Good morning! It’s the start of another very strange week for all of us, and we want to reassure you that we are still working, making up tapestries and sending out kits from our Somerset HQ.

Since the launch of our new Blossom Birds tapestry, we’ve been very busy. Many of our customers are staying home and their social activities have been cancelled, so stitching a tapestry is a positive and productive use of extra time indoors.

How are we working? Some of our sewing ladies already work from home, and we are fortunate in our workshop that the members of our small team aren’t all in on the same days, and when we are we don’t all work in the same areas. That said, we are taking extra care to observe the latest government guidelines on not working too close to one another. Now that the schools have closed and leaving children with grandparents isn’t an option, we are likely to be working some very strange hours – essentially doing as much as we can and for as long as we can.

Let’s have a look at some of the cushions that have gone home recently, starting with Debra’s Beside the Sea and Union Jack Russells.

Debra wanted wider borders on her tapestries. For Beside the Sea we used yellow cotton for the border, 3″ at the sides and 2″ top and bottom. This ‘squares up’ the design. The same principle can be used for the designs in the same series – Farmyard, Noah and Dinosaur Samplers.

We really liked Debra’s choice of orange cotton for the piping and navy dotty backing.

For Debra’s Union Jack Russells we used Prussian Blue velvet for a 2″ border all around, with bright red velvet piping and Forget-Me-Not velvet backing. What a jolly pair of cushions they are!

Last week we were delighted to arrange the making up and delivery of Fiona’s Camelcade tapestry to her Mum in time for Mothering Sunday.

Mothering Sunday was a rather subdued affair for most of us this year, but we are sure that your cushions – and gifts of kits to stitch – helped to brighten the day for many Mums. Thank you to everyone who ordered kits to be sent as gifts this week, and we hope they all arrived on time.

Here’s the view of the top of Fiona’s Camelcade. We used a pale green velvet for piping, and cream velvet for backing for a lovely, subtle finish.

We’ve had lots of Bloom tapestries coming in for our making up service. The two below each have charcoal woolly piping, and there’s a hint of Pumpkin woolly backing on Jane’s Bloom-Pah-Pah. Look hard and you might just spot it!

Our new Blossom Birds kit arrived just at the right time! Little did we know when we launched the cheerful design of birds and spring blossom would strike a chord with so many stitchers.

We sent our email newsletter out on Friday 13th (of all dates!) and within a week the first batch had sold and the second print run had arrived.

Another big thank you to everyone who ordered a Blossom Birds kit…and a subtle reminder to sign up for our newsletter if you haven’t already done so!

Blossom Birds

Stocking up We’ve been getting in more supplies than usual of workshop essentials, starting with the Anchor tapestry wool that we use in all our kits.

Then there are our feather cushion pads – lots of them, in all sizes from 12″ up to 24″. Incidentally, anyone who is allergic to feathers will be pleased to know that we now stock hollow fibre 18″ cushion pads.

Why only 18″? The 18″ size is the most popular and the vast majority of our customers prefer a feather pad, and we just don’t have the space to store other sizes. Cushion pads are very bulky items!

A word about the post We now use Royal Mail’s Tracked services for the vast majority of our kit and tapestry frames deliveries, which means that for most deliveries you no longer have to sign for them.

Our promise to you We will do our utmost to deliver your orders, but genuinely suggest that if you’d like to stitch a tapestry over the coming months that you order it sooner rather than later to avoid a delay in receiving it. Royal Mail is already dealing with far more mail than it normally would be, as many shops have now closed their doors and are offering a mail-order service to their customers.

Now on to another topic we’ve been discussing over the last few weeks:

Posting a tapestry for Jolly Red’s making up service. How can I do it if I’m staying at home? Naturally, you want to avoid going to the post office right now. We suggest a couple of alternatives if you are keen to post a parcel:

  1. Wrap up your parcel then ask a friend or relative to go on your behalf.
  2. One customer this week mentioned Royal Mail’s Click and Drop service, which lets you pay for your parcel then drop it off – or ask someone to drop it off for you – either in a Post Office branch or a post box.

Puppy talk! Facebook pals will know that in recent weeks we have been taking care of our friends’ goldendoodle puppy. One advantage of having an inquisitive young pup around is that we’ve had to create makeshift barricades to keep him from exploring the exciting outdoor courtyard. These barriers also help us and the postmen and couriers to maintain our safe distances apart. Good boy, Albus!

If you’re using your extra time at home to have a little spring clean and sort out your wool stash, Country Cottage is a great canvas to help you use up your odds and ends. We have two currently in for making up, one as a specs case and the other as a cushion. Isn’t it great to see how ‘similar but different’ they both look!

That’s it for now. We wish you all the very best for this week and for the weeks ahead. We’ll keep you updated with any changes in our situation, but for now, our focus is on getting as much work done as possible while we can and keeping you, our stitchy ladies and gentlemen happily occupied with your favourite hobby.

Take care, and keep washing your hands. We will too!

Kelly x