Welcome to the Orthodox Stitcher! Here you will find original, handcrafted cross stitch designs created with the Orthodox Christian in mind. The Orthodox Stitcher is an extension of Fearn Abbey Needleworks, where you will find more original cross stitch designs coming to you from the beautiful Northern Highlands of Scotland. My hope for The Orthodox Stitcher is that this will be a unique and blessed place for Orthodox Christians ~ and indeed, anyone who feels called to visit and stay awhile ~ to develop their creative side, and to honor God. Glory to God for all things!


Much of the art and design you see on this blog is a labor of love and given to you absolutely free. It is my attempt to glorify God and share Christ with those who visit. If you particularly feel called to generosity, though, and wish to give money for anything you take or share, please make your donation to Ancient Faith Radio. AFR is an internet-based Orthodox ministry which is worldwide. They offer 24-hour-a-day, 365-days-a-year talk radio, music radio, podcasts, and blogs, all by and for Orthodox Christians, and for those interested in Orthodoxy. You can visit them HERE. And you can donate right on this blog via Paypal! Thank you so much for giving generously.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Watch This Space

I'm stitching again! I'm still here. Hang on. The engine is building up steam!
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Monday, August 24, 2015

Still Here!

Dear friends :: I am still here! It seems to have been an avalanche of unplanned things over the past month or so. I'm afraid I haven't picked up a needle in a week or so. I wish to apologize for leaving you hanging. 

I want to thank you for your prayers for my dear friend's husband. He died on July 25th. I would ask your continued prayers for his dear wife and my dear friend, Pam.

Even in the midst of this somewhat fragmented time, God is SO good, and SO merciful, and SO faithful. And I am grateful.

My goal is to be back in full swing by the first week in September, providing you with designs and downloads again. It's all going forward...just a tiny bit stalled at the moment. Please forgive me!

Meanwhile...be sure to LISTEN to THIS:

CLICK HERE to get to Ancient Faith Radio.

And isn't it great to have Kevin Allen back?

I'm looking forward to the program, and I'll be back with you all again soon!

God bless you all...
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Friday, July 24, 2015

A Stall... and a BIG Welcome!

Sometimes, the best-laid plans... and all that. Friends, I pray you will forgive me as I have a bit of a stall right now. So much is happening at once: redoing a spare room, struggling with an obstinate lamb (would you believe Doodle is being a bad lamby?), still recovering from our recent trip (more on that below), and a biggie in my mind at the moment -- my dear husband's pacemaker replacement procedure which is coming up on Monday. Things are getting left undone, I'm afraid. 

The two main things, of course, are my husband, and this past trip. This past trip was really a last-minute thing which surfaced as the result of my dear friend's husband having terminal cancer. We have been friends for 34 years (we met as college roommates), and she just means so much to me. She and her husband decided it was TIME that we all got together. Neither of them had even met my husband, and I had not seen her in 15 years. They bought our plane tickets. We are so grateful we could go. Now, though, it is touch and go, and I am speaking to her on the phone almost daily, as we wait and pray.

I covet your prayers, dear friends: for my husband and the success and ease of his pacemaker replacement. And for my friend and her husband. Please remember Ian (my husband) and Randy (her husband) in your prayers. Thank you!

And now... here is a printable for you. It is of the second maxim, and it is available as a PDF or as a JPG image. This image is sized optimally for 5" X 7".

Finally, and wonderfully... I wish to welcome Matushka Anne Hopko, Fr Thomas's wife, who is stitching along with us! It has been an absolute joy to meet her, and her presence adds a wonderful dimension to this project. Dear Matushka Anne, I thank you for joining us, and I thank you for your encouragement. 
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Monday, July 20, 2015

We're Baaack!

Do you know what this is?  It's a Hodag!  According to the Explore Rhinelander website, this is a Hodag:
The Hodag is a mysterious woodland creature that makes its home in the Rhinelander Area.  Why the Hodag is only found in the Rhinelander Area is not certain.  However, many people believe that it is the clean lakes, dense forests and incredible natural beauty that ties the Hodag to the Rhinelander Area.
What does the Hodag look like? Eyewitness accounts, along with rumor, legend and speculation indicate that the Hodag is most definitely green. The first person to see the Hodag was Eugene Shepard, who in 1893 saw what he described as a lizard-like creature covered with white horns. More than a century of sightings and research seems to support this description.
Well, we were in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, and we saw LOTS of Hodags! None of them were moving though. Many artistic representations. On our first, jet-lagged day, after 22 hours of travel, we saw the one above! Do you think it was the jetlag?

It was quite an experience being back in America after seven years. Imagine! And I could write volumes (and probably will, on my other blogs), but this blog is all about stitching and Orthodoxy, so I will leave the Hodag behind, and start getting back to my reality!

I took a lot of stitching with me, but I was afraid something would happen to my Maxim Number Two, so I left that home. It is not quite finished, but I am DETERMINED to get it done and posted this week.

