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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Tuesday, April 28, 2015


I'm still here! I am working on a lengthy series of designs which I will be sharing with you, and which will be my free gift to you. We can do them together as a stitch-along. Please let your stitching friends know that a lovely series is about to start, perfect for the Orthodox Christian, and as a loving tribute, as well. More on this surprise shortly! I am waiting for my fabric to arrive. Where we live, it is quite remote, and so I purchase everything, right down to literal needles and pins, online. Patience... they say it's a virtue.

May God bless you!
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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

St Thomas the Apostle

While I am working on some new designs and my special installment series, I thought I would revisit my other saint designs and share them with you. This is St Thomas the Apostle. He is done with DMC threads and is another large pattern like St Duthac. The colors are brighter than what the photo shows (I'm still working on getting good photos of my stitching -- I am not blessed with all sorts of fancy, expensive cameras and equipment, so bear with me!). This design was stitched with three threads since I did it on black fabric. It is very vibrant in real life!

If you would like your own St Thomas, he is available as a PDF download pattern or a kit, HERE.

Thank you for stopping by. Again, your prayers are coveted as I get this new venture off the ground!

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Quicker Than I Thought

HOORAY! I was quicker than I thought I would be putting together Saint Duthac's PDF download. He is available for sale HERE, in my Etsy Shop.

Meanwhile, I have the most wonderful thing in the works. At least, I hope it is. And it will be a freebie which will run in installments. More on this soon!
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St Duthac

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

St Duthac is the patron saint of Tain, Highlands, Scotland. Thus, our local saint. There is not a lot of information about him, nor are there any images of any sort. It is known that he was a Bishop of Ross. This is my interpretation, and I just finished stitching this design. It is the 5th in my series of Saints. The others are St Columba, St Margaret of Scotland, St Thomas the Apostle, and St Patrick. I have lots more on the drawing board! I love the saints :: best friends helping those of us here still on the journey.

St Duthac has been claimed by both the Scottish and the Irish. Some say he was born in Ireland; some say he was born in Scotland. The Aberdeen Breviary says Scotland. And that the ruined chapel which now stands in the middle of the graveyard in Tain was built upon his place of birth. Since I live here, I'm going with that.

There are a few stories about him, miracles attributed to him, and during the late Middle Ages, his shrine became a major pilgrimage site in Scotland. Of course, the Reformation did away with his relics, so who knows.  That is the story of most of what happened to the shrines and holy places of pre-Reformation Scotland:  John Knox and his ilk came in and vandalized everything. It is so sad. 

Anyway, I feel a strong affinity for St Duthac, and he is a patron saint in our home, as well. I often try to imagine what on earth it was like here when he lived here. It is hard to visualize. Scotland has been deforested many times over. The coastlines have changed. We think the water from the Moray Firth / North Sea must have come much closer to his chapel than what it is now. Farming has changed the landscape drastically. What we do know is that this little region around Tain was a sort of triangle of ecclesiastical places of import, and was also a sanctuary, marked out by four crosses. Unfortunately, heathen and pagan people of this area did not respect that, which is how Robert the Bruce's wife was captured and given over to the hands of the English. Sigh. 

So, this is my little contribution to the ecclesiastical, pre-Reformation, pre-denomination history of Scotland:  my representation of the local saint, who I feel sure would be sad at the fact that although his memory exists in place names, street names, and pub names, does not indicate the presence of living Christianity in Northern Scotland. I am sure this place is as spiritually dark, if not darker, as when St Duthac lived here. Ah well. We love him here in our little Orthodox home!

If you would like to bring St Duthac home to your house, the chart will shortly be available for sale in my Etsy shop!

St Duthac, pray for us!

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Christ is Risen! Christos Anesti!

I am happy to share other designer's works from time to time, and give you a heads' up as to where you may find Orthodox Christian designs. There are not many out there, but if you visit SOLARIA GALLERY you will find designs like the one above, and icons as well.

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Stitching With the Saints

You know those folks who have whole, wonderful craft rooms, all organized and light and airy and full of everything you could possibly need? I'm not one of them, I'm afraid. It's not that I wouldn't like a craft room. Who wouldn't? But where I live, space is at a premium. Houses in Britain, as a matter of fact (the new builds, that is) are the smallest new builds of anywhere in Europe. I believe it. Not super-sized like life in America, that's for sure! Yes, I sometimes often miss all that.

The truth is, that by British standards, we live in a fabulous house. Compared to where we lived for the first 3 1/2 years I was here, it's a palace! And honestly, I like it a lot and am grateful for it. Even if it doesn't have a craft room. It does have a little bedroom, however, that we have turned into our "everything" room. And this is where I stitch and design. It's a tiny room. In one corner is a second-hand brown, overstuffed chair and an Ott Light. That's the major stitching corner. I use an old music stand to hold charts. On the opposite wall, we have "Command Central" with two back-to-back desks which hold craft supplies, computer, printer, sewing machine, telephone, and everything you need to run your little world from home. In between the stitching corner and another corner is a window, under which is a little "pub table" we picked up for £3 when I first moved here. I holds a lot of stuff, too, and my dear husband built a drawer on wheels which fills the space underneath. Genius! And the other corner, on the other side of the window...our prayer corner.

So really, the neat thing is, I'm often stitching with the saints. And many a time I pause, look up, smile (or cry, depending on what's going on in life), pray, take a deep breath, rest. It is a blessing to be stitching with the saints...with the Theotokos watching over me. With Christ Himself watching over me. It's good. Yes, the room is small and sometimes I just have to get out, run to the front door and take a deep breath of fresh (usually cold) air. But all in all, it's good. Very good.

Later, I'll talk about some other things I do while stitching. Where do you stitch? Do you have a craft room? Can I come and use it sometime?


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