It’s time to head to the beach with our two new tapestry designs, Jolly Campervans and Beside The Sea. These new sun-filled tapestry kits have been designed to be made up in several different ways, and are perfect designs to stitch on holiday, in the garden – or in the shade at the beach (April showers permitting!).

Beside The Sea is a perfect summer’s day captured in one design: beach huts, a red fishing boat, lighthouse, puffin, and a dolphin, and children playing happily with the family dog nearby.

It is in the fourth design to follow the same format as Farmyard Sampler, Noah’s Ark and Dinosaur Sampler.  What a lovely mini series! It has an alphabet along the top of the design and numbers along the bottom and there’s space in the middle to stitch a child’s name and date of birth, or a house name or seaside phrase.

TOP TIP If you like the design but don’t really need to stitch Beside The Sea for a child, then stitch it for yourself! It’s great to frame as a picture or use as a cushion to decorate your home,  beach hut, seaside guest house or tea room…it’ll look good anywhere.

A bit of background We’ve mentioned before that tapestry design isn’t exactly an instant process, and Beside The Sea has been a little while in the making.

Last summer I thought we were ready to reveal an earlier version of Beside The Sea, but something about the finished tapestry wasn’t quite right. I spent weeks looking at it then putting it away again, trying to figure out what was wrong and at that stage thought it just needed a bit of tweaking. Inevitably things got very busy in the workshop as autumn approached, so I put the canvas away for a while. During our Christmas break I started tinkering around with colours and changing sections of it, until I eventually realised that there was nothing for it but to go back to the drawing board and start the design again.

We may have missed last year’s summer season but we’re so pleased to have the new, improved design ready for you for 2018!

The keen eyed among you will notice some differences between Isla’s cushion and the framed version of Beside The Sea. I’m putting these small discrepancies down to general excitement in the rush to get the framed version stitched up ready for photography. The alphabet on Beside The Sea’s printed canvas is printed light blue and gold, as it is on Isla’s cushion – but you can always change the gold lettering to black if you prefer.

On to a rare picture, one in which I’m on the wrong side of the camera. Have you worked out where we were for our photography? Some of you will spot immediately from the famous Cobb in the background that we were at Lyme Regis in Dorset, which is just a short drive from Jolly Red’s Somerset HQ.

Below is a close up of Beside The Sea, showing how well it works as a picture. Our George took this photograph without its non-reflective glass so you’ll be able to see the colours more accurately. It’s up to you whether to have your textiles framed behind glass or not.

To frame or not to frame? There are two schools of thought on this topic. Some people like to be able to see the stitches close up and actually touch the surface of a tapestry, but other people feel more relaxed if their work is safely behind glass. It really is down to personal choice.

We tend to frame our Jolly Red tapestries behind glass because we like to have them out on display in our workshop for our visitors to see.

Our reason for framing is a very practical one as every year birds manage to find their way into our workshop as they swoop around catching insects in the courtyard outside our hideaway. Once inside they like to…ahem… leave their mark! We definitely feel safer with precious surfaces covered up.

In case you’d like to see all the designs in the mini sampler series together, George has already thought of that. Here they are:

On to the Jolly Campervans! It was impossible to resist creating a campervan design as I enjoyed stitching the little orange one in Beside The Sea so much. I also know that we need more smaller designs as that’s one part of our kit range that has been neglected in recent years.

The challenge I set for myself having decided to make the design specs case size, was to see just how small I could go with the graph paper squares while still keeping that campervan look. The dinky ones are so cute, and having the two sizes of campervan makes Jolly Campervans a really enjoyable tapestry to stitch.

We’ve made up two samples, one as a specs case and a second one as a rather fabulous bag. Watch out for sample number three which will emerge as a cushion at some point.

TOP TIP Friend’s birthday coming up? Stitch Jolly Campervans as a special gift to keep his/her sunglasses in.

That’s all from us for now. We’re concentrating on new designs for the next few months so don’t worry if you don’t hear from us too often. We’ll be back in the summer with a new design for lovers of our Camelcade tapestry, so stay tuned!

We hope the next few weeks will bring us some enjoyable days with a little bit of sea and sand if we’re very lucky!

Best wishes, and happy stitching.


PS Remember to sign up to our (roughly) monthly newsletter to be the first to hear about new designs, and secret treats. When the new data rules come in on May 25th we won’t be allowed to email you unless you have asked to be on our mailing list. If you prefer, you can email me at and I’ll make sure you’re on our new mailing list – which we never share with any other businesses, ever!