Tuesday, May 31

From starter tapestry kit to stunning cushion

There are times you need to stitch something special and possibly don't have time for a large project. That's where our starter tapestry kits come in! One weekend of stitching and you'll be ready to help welcome a new baby, celebrate a wedding, anniversary or big birthday with a unique and personal gift.

Each kit comes with a colour printed canvas of the 4"x4" design (10cm if you prefer), and eight skeins of Anchor tapestry wool, a needle and threader, instructions and an alphabet in case you'd like to personalise your finished masterpiece. With a 3" blank border around each design, there's lots of scope for showing off your creativity.

Here is a selection to inspire you, and there are lots more pictures on our Facebook page. Find our photos, and from there you can skip along to our 'Small Things Bright and Beautiful' album. 

Starting off with Laura's Dotty Heart, stitched for Elizabeth. Laura used wool from the kit for her centre panel and raided her stash of wool for her hearts border.

Laura's Dotty Heart made into a cushion, with purple woolly border and backing, and lime green piping.

Barbara's Home and Heart tapestry, using wools only from the kit. Gorgeous hearts border! Made into a cushion with dark red cotton border and teal piping.

Kathryn's Stars and Hearts tapestry, with asymmetrical border and Ailsa's name stitched below the design. Made into a cushion with red velvet border and purple piping.

Patricia's Butterfly tapestry, with striped border and name panel for Eliza May.

Made into a cushion with sandy yellow cotton border, pale red piping and light green backing.

A different look for Jean's Butterfly tapestry, made up in cerise velvet.

Jean's been busy! Mother Hen and Farmer Bear, each made up into cushions with 3" velvet borders. Purple for Mother Hen, and mid green for Farmer Bear.

How about getting us to turn your finished tapestry into a bag, as we did with Alice's Stars and Hearts tapestry? Looking wonderful in purple velvet.

To link your small cushions, especially if you're making them for siblings, we can make them up with a single colour on the front and another colour or perhaps a polka dot backing.

 Finally, who can resist an adorable owl! Little Owl tapestry with blue velvet border and golden yellow piping.

Happy stitching! 


Tuesday, April 26

Gardening? Dig out your tapestry first!

Summer is here! The gardens are going a bit mad, and it's holiday season. The schools are about to break up - it's all go!

Before the great outdoors starts to take up all of your time, we'd love it if you could stop and cast your mind back to any unfinished tapestries from last year or earlier this year that perhaps just need a few last stitches in them to finish them off. Is there a canvas that you proudly completed and put away at Christmas, fully intending to send in to us iearlier in the year for our Making up Service?

Now's the time to see if there are any tapestries that need our attention. The message is clear: never mind the beds, check your drawers

Dig out your latest tapestries and send them in to us and it's one less thing for you to think about later in the year. At this time of year when it's so warm we can often be really speedy when returning your masterpiece. Later on in the year everything takes longer, so...if you can, send them in now!

To inspire you, here are some lovely finished tapestries that we've sent home in recent months, starting with Seaside Sampler:

We loved Agnes's Seaside Sampler, which used left over pink wool from the beach hut for her name. We used pink velvet for the backing too. If you have a 'pink girl' in the family this is a great way to incorporate her favourite colour into a seaside design.

We never realised so many people tied the knot in February - but they do! Ann's Love Birds stitched for Linda and Patrick's wedding now has pride of place in their home.

Ann's Love Birds, with goldy yellow piping and backing:

It's great to see our new designs coming in for making up! Peter's Peacock Star had red velvet piping and chocolate brown backing.

We often say that you don't have to stitch a name on a kit that has a name panel. Nina demonstrated this beautifully with her Alphabet Owls and a line from the Wise Old Owl nursery rhyme.
So many personal touches, Nina changed part of the alphabet border to include oak leaves and stitched her name and the year of stitching below.

Daisy and Strawberry Cupcake tapestries, for Eva and Evie - both popular girls' names this year!

Grey is such a popular colour this year. We have three shades of grey in our wool blend fabrics. Here we have Magic Flowers showing off the pewter shade:

And with a totally different look, here's Nicola's Magic Flowers, with two contrast shades of velvet:

It's Christmas all year round in our tapestry world. Lily chose an Angels stocking for her Granny to stitch for her when they popped in to our workshop.

Time for tea? Carol and Kate's Afternoon Tea tapestries looked great with their blue backings. We have lots of blues in woolly, velvet and cotton fabrics. Give us a call if you need to request samples.

Jane's Love Birds, stitched for her own anniversary. Congratulations, Jane and Blaise!

When you send your tapestry in for making up, you have the option of choosing contrast piping. The contrast can be as strong or as subtle as you like, as demonstrated with Alphabet Ark and Hearts and Flowers below:

Happy Hearts continues to be popular as a stash-busting canvas. With Margaret's latest canvas she couldn't decide whether to go for teal border and red piping, or the other way round...

The other way round won! Red piping and backing with teal piping, in our cotton fabrics.

With weddings and anniversaries to stitch for, hearts are always a popular choice if you don't want to stitch something too 'weddingy'.

Jane's Jolly Hearts looks wonderful made up in three shades of cotton.

Give us a call if you need help in choosing fabrics for the piping and backing of your tapestry. We can often come to a decision over the phone, and are also happy to send out fabric samples so that you can try them against your work before sending it in. With three ranges of fabric: a wool blend, a heavy cotton and a cotton velvet, there are colours to suit all tastes. 

Enjoy your gardening...but please remember to check indoors, and finish off your tapestries when you have a break.


PS Remember to use a 'signed for' service when you post your parcels, and write your name and address on the reverse of your parcel if you'll be calling us to check that it's arrived safely. It's not unusual for us to have similar sized jiffy bags arriving on the same day!

