Hergest Helly

Stories about my art and craft…


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Tiny seedlings…

OK – you have to get your magnifying glass out for this… but look – 2 of my “Speedy Beans” have germinated already – after just 5 days:

Speedy Beans - day 5

Speedy Beans – day 5

Can you spot them?

AND – much easier to see – these are my winter lettuces after 4 days:

Lettuces...

Lettuces…

This is all a bit thrilling for me… a promise of great things to come :-)

And – for a nice bit of colour…. here is a picture of one of my favourite flowers growing really nicely in my greenhouse…. the scent just knocks my socks off…

My favourite Gardinia...

My favourite Gardinia…

… can’t you smell it from there???

Happy days…


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On a stormy afternoon…

… what else to do but decorate my new greenhouse with bunting and plant my winter cabbages…

Bunting flying...

Bunting flying…

It hadn’t really occurred to me that playing in the greenhouse was a perfect way to spend time when its raining!

I have some lettuce seeds to plant and I am going to start some pots of bulbs in the greenhouse for bringing indoors later in the winter.  I am going to plant some dwarf beans called “Speedy” which I think should be cropping in the autumn… I have high hopes!

Happy days…


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And off I go again…

Here we go again...

Here I go again…

One of my favourite bits of quilt making – embarking on a new project and selecting the fabrics and colour scheme – such anticipation…

I am using the design “Vintage Spin” from the book “Adding Layers – Color, Design and Imagination” by Kathy Doughty (which I bought for my kindle) as my starting point.  There are some great examples of the design on Kathy’s blog Material Obsession.

I also really like the lovely ones made by Wanda at her blog Exuberant Color…. (I love Wanda’s blog and her gorgeous quilts.)

My blocks are ending up 9″ square rather than the 13.5″ in the book – I prefer the look of lots of smaller blocks to quilts that have fewer big blocks – I think I just like quilts that are busy with colour and pattern and I am not so fond of large scale printed fabrics.

Instead of buying an 18 degree wedge template, I marked 18 degree lines with masking tape onto my usual ruler.  Its sort of working… it would be easier (and maybe more consistantly accurate… ) with the “proper” template, but I was impatient (as usual!) and wanted to start cutting and sewing right away!!

As I am making the blocks significantly smaller than the original pattern, I had to adjust the size of the centre appliquéd circle (from 3″ to 2″) to keep it all in proportion.  This means the seams at the middle of the block have to be pretty close together so I can use a smaller circle to cover the hole.

The picture above shows my test block – I had to make a few adjustments along the way but I think I am ready to roll now….

Happy days…


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My drawer of presents…

Present drawer...

Present drawer…

I like to make presents for my family and friends – for their birthdays or xmas or thank-yous or for nothing in particular.  I knit a lot of socks and save most of them for present giving.  My family say they like them (I like to believe them) and I even get requests for them…

Instead of hiding distributing these gifts around the house and then forgetting about them, I have a special drawer now in which to keep them all together.

Six pairs of socks is not enough for xmas – so I need to get knitting!  I do have 2 pairs waiting to be sewn up and 4 pairs on the needles at the moment.  I am also sewing mug mats and bags – I may need a bigger drawer!

Thinking about knitted presents has reminded me of my gran.  She knitted constantly – tea cosies, bed socks and hot water bottle covers… and all the women in the family got one (or more) of those for xmas.  I don’t think I really appreciated it at the time – I didn’t wear bed socks (still don’t) – didn’t use a teapot – didn’t put a cover on my hot water bottle.  But I do have the very last tea cosy she knitted – its red and white – and its very precious.  I think I might be turning into my gran….

Happy days…


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Slowly hand quilting…

I enjoy hand quilting.

I hand quilted my first quilt:

My first quilt - "Circles and Stars" - finished 1996

My first quilt – “Circles and Stars” – finished 1996 – with Merlin

… a king sized bed quilt… with the tiniest stitches I could manage and it was a total pleasure to do.

This scrappy quilt is much smaller and I am quilting it using a size 12 cotton thread in a lemon/lime colour – and this time making larger stitches.  I like the effect, I think its going to be quite pretty.

Stitch, stich, stitch...

Stitch, stich, stitch…

I have stitched all the main diagonal lines which form the diamond shapes and now I am stitching inside the diamonds… very simple lines.

Anyway – I am finding the process of stitching slowly rather meditative and relaxing and because I ironed all the seams open (rather than to one side) the quilt is nice and flat and there is never any more than 2 layers of quilt top to stitch through.

Although I started with quite big stitches, they are getting smaller… its hard to keep them all the same size.  Its plodding along quite nicely at the moment but as I love the look of intensive quilting – I think its a shame to leave large areas plain and stitch-less – I expect it will take me quite a while to complete – but hey – there is no panic – no time limit…. just a calm stitch, stitch, stitch….

Happy days…

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