Hergest Helly

Stories about my art and craft and home…

My FIRST patchwork…


Look what I have found…

ancient patchwork

I started this in 1970.  I followed instructions for paper piecing hexagons in a Good Housekeeping book of needlework.  I used ANY thin-ish fabric – cottons, polyesters, mixes, satins, lining fabrics – none was bought specially – it was all from old aprons and dresses and odd bits left over from other sewing projects.

I actually finished it into a double bed sized quilt in the 80s – I layered and backed it, tacked it together and tried to quilt it.  I tried hand quilting and straight lines on the machine – it was a disaster!

In the 90s when I really started quilting, I dragged it out, couldn’t believe the mess I had made, and decided to unpick the quilting (I remember that was a job and a half!!!), remove the batting and backing and try to resurrect it.  I tried adding some more hexagons to the edge but got distracted with all the new quilts I was making.

Well its now 45 years later – and here it is again – still a right old mess – but full of memories of my gran’s, mum’s, sister’s and my own clothes.  Perhaps it really is time I finished it off properly…  Trouble is, I am not sure I even like it anymore…!

Happy days…


Author: Hergest Helly

spinner, quilter, knitter, sewer, rag-rug hooker, beginning weaver, crocheter, embroiderer, chicken keeper, cat lady, budding gardener, yoga novice and home lover...

7 thoughts on “My FIRST patchwork…

  1. Maybe you don’t like it anymore, but I bet no other quilt can compete when it comes to history. Personally I must admit I prefer the quilts from back then, because they are so much more personal. This thing carries a story. And if you really don’t like it, why not make a top the same size in a design you love, and use this as a backing? That way you’ll still have it and use it. Maybe even have it quilted by someone else else…

    • Hello Berte – you are, of course, absolutely right – it IS personal and it carries many stories. I will finish it properly – probably machine quilt it otherwise it might never ever get done! I will post photos of my progress – you have inspired me – thank you!
      Happy days…

      • And I forgot to say, I’m thoroughly impressed by the size. I tried hexagon piecing in the 70s, but couldn’t bear the hand sewing. It ended up being a round, small pillow gifted to my aunt.

  2. What a great story. You have just motivated me to finish a quilt I started in the 80’s….Rob Peter to Pay Paul. I have done many quilts inbetween but now you have given me strength to GO DO IT.

  3. Keep it for the memories, whether you quilt it or not. I have something similar from the seventies, started when I was 14! Except that mine is Suffolk Puff/yo yo top, in all kinds of fabrics with meaning. That sucker is heavy! I keep it for the memories.

    • Hi E – yo-yo quilts are very pretty – love to see a photo? These old quilts are full of memories which is why I want to have it out where I can see it more often, rather than screwed up in a ball in a bag somewhere under my bed! I think if I actually finish it, I may fold it up and display it over the back of my bedroom chair, or something like that…. full of ideas if not the application! 😀 Hugs, Hxx

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