Key words/tags: Angels, anniversary, birds, birds., Christmas, fabric, flowers, garden, gardening, grey, hearts, Love, owl, peacock, seaside, stocking, tapestry, wedding, Jolly, Hearts, canvas.

Tuesday, February 16

Buying a printed canvas on its own

Here's a question we are sometimes asked: Can I buy a Jolly Red tapestry canvas on its own? 

Answer: Quite simply, yes you can. We've been offering this as an option for a while now whenever regular customers call up and mention their yarn stashes. I certainly have sympathy for their situation as I have boxes full of part-used tapestry wool, which I regularly delve into when working on new tapestry designs. It's so handy to keep even the odd metre (or yard if you prefer), you never know when it will come in handy.

Ordering online

You can order a Jolly Red canvas on its own from our website. Just start to order the complete kit of your chosen design, then when you get to the checkout fill in your basic details - name, address, etc. You will see  a discount/coupon box. In this space enter the code canvasThe price of the kit will then be automatically halved and you will receive your canvas, for you to complete in colours of your choice so that you can use up your stash.

Of course, if you prefer you can phone us with your order and we'll do the maths!

We have recently added a Printed Canvas Only area on our website. No codes are needed to order one of those.

What exactly do I get?

If you order a canvas that doesn't need a name panel you will get the colour printed canvas only. If you order a canvas for a birth sampler or Christmas Stocking where there is normally a name panel to complete you will receive the colour printed canvas and the alphabet/lettering charts as would be included in the 'with wool' kit. 

What if I want to order a mix of full kits and canvas only kits?

Oops. Our current system does not allow for this, sorry! Our experience is that when customers want to buy a canvas on its own it's literally just the canvas that they want. Referring back to the beginning of this post, it's to help use up some of the wool stash that's built up over the years. 

I hope you'll find this useful. Please do get in touch if you have any comments. If you have lots of leftover wool you might be wondering which design to go for. From previous conversations with Jolly Redders I'd recommend designs such as Magic Circles or Jolly Hearts which are quite patterned so you don't need lots of skeins of one single shade.

Here are some 'own colours' customer masterpieces from our archives, starting with Magic Circles:

Noah's Christmas and Christmas Alphabet Stockings, about to head off to Australia:

Another Magic Circles:

And finally, a lovely Home Sweet Home:

Have fun, and happy stitching! 

Saturday, February 6

Two 24" tapestry frames. What's the difference?

We are big fans of tapestry clip frames in the Jolly Red workshop, and this year we are sending out more than ever. We think there are lots of reasons to use a frame. It will help to prevent your work from going out of shape, it will make it easy for you to pick up your stitching the next day and find out where you were, and frames are portable too. Take out the side bars and you can roll up your tapestry to take with you on holiday.

The question that most frequently asked is about the difference between the two 24" frames - CF249 and CF2412. The 'CF' stands for clip frame, '24' is the width of the frame and the '9' and '12' are the distance top to bottom. Here we have Arts and Crafts Tiles on a CF249 (below) and a CF2412 (top), so that you can see exactly what a difference those 3 inches make.

It's amazing how much smaller the CF249 frame looks! With this frame, it's nice and easy for you to turn over and get to the back of your work but if you think you would prefer to see more of your work as you stitch, choose a CF2412.

The smaller CF249, on top of a CF2412. If you're wondering about the weight of the frames, there's only about 100gms between the two. The CF249 weighs about 500gms, and the CF2412 is about 600gms. Incidentally, these photographs also demonstrate why your frame needs to be wider than the width of the tapestry design. You need space for the canvas down the sides too.

Close up of Arts and Crafts Tiles on the CF249:

Close up of Arts and Crafts Tiles on the CF2412:

We'd love to know your views on the use of tapestry frames as they do provoke a 'Marmite' type of reaction! Give us a call, email or message us on Facebook or Twitter if you need to know anything about the smaller frames.

Saturday, August 29

Ehrman Klimt tapestries

There is always a steady flow of tapestries coming in to our Somerset workshop for our Making up Service. We mainly make up our own Jolly Red tapestries, but we also see quite a few Ehrman tapestries, in particular the Klimt tapestries, designed by Candace Bahouth. 

Stretched tapestries, awaiting piping and backing
We've compiled a selection of Klimt designs that we've made into cushions to give you an idea of the backing fabrics we keep in stock. You'll be able to see which fabrics would work well for your own needlepoint. 

You can mix and match your fabrics, or clash and contrast - it's up to you. As you can see with this Klimt Jade tapestry, you can opt to use more than one fabric if you like. Here we have the tapestry with a mitred border in blue wool blend fabric, and piping and backing in orange velvet.

Klimt tapestry with lime green velvet piping, terracotta backing

Anne's pair of Klimt Jade tapestries, made up in green wool blend fabric:

Two Klimt tapestries, one with charcoal grey woolly fabric for backing and the other with charcoal grey piping. This is a really good way to link two non-matching designs.

Charcoal grey works really well with the Klimt colours

Two more Klimt tapestries, the top one made up in copper beech woolly fabric with old gold backing. The bottom one has royal blue woolly piping and terracotta woolly backing.

Choose coordinating piping and backing, or go for contrast:

If you've finished a tapestry and would like to send it to us to make into a cushion, take a quick look here at our checklist before posting it off to us. And if you still aren't sure about colours or fabric, give us a call on 01460 281111 and we'll send some samples out in the post to you.

Please note: Our Christmas making up deadline each year is 31st October. Tapestries sent after this date will be returned as early as possible the following year.