For fresh stitching inspiration browse our ever-growing range of original Hardanger and cross stitch designs.
Who is Mabel Figworthy?
The original Mabel Figworthy is a character in a Flanders & Swann song (hands up if you remember the Hippopotamus Song – all together now, "Mud, mud, glorious mud…") where she is charmingly described as "excess baggage". It is not known whether she indulged in needlework.
The Mabel Figworthy you find here is a Dutch ex-pat with a passion for needlework. She started out with cross stitch but kept finding new materials and techniques to try, so cross stitch was joined by Assisi, blackwork, beads, free embroidery stitches, ribbon embroidery and last but not least Hardanger. She is also a sucker for speciality threads, particularly silks, and one of her long-term projects is an alphabet on aida band with each letter stitched in a different brand or type of silk. She has reached D, but as her collection of silks increases she has estimated that she will need about four alphabets (and several lifetimes) to complete the project.
What are Mabel's fancies?
Inspired by occasions, threads, fabrics, or idleness, she designs whatever takes her fancy – mostly Hardanger, but also cross stitch and the occasional bit of Assisi, blackwork and ribbon embroidery, or a combination of any of the above. Enjoy browsing the designs and see if there's anything you would fancy stitching!
Charts or kits?
Mabel has developed three Mini Kits especially for beginners. They contain all the materials you will need, cover the basic Hardanger stitches and come with extra detailed instructions. But apart from these, we have decided to offer the designs as chart packs only. Many of these designs, although originally conceived using particular colours and materials, can be stitched on different fabrics using different threads in different colours – indeed, some of them were designed in various different versions! Offering the designs as chart packs gives you the choice whether to follow the original version to the letter, or to change one or more aspects of it so that it becomes uniquely yours.
Unless stated otherwise, chart packs include a colour photograph of the finished design, a chart, a list of the materials needed to complete it (often with suggestions for alternative versions), instructions and custom-made stitch diagrams. You will receive your chart pack by email in PDF format. If you have no access to a printer and would like a printed version, please contact us for information about printing and shipping costs.
If you have trouble locating a supplier for any of the materials, do let us know and we'll do our best to help you find one.