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, 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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Saturday, May 16, 2015


Hello friends and stitchers! I'm about a week behind, thanks to computer issues (and frustration). Alas, the keyboard could NOT be fixed because some horrible little teeny tiny plastic piece inside the computer, on the motherboard, BROKE OFF! So, I currently am working with a usb-connected keyboard. It works perfectly fine, if a bit awkward. We're determining what will be the better solution.

Meanwhile, I am back at it. I apologize for losing a whole week! And what a week it has been, with many trials and stumbling blocks. My dear husband and I are just about exhausted here by Saturday. Other things broke around the home, too: car, vacuum cleaner, and...would you believe...lambs! Well, okay, they didn't actually break, but our little flock of four is BROKEN into to two and two at the moment. Seems they have decided to gang up on our eldest sheep, who is 7, and rearrange the hierarchy in the flock. Of all things! And we thought our little flock was doing great. This weekend: fence building! More on that as it develops.

So, to keep you inspired, I have made this little free printable for you:

Obviously, these are not MY maxims (as if I were so wise), so anything I do with them will always be FREE and remain so. This printable is available to you HERE and comes as both a PDF file and a JPG file. Please use the download and not right-click and save, as you will get a better quality, and please take both. You can easily resize the JPG.  You are welcome to share!

When downloading printables, please remember that colors may appear differently (computer monitors vary widely). Also, if you are looking for a really good quality print to frame or hang, I recommend either taking / sending the PDF to a printer, or sending the JPG to a photo printer and printing on matte for the best quality.


And stay with me. Some VERY EXCITING NEWS coming up this week!

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

55 Maxims for the Christian Life, Stitch-Along, Part 1

All set? CLICK HERE to download your first pattern. You will be redirected to a PDF download which contains four pages. Share, share, share! I am happy to share this pattern with anyone and everyone who feels drawn to our faith, Fr Thomas Hopko, and stitching.

There is so much to say about this pattern, and this series. For one thing, it will be LONG! Sort of in true Fr Thomas form, right? Fr Thomas embarked on many long projects, lengthy podcast series, and all kinds of evangelism and theology from books to lecture tours, sermons to podcasts, and everything in between.

My hopes for this project: 
  • to share Christ
  • to honor Fr Thomas Hopko, even a little tiny bit
  • to work earnestly, myself, to live my faith
  • to create something that will add beauty and meaning to life
  • to make new friends!

This is a stitch-along project, and YOU are welcome to join. This means I will be stitching along with you, and we will discover the end result together. If you are stitching along, please let me know in a comment or via email. One thing I would like to do is remember everyone in my daily prayers.

Grab your needles, your threads, your evenweave fabric (I suggest using a hoop or frame for this, as well), and let's begin. And while we're at it, let's work hard to live these Maxims!

Glory to God!

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A Flower Garden

I will have your pattern ready for you to download hopefully a little later today...tomorrow at the very latest. Meanwhile, a few thoughts: My pink hibiscus came into bloom just in time for the launching of this new series! Providential, I think. I love hibiscus flowers of all kinds (they remind me of home, for one thing, and they are just so beautiful), and had planned to use one in the title piece for this project. So, I think it's lovely of the pink hibiscus which lives in our sunniest bay window here in the Far North of Scotland to join in the celebration!

This series, which will make one large project, or 56 small ones, will be a flower garden. It seems to me that each piece of wisdom given to us in these 55 Maxims for the Christian Life by Fr Thomas Hopko is like a seed which, when tended carefully, will blossom in our lives; and all the seeds together will make of our lives a beautiful flower garden, sweet from within and without. The project contains 55 different flowers, and we'll talk more about these as we meet them.

So, stay tuned, because there are lots of things to share, and the first pattern installment is coming right up!

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Monday, May 4, 2015

And So We Begin...

It's here! I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself. This is the first panel in a series of fifty-six. Yes, that's right: 56. They are all free, and they are my gift to the Orthodox world, and anyone else who feels drawn to them.

It is late here in the Highlands (read: my dear husband is on his way home on the train, will be here any minute, and I'm still cleaning up the kitchen from getting dinner ready), so I will post all about this tomorrow. There will be a link to a PDF download so you can have a printed copy of the design. I will also be talking about finishing off, how to display (I am planning to make mine so that I have the option to display them two different ways ~ the whole 55 maxims together, or just one at a time), and other options for you to consider.

I will also be talking a bit about my inspiration, which should be obvious!

To start: you will need white Linda evenweave 27-count. Of course, you can choose your own fabric, but do be sure you pick an evenweave. These designs will incorporate some petit point and embroidery stitches as well as cross stitches. Each panel will measure approximately 3" X 5".

And so, we begin! See you tomorrow with more information...
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