots that look a bit like coffee beans… it took ages to decide what to use for the middles but I am really happy with these.

I do have a slight problem – the holes in the middle of the blocks don’t seem to be a consistent size (I am not the most accurate sewer!).  I am making the diameters of the circles 40mm but sometimes that is really tight.  I have already had to add just one middle that is a bit bigger than that – 3rd one down on the far right – I don’t think it shows too much…

This middle is a bit bigger than the others...

This middle is a bit bigger than the others…

I wanted to keep the middles quite small because I think they look better – anyway – decision made!

Now all I have to do is create the middles and sew them down… 6 down, 22 to go…

Can hardly wait to see this one completed and up on the wall.  It is such a departure colour-wise for me but I really like it.

Happy days…


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Saturday gardening…

Another lovely warmish dry day… the weather this summer has been smashing and these late sunny summer days are a real bonus.

So my to do list for today in the garden:

1.   Finish digging 2 veg patches

2.  Transplant 2 raspberry bushes

3.   Plant out onions and cabbages (and leeks and beetroots)

4.   Rig up some netting to discourage the cats

5.   Sort out strawberry plants

Spindly onions...

Spindly onions… looking very unlikely to do anything at all…

Lady Truscott and Hinge (or Bracket) in the background waiting for more worms….

I was planning on planting leeks and beetroots in this bed along with the onions – but I was being a bit optimistic about the space required – there is just enough room for the onions (they should be 10″ apart – these are nearer 6″…. )  So I am going to dig another bed the other side of the shed – if I can find the energy!

(Yes, I know the netting is rather low and that cats are quite capable of jumping over it… I am just hoping it will do for now…)

And now the cabbages – these look rather sad and nibbled.  I have been checking them every day for the culprits and I have removed a couple of caterpillars… but now they are out in the big wild world I guess they will get attacked by all sorts of creatures – but hopefully they will leave enough for me to eat:

Cabbages...

Cabbages…

I am hoping the raspberries on the right of this picture don’t spread too much… at least not until I have finished with the cabbages.  Next year I might just have to let the raspberries do their stuff and not use the bed for veggies… I’ll see how it goes… I’m not going to fight with the raspberries – after all – there is NO contest between cabbage and raspberries!!

My last job was to sort out the strawberries.  I bought some big pots of end of season strawberries at a reduced price and there were lots of lovely runners on them – so I got those potted up and hopefully I will have tons of fruit next year – hoorah!!!

I felt like a “proper” gardener today… as I explained to the onions as I was planting them – so I hope they have taken notice and will GROW!

Happy days….


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What a difference a day makes…

So much better now…

spinning 16 blocks

… I am really in the swing of it now and much happier with the colours and combinations.

The quilt will have 28 blocks – 7×4 – as that is the size that will fit on the wall – and it will end up around 60″x 34″.

I have another 5 or 6 blocks planned and under the sewing machine.  The fabrics for the last few blocks will be difficult to select as I am running out of these sorts of “off” colours and so I may need to duplicate a couple of fabrics.  You see, I haven’t bought any fabric specifically for a quilt project for many years – you may recognise how dated some of these fabrics are!  I don’t mind that as my favourite thing is to revisit all the bits and pieces in my stash and use them up (but the pile never seems to diminish :-) ).

I really like to use fabrics that have become old and familiar to me – there is something comforting and happy about doing that.

Happy days…


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More spinning blocks…

Some progress…

Spinning blocks...

Spinning blocks…

… but I am really not at all sure about these colours.  They are certainly not my usual colour combinations.  Mostly I am pretty confident about colours but this time I feel these are rather dull and I don’t even know whether I even like them much.  I think the third one down on the left is going into the bin – it is so wrong…

That might be why this is going slowly.

I made the templates for these blocks myself and I wonder if my angle is slightly wrong as they are not laying completely flat… either that, or my cutting and sewing is rubbish!  Maybe that is another reason I am less happy with this quilt so far.

From experience, I know its a good idea to keep going… adding more blocks and rearranging them can work wonders… and of course the appliquéd centres and bit of judicious quilting might transform it all.

So, after due consideration (haha) I think I will plod on for a while and see what happens… do you carry on regardless at this stage?  Or do you cut and run and start something else instead…. ?

Happy days…


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Grapes and hops…

Well – I can hardly believe this…

Look - the grapes are turning purple...

Look – the grapes are turning purple…

… the grapes have started to ripen and are looking glorious.  Please can we have some more sunshine???

Here you can see the hops growing in amongst the vine and they are flowering too…

Grapes and hops.... you can just see the purple grapes...

Grapes and hops…. you can just see the purple grapes…

… the vine is now partly inside our bathroom window clinging onto the window catch – I daren’t move it or cut it – the whole vine might fall down!  Mind you, I guess the whole window could be pulled out too…. what a choice :-)

Happy happy days….


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Our four girlies…

Here they are…

My four girlies...

Our four girlies…

Ruby, at the front, is a Black Rock and she lays huge brown eggs almost every day.

Lily, in the middle, is a Cream Legbar and lays beautiful blue eggs.

Phoebe, the black and white one at the back, is an Exchequer Leghorn and lays perfect white eggs.

And Nellie – a Gold Laced Wyandott – lays pretty pale brown eggs (when she isn’t being broody!)

They have a nice run…

chicken run

The chicken run…

… all the way round the pond – and a great view up the ridge.  There are more trees on the right where they have lots of shade and places for dust bathing.  There are usually sheep in the field just beyond the run and its funny to watch the lambs being curious…

We used to let them free-range all over the garden and I loved having them all around me, but this year I am starting to grow more flowers and veggies and I know just how destructive the darlings can be and so we created a run.   They seem very happy and love the stuff growing in and around the pond.  And they don’t miss out – I share out the raspberries and pull up the dandelions for them…

Happy days…

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