When you stitch a tapestry for a special occasion, even the smallest of designs will make a huge impression. Giving a handmade gift is such a lovely thing to do and with a tapestry you’ve created something unique, putting care and thought into each stitch.

Today we’ll focus on our starter tapestry kits which come with a 4″ printed area, and a 3″ border of blank canvas around each side. The extra border gives space for the addition of names or patterns. We provide an alphabet and easy to follow instructions with each starter kit.

Let’s have a look at some recent ones that have left the workshop. At the end of last year, Marion sent in a Puppy and Kitten tapestry on behalf of her grandchildren. The children had stitched the tapestries in secret, to give as a surprise gift for their Mum’s 40th Birthday.

The finished cushions looked so smart, with their blue velvet border and backings and contrast red piping. You can see our full range of velvet colours here.

We added an extra 3″ border around Kitten and Puppy to make them into a practical size. Marion told us that the children were so excited on their Mum’s Birthday, and they insisted that she open her special presents before they went off to school!

What a lovely surprise, and how nice for children to have ‘on the go’ to stitch at Gran’s house during weekends and holidays!

On to Jack’s Owl a Little Owl starter tapestry, stitched by Sue. We made up Jack’s cushion using a yellow cotton fabric for border and backing, with contrast blue piping.

Sue used left over wool from her Little Owl kit to stitch her text and the stripey border.

If you don’t want to make your starter kit into a cushion, There’s always the option of making it into a bag. Sue (not Jack’s Sue!) has made a series of tapestries for children in the family, and we’ve made each of them into fantastic bags for books or other treasures.

Here’s Sue’s latest, Fairy Godmother, which we made into a bag with blue wool mix fabric ( ‘wool mix’ sounds a bit scary but it is in fact a very sturdy and practical fabric). A pink polka dot lining finished the bag off nicely.

Sue (another Sue – we promise we aren’t making this up!) is another busy Jolly Redder who has stitched tapestries for many family occasions. We’ve seen tapestry projects of all sizes and for all ages of family members!

Sue’s most recent project has been her Gypsy Heart tapestry which she personalised to make into a sophisticated wedding/anniversary gift for Tom and Natalie.

We used pewter grey cotton for the border of Sue’s cushion, and red for piping and backing and we’re sure it’ll look wonderful with Tom and Natalie’s Scandinavian colours at home.

Barbara is another prolific stitcher. She made her Home and Heart tapestry as a gift for her friend Emma, who is a leader of the Rainbows in her local Girl Guides. That explains the rainbow, top left…not that rainbows ever need a reason to be anywhere, you can never have too many.

When Barbara brought her Home and Heart tapestry in to our Somerset workshop, we asked if she’d used wool from any other projects to extend the border. She assured us that apart from for a few tiny details she used only the wool in the kit. Eight skeins of Anchor wool really do go a long way!

We used fabric from our wool mix range to make up Barbara’s Home and Heart cushion – teal border, red piping and navy backing.

We hope you’ve enjoyed seeing these little treasures and that they provide inspiration if you have a special occasion to stitch for, or if you’d like a quick and portable project to stitch at home or take on holiday.

Top tip: We really liked hearing about how Marion and her grandchildren got together in the school holidays in their own secret stitching club to create their Puppy and Kitten tapestries. That’s something to consider with half terms and Easter and summer holidays yet to come!

Below is some information which may be of use if you’re about to pack up a woolly parcel and send it to us:

Fabric swatches We can send swatches of fabric to UK addresses and are on hand to give advice over the phone – on 01460 281111 – if you aren’t sure about colours for a tapestry that you’ve finished.

How to send When sending your tapestry to us, do use a Signed For method so that you’ll know that it’s arrived safely – or be able to track it in case it’s held up anywhere en route. You don’t necessarily need to buy a special tube or jiffy bag from the post office. We always encourage recycling, so if you have something in the house that can be re-used for your tapestry, that’ll be fine. Your tapestry can be folded.

Before sending in your tapestry The fabric world is constantly changing and fabrics are occasionally discontinued so please do get in touch to check that your chosen fabric is still available, particularly if the tapestry you’ve stitched is going to be part of a series and you’d like them to match.

Payment Our current prices for making up can be seen here. There are four ways to pay: call us on 01460 281111 to arrange payment if you’d like to pay by BACS transfer, credit/debit card, or Paypal (we can send you a PayPal invoice). If paying by cheque please make it payable to ‘Jolly Red’.

Send your tapestry to us at:

Jolly Red Making up Service

Unit 4B Walronds Park

Isle Brewers



Staying in touch Do remember to sign up for our tapestry talk newsletters if you’d like to hear about our new designs as they appear, and receive secret treats and discounts. We send newsletters roughly once a month, only ever when we have something to say.