Welcome Stitchers and Friends! This blog is about my wee cottage industry: Fearn Abbey Needleworks; and about my own personal stitching adventures. Have a wee look around and see if we can be stitching friends. Thank you for stopping by!

Saturday, August 09, 2014

I'm Baaaackkkk....

Hopefully to stay!  As you know, I've been struggling with some health issues, and darn it, everything just had to get put on hold.  I'm still struggling a bit, but I'm getting back in there.  I have a lot of new designs... now I just need to get them stitched up to show you.  I haven't forgotten the freebies, either.  I'll be working on those for you, as well.

Meanwhile, I've added a set of Easter Eggs to my shop:

The first one was originally offered as a freebie last Easter.  It is now part of this Set of Four, and this set is part of a series of 12:  One Dozen Easter Eggs.  I'll let you know when the next set of four becomes available.

I hope you like them, and I hope I'll be back much more often now, sharing my designs and freebies with you again.  Happy Stitching!

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Waiting for the Paschal Light...and An Update

Okay...here come three really bad photos I hurried up and took so I could touch base with you all. Thank you for just accepting them as they are.  I seem to be in one of those places right now.  You know the kind:  time flies past and you can't figure out what useful thing you've been doing; several different issues are demanding your attention all at once; your art and craft suffer because for some reason you think everything else must be more important.  Why do women do that?  Well, at any rate... here's a quick catch up:

First, my Christ Pantocrator I'm working on.  I don't get to devote nearly as much time as I'd like to this.  It is a wonderful chart and great fun to do.  I got mine from Patterns Online, but it is from Solaria Gallery and if you buy it from them, you get a beautiful border around it.  I'll decide when I'm done if I HAVE to have the border or not!

Next:  the fourth egg in my Dozen Easter Eggs series (on the left) and a little Spring Lamb (on the right).  The egg is mine; the lamb is DMCs!

And, my first three Easter Eggs.  As you know, the red egg was a freebie.  I will be offering these in sets of three in my Etsy shop.  I was rushing to get them done before Easter / Pascha, but I decided that since Pascha is a 40 day season of the Church, I'm not going to worry about when they get done. I'll list them when they are.  And anyway, crafters and stitchers are always making seasonal things out of season.  It's like how we all work on Christmas stuff year round.  So, they'll be out there as soon as I can get them done!

Finally... we are waiting for the Paschal Light.  Lent is over; Great Week has begun.  Pascha is on the horizon.  It is hard going for us because we live in the middle of nowhere, with no church anywhere nearby.  But... things are in the works concerning that, so hopefully by next year, we will be spending the entirety of Great Week at Church!!

I'm taking a wee break now for Great Week and Pascha.  I will see everyone in the Celebration!  May you all have a blessed and meaningful Great Week and a beautiful, joyous Pascha / Easter!!

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

A FREEBIE For You, In Time for Easter

Here is a little freebie for you, plenty easy to stitch in time for Easter!  It is the first in a series of Easter Eggs I am working on.  These will finish well in a variety of ways:  little pillows or hanging ornaments, Easter cards, designs for table linens, little pictures, or what have you.

This little egg features an Orthodox cross, two little brown bunnies, and pink tulips.  It was stitched on 14-count white Aida using 2 strands of floss.  The stitch count is 46 X 33, and the finished design size on 14-count is 3.2" X 2.4". 

If you would like this pattern, please CLICK HERE for the downloadable PDF.  Happy Stitching!

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

What I'm Stitching...and Other Random Thoughts

Okay, so things have been HUGELY busy around here lately.  The stitching and designing aspect of my life has suffered a bit, but I'm hoping to be getting back in the swing of things now.  Below is a photo of my giant Christ Pantocrator that I am stitching.  As you can see, I still do not have a floor frame. I'm not going to let that stop me, though!  Also, as you can see, I am not one of the "stitch a 10 by 10 block at a time" types.  I'm just not quite that linear in my thinking, I guess.  Although, I am trying to stitch a whole area at a time, and I definitely DO use a highlighter to mark off what I've stitched.  I'm really enjoying such a large project, and working on something that is not my design.

