Georgina’s flowers

November 22nd 2018

It’s always a pleasure to be able to transform forgotten needlework into fabulous cushions, and this year quite a few heirloom tapestries have made their way to our Somerset hideaway for a bit of workshop magic.

Today we’ll focus on two recent arrivals, Georgina’s floral canvases. The designs had an old-fashioned charm that had us all feeling quite nostalgic and dreaming of the olden days…the days long before such things as Black Friday, we’re sure you too recall those happy times. We digress… back to the lovely flowers.

As Georgina’s canvases were both a similar size and had similar subject matter and colour palette they could be made up either separately in different colours, or as a pair. Georgina herself was open to ideas but in no huge rush, so we put the canvases away and pondered a while before starting work.

On a technical point, the designs have been stitched on a double thread canvas, an earlier version of the one we use for most of our Jolly Red cushion sized kits.

As with many old canvases that come our way, the stitched borders on Georgina’s flowers were slightly irregular, and the canvases were in need of a good stretch. Fortunately, there was plenty of blank canvas area around each design, which we always need to pin the work out when we stretch it back into shape.

We really liked the background colours on these tapestries, the really unusual jade green on the bouquet tapestry and the dusky pink on the lilies.


A closer examination of the green canvas led us to spot an unstitched area, which would need to be filled in before we made the tapestry into a cushion.

On to the choice of colour and fabric for the piping and backing of the tapestries. We thought velvet would be the natural fabric for these two with probably a maroon velvet as piping and backing for both.

More thought followed and for the pink tapestry, we decided it’d be a shame not to bring out the lovely jade green of the leaves. Jade it was!

For the green tapestry, we chose a really nice light terracotta velvet to bring out the pinky tones.

We consulted with Georgina, presenting other options too, but she liked these two so it was all systems go on the cushion making front. Here are the finished cushions together and ready to go home, looking fantastic.

The lilies have a soft jade velvet for piping and backing.

The bouquet tapestry has light terracotta for piping and backing. You remember the missed stitches? Well, we couldn’t find a green that was an identical match to the background colour so we stitched up the blank area using a darker green similar to the one used in the leaves. We think it hides the gap pretty well.

We are pleased to report that Georgina’s cushions are now back home with her in the Isle of Man, and that she is delighted with them. Hooray! Happy customer, happy us.

If seeing these cushions has reminded you of your own forgotten treasures, give us a call on 01460 281111 if you need any help or advice.

Our address if you’re packing a tapestry to send to us (please use a ‘Signed For’ method):

Jolly Red 

Unit 1, Monk’s Dairy Workshops

Isle Brewers



Take a look at our checklist before heading to the post office. You needn’t buy any special packaging to send in your work – recycle a box or a jiffy bag if you like, or perhaps fold your tapestry into a carry bag then cover that with brown paper.

PS Back to the Black Friday thing. We aren’t fans of it, as you may have gathered. We like to reward our customers for their loyalty with special offers of our own and to good service all year round, and special treats in our (roughly) monthly newsletters. Speaking of which, we’re working on the next newsletter now. We’ll send it once the current crazy stuff has died down, because like us you’re probably deleting most of your emails at the moment. Click here if you need to sign up – and welcome! We look forward to keeping in touch and sharing with you the latest news from Somerset, in a friendly and relaxed way.

You said it!
Kind words from happy customers

Fran, Dorset

"The cushion has arrived and looks wonderful, thank you so much. And lots of lovely kits in your catalogue...." - Fran, Dorset

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