Out with the old…and we’ll make it new!

January 4th 2017

It’s that time of year, tapestry folk – time to finish off your neglected tapestries, no matter how long it was since you last picked them up.

New Year, new enthusiasm

The start of a New Year is a great time for having a bit of a sort out and finishing things off, and even the weather’s on your side if you live in the UK. It’s freezing and/or raining outdoors and still dark for half of each day so you have the ideal conditions to hibernate if you get the opportunity, while being cosily productive.

Surgery for a family heirloom 

Perhaps you don’t even need to do any stitching to finish off your particular tapestry, as you have an old family tapestry that needs a bit of attention, but you’ve never been quite sure what to do with it? Give us a call or email us with a picture of your tapestry and we can discuss the possibilities.

One of the pleasures of being CEO (Chief Envelope Opener) of Jolly Red’s Making Up Service is opening parcels and unwrapping tapestries that had been forgotten about or become (sometimes literally) part of the furniture at home. Yes, we do occasionally receive old dining chair covers, to turn into cushions. Speaking of which…

Sometimes tapestries come in for ‘surgery’, or a total transformation. One such was Kate’s tapestry which Kate brought into our workshop for us to make up into a cushion as a surprise for her Mum. Kate’s Mum had stitched the canvas in her teens, intending to make it into a cover for a chair but had never quite got round to it. The tapestry was lovely, but it was such a shame to keep it tucked away at all at the back of the cupboard. It needed our attention!

Kate's Mum's cushion

The tapestry had faded in some areas, but the finished cushion looked fabulous with its velvet border. The cushion is now both a practical furnishing and a treasured family heirloom – and Kate and her Mum are both delighted with it! Happy customer, and happy us.

Come to think of it, we see floral tapestries throughout the year in the workshop. Last year, Fiona sent in two to be made into cushions with velvet borders and backing.


Here’s one of Fiona’s tapestries, with pale terracotta border and backing and mid green piping.

Fiona's Floral tapestry

Fiona’s second cushion, with pink velvet border and backing and mid green piping. The green piping acts as a clever link between the two cushions.

Fiona's floral, pink

Sally’s tapestry which we made up just before Christmas looked stunning with maroon velvet piping and backing.

Sally's floral tapestry

For something completely different, a one of a kind cat. Last year June, a very prolific stitcher, was tasked with the job of finishing off a brightly patterned Californian cat tapestry that a friend had started but given up on. The cat itself was pretty colourful, so June stitched a plain cream border and then sent the finished canvas to us.

June's cat

Here’s June’s Cat in all it’s 1970’s glory, made into a cushion with teal cotton border and backing and dark red cotton piping. The cushion looks great but the cat itself still looks very stern!


Bearing in mind that we very often have no idea of what’s coming our way, I’m always amazed that we manage to find fabric and colours that work with the many designs we see. We have never yet been defeated!

Do get in touch if you need help with deciding how to make up your tapestry. You can call us on 01460 281111 or send an email to kelly@jollyred.co.uk, or even pop in to see us if you’re nearby. Give us a call first if you plan to visit so we can make sure the Wool Room is presentable, as it can get a little hectic in there if Janine’s sewing and we’re packing kits at the same time.

Happy stitching, and happy sorting!








You said it!
Kind words from happy customers

Philippa, Stroud

"Thank you so much for helping me select the backing colours...I am very pleased that you suggested this combination. I think it brings out the colours in the tapestry in the best possible way to make the cushion look terrific." - Philippa, Stroud

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