Random thoughts:
  • I have been told that my designs are not stylized enough, and that I have too many styles.  At first this bothered me.  Not any more.  I design what appeals to me and what I'm inspired to design.  Which also means I'm not all that worried about "trends" and things like that.  I don't expect folks to like all (or even any) of my designs.  I can certainly say there are designers I don't care for; others I like a whole lot; and others who have some designs I like and some I don't.  It's the nature of the thing, don't you think?
  • What I'm hoping this means is (1) more designs coming out more quickly, as I focus on who and what I am as a designer, and (2) more freebies, because I'm only going to be doing stuff I enjoy.
  • And frankly (this is just MY opinion, mind you, and you don't have to agree) I absolutely can't stand the so-called "subversive" or "urban" cross stitch designs that you see so much of these days.  There.  I said it.  And I'm glad.  So, if you're looking for anything like that, you won't find it here.
  • I have three different series I will be focusing on for the next six months or so:  Saints (you have already seen St Thomas, St Margaret of Scotland, St Patrick, and St Columba), breeds of sheep (you haven't seen any of those yet!!), and poodles (you've seen lots of those!).  I will try to mix a freebie in between each larger design.  Because let's face it:  We all like free charts!
And this pretty much brings everyone up-to-date.  Once again, thank you all for your patience and for hanging in there with me.  When I started doing my own designs, setting up a shop, and having a blog, I never realized how much work it all entails.  But it's okay!  I'm finding a rhythm, and I enjoy it immensely.  And I love it when folks are happy with a design!  So...keep on stitching, and I will too!

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Monday, March 03, 2014

Lambs and Shamrocks, a Freebie for You!

FINISHED, and ready for you!  Finally!  This is my little St Patrick's Day offering, and it's a freebie. This little design measures 4.9" X 4.2" on 14-count Aida, and the stitch count is 68 X 59.  The model was stitched on 14-count green iridescent Aida.  I love all the sparkles in the fabric!  I've uploaded a couple of photos to help you see the sparkly effect, but I'm afraid the pictures just don't do it justice.

This design incorporates...er...two lambs, with their pot trough full of gold hay.  They are happily standing under a pastel rainbow, with a shamrock on each end.  All throughout are little green shamrocks and clovers, and little purple flowers.  Here and there, you will see a few gold pieces!

This design also incorporates quite a few French knots, using both one and two strands.  All the information is included in the directions.  In this download, you will receive four pages which contain two full-color photos, a color chart, a larger black and white chart, key, materials list, and instructions. 

To get your free PDF download, click HERE.

Happy St Patrick's Day (early)...and Doodle and Snowball say:  May your trough be always full!

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Almost Here :: A Little St Patrick's Day FREEBIE for You!

Get your green iridescent Aida ready!  I'm working on the PDF right now.  FREE downloadable chart coming as soon as my PDF is done.  Hopefully tonight!  
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Monday, February 24, 2014

Freebie Coming!

Hi friends and stitchers,

It seems like the time just runs away sometimes, doesn't it?  Well, I've been very busy stitching and designing, and getting a FREEBIE ready for you!  It will be posted THIS WEEK, so please keep checking to see if it's ready.  I was going to share a bit about what the design is, but I think I'll just wait till I can post proper photos.  I hope you'll like it!

I have begun my huge project:  the Christ Pantocrator that I mentioned in another post.  I still don't have a frame, but I've started anyway, just using a hand-held hoop.  I can see a frame will become necessary, though.  For one thing, my hands are starting to ache!  NOOOOO!  I'll post an update on this project later this week.

The days are lengthening noticeably here now.  Thank goodness!  The long, dark, cold, wet winters are hard going for this Florida girl.  We've had lots of snowdrops, a little sun, and we even planted two planters with primroses already.  Way up in the north, we have been blessed to miss a lot of the horrible weather farther south in the UK.  I sure feel for those folks.

Meanwhile...back to work.  Hope you're all happily stitching.  Check back for your freebie this week!
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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day...and What's New

Hello everyone, and Happy Valentine's Day, a day early!!  It's busy here at Fearn Abbey Needleworks. I'm in the midst of two new design series and stitching up a few models.  I also have a delightful freebie planned for the end of this month.  And, I'm getting ready to start stitching THIS CHART:

I have not done any really huge charts before...you know, like the Heaven and Earth Designs ones. However, I have decided to start this one:  Christ Pantocrator by Solaria Gallery.  I actually bought this pattern from Patterns Online, and the chart printed out beautifully.  It uses 46 colors, and the finished size for 14-count is 10" X 18.57".  I've got my threads, got my chart, and got my fabric. Now all I need is a proper frame / floor stand.  Can anyone help?  I am looking for recommendations and suggestions.

