Spring is in the air and today we bring you fresh flowers! For your stitching delight we have a stunning new floral tapestry design in two very different colourways.

Wildflower Meadow brings the sunshine in with its colourful flowers against a primrose yellow background, while its partner Moonlight Garden is full on drama with rainbow flowers and a dark indigo background.

We love seeing these two tapestries side by side and made up in a variety of ways. Wildflower Meadow and Moonlight Garden would make wonderful gifts for a gardener in your life, either in kit form or stitched – perhaps after you’ve made one for yourself!

How the new flowers came about Last year we added some fantastic new designs to Jolly Red’s specs case range – Dachshunds (striped and blue), Jolly Jack Russells and Conkers. That was it for a while, or so I thought.

We needed flowers When we pack our kits we set them out in their various ranges in a central area of our Somerset workshop which we call Kit Village. I like to sit there sometimes at the table in the middle and one day I was having a cup of tea at the table and it dawned on me that apart from our lovely Brighter Days Daffodils we had absolutely no florals in our specs case range. Something needed to be done!

To work! I started designing and wanted the flowers to be stylised with a similar feel to the flowers in Summer Patchwork. and Ba-Ba-Bloom. Wildflower Meadow soon emerged, and stitching it became my December project. I don’t normally get a lot of stitching done in November or in the first half of December but having a new tapestry to stitch – especially one that is so bright and optimistic – helped to keep my stress levels under control during the weeks of Royal Mail’s strikes.

Here are our three ways with Moonlight Garden. We used bright red velvet for the bag, and two of our soft cottons for the cushion – purple Putney (SC05) for a 3″ border and the backing, with piping in orange Purbeck (SC02). We used 8526 wool for the handstitched edge of the specs case and gave it a green lining.

A bag for all occasions When we considered the finished sizes of our bags we had gardeners in mind, as well as spring and summer parties and general outdoor events where a stylish bag is useful while also adding the finishing touch to an outfit.

We made our each bag up with 2.5″ borders and they are just the right size for a gardening journal or sketchbook or for a purse, keys and packets of seeds if you need to nip over to your allotment.

For Wildflower Meadow we used Chelsea soft cotton (SC10) for a bright blue border on the bag. We made up our Wildflower Meadow cushion in turquoise cotton (Crystal JRNC05) with red cotton (Robin JRCR01) for piping. For our specs case we used 8804 turquoise Anchor wool from the kit with a dark red lining.

A note on our wool quantities & canvas size We have been very generous with the wool in Wildflower Meadow and Moonlight Garden, as we are with all of our kits. There will be plenty left over for you to add a striped or other border if you want to. There is ample blank canvas around the printed area to let you do this. The canvas is 12 holes per inch, the gauge that we always use for our specs case needlepoint designs.

What size tapestry frame should I choose? We recommend a CF189 tapestry frame for Wildflower Meadow and Moonlight Garden and other designs in our specs case range. The ‘CF’ stands for clip frame, ’18’ is the width of the frame, and the ‘9’ is the height of the sidebars.

Take a look at our Tapestry Frames and Accessories if you need to order a frame. Using a frame helps you to stay focused as you aren’t having to physically hold the canvas in your hands. Personally, I always like looking at a tapestry when I’m stitching on a frame. It’s a nice way to see the design grow, and to see how much you’ve done and assess how much you have left to do if you’re stitching to a deadline.

Complete tapestry kit (with wool) or canvas only, it’s up to you When you go to order any of the kits on our website, you have the option to buy either the full kit or the canvas on its own. The options appear when you go to order, so just choose the option that’s best for you.

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing our new floral tapestries. Having them around us in the workshop has certainly lifted my spirits on some of the cold and dark days we’ve had recently.

A jolly big anniversary This year we are  celebrating Jolly Red’s 30th Anniversary. Wow! Let’s let that sink in for a moment. My plan has been to start celebrating this amazing anniversary from March 2023 and run it until February 2024. March 1993 is when Jolly Red’s first ever designs were featured in magazines, and it’s spring so it feels like a good time.

Stay in the loop We’ll be sharing lots of interesting stuff about Jolly Red’s first three decades in our tapestry talk newsletters, on our Facebook page and via the very timely Meet The Maker, which is #marchmeetthemaker on Instagram. We’ll make sure we share the hashtag in our posts.

That’s it for now. Thank you for reading to any of you who have made it this far. We put the last headers in red in case you were nodding off!

Best wishes as always, happy weekend and a big thank you to you whether you are contemplating starting your first tapestry or are building up your Jolly Red collection.

Kelly x

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