While you are waiting, I shall post another "printable" soon, and the new chart WILL be out before the end of the week.

I hope everyone is well and happy and stitching away! I have some other exciting news, and I will share that with you this week, too.

I think my Dear Husband was afraid we would go to America and I would not want to come home, but do you know, God is so gracious. I was so happy to get home again! This is where I am meant to be, at least as long as God wills.

I have to say, though:  I could do without the grey, wind, rain, and cold -- which is all we've had since we got home! It was pouring rain, windy, and cold when we landed in Edinburgh. I think summer has forgotten Scotland this year!

May God bless you all!
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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I Didn't Make It

Hi friends,

So sorry, but I just couldn't finish Maxim Number Two before our trip. As you might imagine, it's been hectic here; and the computer has not worked properly, either!

I'll be back in mid-July with Maxim Number Two!

Your prayers are appreciated!

May God bless you all!
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Monday, June 22, 2015

News...and Other Stuff

Yes, I am! After seven years, I am going back home for a visit. Well, not HOME home, because that's Florida, and my Dear Husband and I are headed for Wisconsin (I know at least one of our stitchers is there!). Our very, very dear friends have actually bought us plane tickets to come to them for July 4th. They have been going through some very hard times and severe illness, and they decided it was time we all got together. Amazing! Please remember my friends in your prayers, and please pray for safe travel!

I will only be gone for 12 days, and I am stitching like mad, trying to get Maxim Number Two out to you before I leave. The above photo should give you a clue!

This trip was a totally unexpected surprise, and we are scrambling to make it happen. Would you believe that yesterday afternoon I decided to have a toothache? I am on my way to the dentist in about five minutes. Good grief! And we leave in the wee, wee hours of Thursday morning. It's always something! We had to hurry and renew my husband's passport. I thought I was going to need a tetanus shot for scraping my leg on rusty barbed wire. I was on the computer late last night, manically looking for the perfect carry-on bag/purse which could be delivered to the Northern Highlands in one day. Thank goodness for Amazon!

So, we are on over-drive here at the moment. When we do leave, we will have a 4 - 5 hour drive to the airport, then the long-haul flight from Edinburgh to Chicago, and a short flight to northern Wisconsin. I am taking AFR podcasts on my MP3 player that I don't have yet (it's coming with my travel bag), and my husband is, too. We shall do our best to keep steeped in the faith as we travel. Needless to say, Fr Thomas' podcasts are coming with us!

Please keep us in your prayers... and I should be back one or two more times before I leave. 

Many blessings to you all!
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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Just One More...

Hello friends! I had made a printable for Maxim Number One a little while ago, but then I thought that I wanted to make the printables sort of "match up" with the designs, so I made another one with Morning Glories. They will both be available for you to download, and the resolution will look best as a 5" x 7". You can find the downloads here:
I'm stitching today! Maxim Number Two on its way soon!

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Facebook Group :: What Do You Think?

I am all set to create a Facebook group for our Stitch-Along, if you would like. What do you think? Please weigh in and let me hear your suggestions! If you'd like me to set up a group, I will need your FB name. I have discovered I cannot set up a group of one (go figure!).  If you'd like a group, you can either send me a "friend request" or send me a private message on FB.  

CLICK HERE to go to my personal page. 

Meanwhile, would you believe...I'm almost done with the second Maxim design and will start stitching it TODAY!

Blessings and peace to you all,
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Friday, June 12, 2015

While You're Stitching...

Stitching is a fantastic time to be listening to things edifying and beautiful. I love to listen to AFR while I am stitching.  If you have not listened already to Fr Thomas' 4-part lecture on The Word of the Cross, you really must. It is, in usually Fr Thomas fashion, wonderful. 

I enjoy most of the podcasters on AFR, and I do have my special favorites. Fr Thomas Hopko would have to be Number One Favorite, though. If you haven't listened to his lectures, you can find them here:  Fr Thomas Hopko Lectures.  There are 43 episodes, and The Word of the Cross is found on Page 2. 

May you be blessed with many happy hours of stitching and listening!

Don't forget to download Part 2 / Maxim #1 of our stitch-along:  CLICK HERE

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Morning Glories

Well, there are TONS of websites and books which talk about the meanings of flowers and the symbolic meanings and uses. But seriously, folks :: these are God's flowers! So what is the meaning of the Morning Glory? Why, just like everything in Creation ~ to show the magnificence and wonder of the God of the Universe!

Morning Glories are usually a gorgeous, almost iridescent blue, but they can be other colors as well: red, pink, purple, or white. The plant is a vine and it will grow in virtually any soil. It is hardy, even though the flowers seem so delicate and gentle. It prefers full sun, and it will produce massive amounts of blooms, bright and beautiful in the morning, and pretty much gone by afternoon.

