Our A-Z Animals kits are fabulous not-too-big tapestries to stitch for a new arrival in your family. They also make wonderful christening gifts, and look great whether made into a cushion or framed as a picture – or even made into a personalised book bag.

Decisions, decisions! Which letter to choose? As you’ll see from the images below, you can either choose the design with the initial that matches up with your child’s name (although we haven’t created one for every letter of the alphabet – we’re working on it!), or choose the design you like the most and leave out the upper and lower case letters in the corners.

What’s included in an A-Z Animals kit? We provide a colour printed canvas of the design (12 holes per inch canvas), a symbols reference chart, a needle and stitch instructions, and a generous supply of Anchor tapestry wool. There are also alphabet and lettering charts to enable you to stitch either two rows of small text, or one row with larger letters.

A for Ark is a popular design, combining an alphabet border with a Noah’s Ark theme. Continuing with the ‘A’ theme, there are apples and arrows in the corners and of course animals on the ark.

Below are A for Ark cushions stitched for Aryan, Alfred and Adelai Rose. We used grey woolly fabric for Aryan’s tapestry, with contrast piping. For Alfred’s, we used velvet fabric. We made Adelia Rose’s A for Ark tapestry into a cushion with a pale yellow cotton border and red piping. We have a wonderful range of cotton fabric if you’re looking for a nice crisp finish to your tapestry.

If you don’t know the child’s name yet A for Ark is a great design to stitch if the baby hasn’t yet been born.

Here are three A for Ark tapestries stitched for non-A names. You can keep the corner ‘A’ and ‘a’ letters in, as in Lottie and Lexie’s tapestries…or stitch over them if you’d prefer, as with Maddison’s A for Ark.

On to B for Birds and Bears with colourful birds singing in the trees. In the border there are butterflies, more birds and a boat. In the outer corners we’ve included three bears and a porridge bowl, in a nod to the Goldilocks fairy tale.

We made Bertie and Benji’s B for Birds tapestries into cushions using our velvet fabric, Lincoln green for Bertie and a mid grey and orange for Benji. For Emily’s we used turquoise woolly fabric for the border and a bright red piping.

Our C for Cat shows three cats (one wearing a crown), and in the corners there are circles which also make up part of the game of noughts and crosses. Crows fly high among the clouds.

Forget-me-not blue velvet works well as a border and backing colour for C for Cat, and for so many of the A-Z Animals. For Cora’s C for Cat tapestry, we used Bubblegum pink cotton border and backing and yellow piping.

Sometimes we make up a family group of A-Z Animals, such as this delightful trio, ready to go home – Dylan’s D for Dog, Eli’s E for Elephant and Hector’s H for Humpty.

D for Dog design features a central dog in a stripy sweater and two ducks, with a border of dominoes, diamonds and daisies.

On to the letter ‘E’, with Eve’s E for Elephant seen here with Noah’s N for Nocturnal cushion, each with 3″ cotton borders.

For Eli’s E for Elephant we used a grey velvet for border and backing with contrast maroon piping. Emilia’s book bag has turquoise woolly fabric for border, backing and handles – picking out the turquoise ‘E’s in the corners.

For Harry’s E for Elephant tapestry, we used orange velvet for border and backing and old gold velvet piping and for Claudia’s cushion we used cream cotton for border and backing with dark red piping.

Top tip! Ordering a printed canvas on its own If you have lots of spare wool and only need the colour printed canvas of one of our kits, you can do this online by using this word: nowoolthankyou in the relevant box at the checkout. The price of the kit will be automatically halved and we’ll know to send you the canvas along with the charts for lettering and numbers – but no wool.

F for Farmyard is such a popular design for an animal-loving child. Here we have two Florences in red velvet, with a Fergus in the middle:

If you like the farmyard theme, you can stitch the design for any child even if their name doesn’t begin with ‘F’. We’re pretty sure Ida and Martha are happy to have their own mini farmyard tapestry cushions. A dotty backing is always a fun choice and works well with the A-Z Animals cushions.

Two very cute H for Humpty cushions, made for Hannah and Hugo. This cute design shows Humpty Dumpty with hens and hedgehogs. In the border there are hot air balloons, hearts and holly leaves.

J for Jungle, which shows a lion and giraffe and lots of other animals in the border. As you can see, our J for Jungle tapestry lends itself to any letter of the alphabet.

We made up Archie’s cushion in two shades of velvet, with two shades of cotton for Daisy’s.

We enjoyed seeing the name Leo stitched on a L for Lion design – and didn’t immediately notice that this little Leo’s name had been stitched in the top border, leaving more name for his date of birth below. Very clever!

Other proud owners of their own L for Lion cushion are Leni and Louis. Red and blue are popular border and backing colours for this design, in any fabric.

The design shows a central lion and lemur, with a border of ladybirds, lemons and leaves and black Labrador dogs in the corners.

M for Monkey is a design that we’ve seen frequently in our workshop. The central monkey is joined by friends the mouse and meerkat. The outer border shows slices of melon, with a moon in each corner…and stars, to shine alongside the moons.

For Max’s Monkey we used bottle green cotton for border and black for piping and backing. We used purple woolly fabric for Megan’s cushion, with charcoal woolly piping.

P for Panda shows a contented panda bear sitting among bamboo plants. In the border there are pears, pencils and poppies as well as polka dot patchwork pieces.

We used cotton fabric for the border and backing of Milo and Jude’s panda cushions.

S for Seahorse has an extra appeal for a child with a seaside-themed bedroom – although Virginia stitched her S for Seahorse tapestry for her sister who is mad about seahorses.

T for Tiger shows a tiger and a tortoise, and a toucan in a tree. In the border there are tomatoes and triangles, and numbers from 1 – 10 (with the ‘t’ numbers in red).

We used jade velvet for Tahmini’s T for Tiger cushion.

In Z for Zebra, a central zebra stands against a zigzag backdrop.In the border there is a collection of animals seen on visits to the zoo.

We used our woolly fabric for Zoe’s cushion and for Zara’s bag. Please note that the emerald shade of our woolly fabric is no longer available but we have some groovy greens in our cotton fabric.

The tapestries shown here are a small selection of the many A-Z tapestries we have made up over the years. Please like Jolly Red’s Facebook page for A-Z Animals updates in our Albums.

Making up service, March 2021 If you plan to send in a Jolly Red tapestry for our making up service, remember to include details of the fabric you’d like us to use for making up. We are happy to send fabric samples to UK stitchers to help you to decide.

Best wishes, and happy stitching!

Kelly

PS An early warning about our Christmas deadline Each year we bring forward our Christmas making up deadline to allow for increased demand. and after a year of lockdown stitching, 2021 is likely to be extremely busy. We don’t have a fixed Christmas deadline this year as we have no idea how many tapestries will be sent to us in the autumn. To avoid possible disappointment, please post as you stitch and don’t wait until October to send in your finished canvases. Thank you!