I love making cross stitch bellpulls, even though no-one needs to actually use one these days! They are just lovely things to make. The Mary Hickmott bellpulls are to die for, though – they are really special designs!
About 15 years ago, I made this bellpull, called ‘Height of Summer’, designed by Mary Hickmott. Here’s how the design was shown in the New Stitches magazine:
This is my one, now hanging on the upper landing of my house. It is stitched on 28 count Zweigart cream evenweave, using Anchor stranded cotton. From what I remember, it took me about eight months altogether.
At around that time, the Height of Summer bellpull was so popular (it was originally featured as a project in the New Stitches magazine, and later brought out as a chart pack and possibly a kit as well), that Mary Hickmott also started to design bellpulls to represent the other seasons, too. Of course, as I’d liked the first one so much, I made sure that I collected the other three. This is the one I plan to stitch next:
I’ve kitted it up, with Anchor stranded cotton, Zweigart 28 count Ivory evenweave fabric, and a gorgeous pair of heavy brass bellpull ends. These were given to me by a friend of mine who is also an embroidery designer, called Karen Dixon of Millennia Designs – she sells many styles of bellpull fitting on her website, if you’re interested 🙂
The Height of Spring bellpull uses bright yellows and violets – very indicative of spring flowers. I really like stitching with these colours, so it will be a tough choice as to whether I start with the Autumn or the Spring bellpull.
Here’s my materials, ready to start:
And finally, there’s the Height of Winter bellpull. Another beautiful design.
And the materials ready to stitch this one:
They’re all wonderful, aren’t they? These have been available for over 15 years, and in my stash box of charts ‘to be stitched one day’ for almost all of that time. But now that I’ve kitted them up, I’m just that bit closer to actually stitching them.
They are available as chart packs from Mary Hickmott’s website Stitch Direct, and should be findable if you do a search on the site for ‘height of’ – then, all the bellpulls will come up in the search results. At the moment, they cost £9 per chart.
Are you interested in doll’s houses and stitching? Then why not visit my website, where you can buy doll’s house needlepoint kits to make all kinds of soft furnishings for one-twelfth scale dollhouses. There are over 280 kits to choose from, plus chart packs, fabric project packs, tutorials, and lots of eye candy to inspire you! Kits are available on 18 and 22 count canvas, 28 and 32 count evenweave, and 32 and 40 count silk gauze, so there’s something for everyone – from beginners to experts.
19 thoughts on “Mary Hickmott bellpulls are to die for…!”
They are beautiful and make superb hangings – wonderful designs and beautiful work
They’re lovely, aren’t they? But the Summer one took months, and I want to make the whole set……
You’ll do it 🙂 Take a deep breath, let it out slowly and …
I do love the Mary Hickmott designs … I think the Summer bell pull issue was around the time I started to subscribe to New Stitches, so I remember it well. I did gradually collect all the available back issues and hunted down some hard to find numbers on eBay. I was sorry when it ceased publication because it had such a lovely mix of quality cross stitch designs as well as introducing me to so many other wonderful techniques in a very accessible way. I still enjoy getting out my magazines and re-reading them from time to time. I look forward to seeing your work these up, the bell pull series is a truly beautiful set of projects. 🙂
I agree – New Stitches was always a quality magazine, and had a lot of ‘proper content’ with some really lovely designs. I’ve got boxes full of their back issues! Mary Hickmott was (and still is) very keen to gently introduce cross stitchers to other types of embroidery – particularly hardanger.
The brass ends are gorgeous.
Yes, aren’t they wonderful? They are really heavy, too. She still has some on her website, if you want some for yourself 🙂
I’m not sure that I will ever stitch a bellpull but I know where I can get one if I change my mind 😉
My Mum is a great cross-stitcher, and made all four and sent them to me, but they are still waiting to be made up.
Wow, that’s some achievement, to get them all stitched!
They’re lovely! I remember these designs and I have the ‘Shimmering Flight’ butterfly one that you’ve just reminded me of. I loved her hardanger designs too and it was a real shame when she had to close New Stitches magazine. 😦
Yes, I loved her hardanger designs. It was a great loss when she closed the magazine.
Couldn’t agree more!
Please tell me the date of the blog re Carolyn P’s Strawberry Fayre needle case.
Hi Caro, The blog post about Carolyn’s heart etui was 28th July. I’m planning to start the stitchalong after Christmas, and I’ll be posting nearer the time so that people can get ready to start with me. https://janetgranger.wordpress.com/category/embroidery/full-size-others-designs/strawberry-fayre-heart-etui/
Hi, Janet. I’ve stitched the Height of Autumn (of course, it’s gorgeous 🙂 ). Like you, I want to finish the other 3. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to work on all the lovely projects. Blogs like yours do allow all stitchers to live vicariously through one another. Cheers!
I keep wondering which one I’ll stitch first, after doing the Summer one, and the Autumn one always draws my eye….but I’ll have to see. Nice to know that I’m helping others by showing what I’m stitching myself!
Hi Janet, I have recently sourced a New Stitches No 68 magazine and will be making up The Twelve Days of Christmas bell pull. It will be gift for one of my family.
That’s a lovely one! The magazines aren’t easy to get as vintage issues now.