It makes me think of this:

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. ~Isaiah 40:8

The Old Farmer's Almanac says this about Morning Glories:
Morning glories are annual climbers with slender stems, heart-shaped leaves, and trumpet-shaped flowers in pink, purple-blue, magenta, or white. They have a beautiful shame before they unfold in the Sun and romantic tendrils that lend old-fashioned charm.
In warmer areas, train climbers over a pergola or arch, or use as dense groundcover. The vine grows quickly up to 15 feet in one season, and can self-seed fairly easily, too.
The flowers bloom from early summer to the first frost. Their big, fragrant, colorful flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

One of the varieties is called Heavenly Blue. I love that! I had a huge morning glory vine covering an entire back porch one year, up in Maine. It was amazing. The show of the whole neighborhood, and all I did was plant a few seeds, right into the ground! 

It's too late for me to plant any this year, but one of the things that came out of this particular piece of stitching as that I figured out exactly where and how to plant a whole wall of morning glories for next summer!

I believe morning glories originally come from Central America, but don't quote me on that!
Be always with Christ
Trust God in everything!

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Be Always With Christ :: Maxim Number One

Do you know, I'm a bit nervous doing this project. Nevertheless, forward we go. I feel so compelled, even called, to do this. So, I shall. My goal is to produce a finished design at least every two weeks. Sometimes I will; sometimes life will get in the way, I'm sure. I hope you will all be patient with me!

So...Maxim Number One, which I have been living with in my head for about a month, is just so, SO perfect for all Christians everywhere to remember at all times. 

I'm not sure why I chose Morning Glories. They just seemed "right" for this one.

Below I am showing you how I am finishing off this design and probably all of them. What I did was iron the piece, and then iron a medium-weight piece of fusible interfacing on, the same size as the mountboard. My mountboard is archival-grade, and a sort of grey color. I didn't want that to show through, hence the interfacing. Then, I used double-sided tape on the front, and stuck the piece exactly how I wanted it, onto the top of the mountboard. I have laced the back, and will probably go around with a piece of clear tape, and then add a piece of heavy card over that.

My plan for displaying these designs is twofold:  I am making a hanging display, but I also plan to place some, or just one, or a few, or who knows, pieces on little easels. The project for me will produce 56 finished pieces AND one huge piece. As I get my large display put together, I will show you what I'm doing. I am using Velcro so that I can change things around!

I hope you like this design! I have loved hearing from you AND hearing some of the wonderfully creative things you are doing with the project as a whole. I think it's fantastic, and I encourage everyone to BE CREATIVE! Of course, I am thrilled if you do the project as I am doing it, but I am equally thrilled if you take it and run with it!

Remember:  You can click the page link on the sidebar to get the charts at any time, and don't forget your printable!

Stay tuned for my thoughts on this, and other Orthodox-y thing!
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Monday, June 8, 2015


I couldn't wait to share with you! Here is Maxim Number One. I don't even have it out of the hoop yet. Tomorrow: better photos, some thoughts about things, and the PDF chart ready for you to download. What do you think?
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Friday, June 5, 2015

More from Ancient Faith :: How Wonderful Is This?

I had to share this. I am excited about this publication and definitely hope to have one of my own:

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Monday, June 1, 2015

Almost There, but Meanwhile...

Did you think I had fallen off the planet? So many things happening at once here, but I'm almost ready with Maxim No. 1. Meanwhile, I thought I'd share this printable I have for sale in my Etsy shop. I had it printed via TruPrint (a photo printing service online, here in the UK) and it just arrived. Obviously, I knew what it would look like because I made it! But I'm so pleased it the print. Can't wait to get it framed and up! You can get a copy for yourself if you'd like, for only £3. It is available in my Etsy shop!

Keep stitching, and I'll be back shortly with another chart for you!

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Here Is Your Alphabet!

This is just a general view. Please CLICK HERE for the chart as a PDF download. REMEMBER: all lettering will be done in 2 strands, backstitched, and over one... EXCEPT where there are difficult and obvious diagonals, and then we will do those as long-stitch.

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Saturday, May 23, 2015


I had the genuine blessing and honor of sharing about my stitch-along project with Bobby Maddex and the folks at Ancient Faith Radio.  Please take a moment to stop by and listen!

God bless you all this weekend, and keep stitching!

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

55 Maxims :: Colors You Will Certainly Need!

The eight colors I'm showing you today ~ or rather, the two sets of four ~ are colors you will certainly need in this stitch-along series. The colors on the left are the four that will be used repeatedly for any of the writing / lettering on each panel. The colors on the right will be used repeatedly for the background numbers. You will see better what I mean as soon as I post the design for Maxim Number 1.

All of the threads used in this series are DMC stranded cottons. I have listed the color number beside each bobbin (in case my own writing is indecipherable!).

Coming up soon: the finished design for Maxim Number One. This will be the second panel in the series.

Remember to use evenweave in your stitching. I am using Linda 27-count. 

Blessings to you all!
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