Sarah Mabbitt started Avid in 1990, firstly producing and selling aviation videos, and then in 1992 started designing counted cross stitch kits of aircraft, cross stitch being amongst her hobbies. One of the videos she produced was about the XH558 Vulcan, the first B2 Vulcan to fly and the last flying Vulcan. This was the subject of her first cross stitch design, released to coincide with its last flight by the RAF in September 1992. The next was the Lancaster, to coincide with the Dambusters anniversary celebrations in May 1993. Customers kept pleading for other designs, so on she went, eventually completing 47 designs of aircraft over the next 10 years or so. After much persuasion, she also gave in to design military badges, and completed 126 designs of these.
Sarah had found that when buying cross stitch kits for herself there were always little things that annoyed her, such as having to spend time sorting the bundle of threads, or problems with print wearing off the chart where it had been folded, or the chart being difficult to see and follow, or the kit containing awkward and tedious fractional stitches, or there being insufficient thread supplied, or unclear instructions. It often seemed like the kit had been designed by somebody who had never stitched. So she was determined to make sure that all her designs paid attention to all these problems, with ready-sorted threads on a card also containing the key, charts clear and easy to read, no folds, no fractional cross stitches, plenty of thread, and clear instructions.