Meanwhile...the McLambies require constant attention.

Poor Shermy the Sherminator had a bad foot two days ago.  He was all out of sorts.  We prayed about it that night, and the next day, he was completely better!  And, back to biting pockets, looking for cookies.

Doodle never has trouble finding cookies, especially when he's so cute and we just keep giving them to him:

Rosebud is in the background, sneering, I think.

And, the little foursome all have their own dinner bowls now.  Doodle's is dark grey; Snowball's is turquoise, Rosebud's is blue, and Shermy's is red.  Doodle eats out of the turquoise one, and Rosebud eats out of the red one.  Sigh...

The weather in the UK has been horrible, but so far, we have pretty much been spared up in the northern Highlands.  We have wind and rain, but that's normal for February.  The southern parts of the UK have been having terrible flooding, too.  And I've been watching all the news about the weather back home.  Folks are getting hammered all over the place.  I hope everyone is safe and warm and dry, wherever you all are!

What's everyone stitching, as you do your best to stay in and keep cozy?

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Thursday, February 06, 2014

New Design :: FINISHED!

Here is the companion piece to the Sweet Valentine Lamb I released earlier.  The borders and writing styles are the same, so the two pieces make up a set.  Or...you can just stitch your favorite.  I like to be somewhat flexible in my designs so that individual stitchers can make choices about the patterns.

Like with the other piece, you can choose to stitch the whole design, or stitch only the lamb and heart motif, or stitch the lamb and heart motif and leave off either the border or the wording.

This design is available as an instant PDF download in my Etsy shop.  The PDF is 6 pages and contains a full-color photo of the model as well as two charts:  one in black and white, and one in color.  Of course, you will also receive the key, materials list, and instructions.

Happy stitching!
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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Good Grief! It's February Already!

It is SO true what they say about time speeding up as you get older.  And yes, 50 seems to be a magic turning point in that regard.  At least, it has been for me.

More than 1/12 of the year is gone already!  Since coming to Scotland, I associate the beginning of February with snowdrops...and they have not disappointed me this year.  It was growing dark outside as I took these photos, but they're still lovely:

It is so sweet to see these little tiny blossoms peeking up in all kinds of places...along the roadside, under the trees in the forest, just randomly in the grass.  Such a sign of hope!

Meanwhile, lamb-spoiling continues with lots of cookie feeding to woolly little toy lambs.  I suppose my dear husband thought no one was looking, and we wouldn't see him sneaking a cookie to Snowball behind his back!  Now you all can see!

I am nearly done with the companion piece to my other Valentine / Heart design.  I'm finishing up the border tonight, and the plan is:  it will be posted on Etsy THIS WEEK!  YAY!  

I have to hurry, because I have four more designs lined up and waiting to be stitched.  And I'm itching to be stitching!

Hope you all are having a wonderful start to the New Year.  And to all my snowbound friends:  stay warm!

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Friday, January 24, 2014

FREE: Hearts & Birds for Valentine's Day!

Here is a sweet little freebie for Valentine's Day!  Hearts & Birds, it's called.

I really like how you can get such a different feel from the same design, just depending upon which color fabric you choose!

This is an easy stitch which will only take you a day or two to complete.  It incorporates soft pastels and vibrant pinks and reds :: perfect for Valentine's Day!

The only change I made from the actual pattern is that when I stitched it on the white Aida, I used the medium pink color for the ribbon instead of the lightest pink.  It's your choice!

To get your free PDF download, which includes 3 pages containing full-color photos, a large B & W chart, and a full-color chart, supplies list, and instructions, CLICK HERE!  Happy Valentine's Day from Fearn Abbey Needleworks!

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sweet Valentine Lamb

It's finished!  Finally!  I've listed this latest design::  Sweet Valentine Lamb ::in my Etsy shop.  This design was so much fun to create, and to stitch.  It has all the colors of springtime and Valentine's Day ~ wonderful soft pastels and a few vibrant reds and pinks.  

The finished design size on 14-count is approximately 6.5" X 6.8".  The model was stitched on 14-count cream Aida using DMC stranded cotton threads.  I like the versatility of this design because of the stitching options:  Stitch the whole thing; stitch the heart and the words; stitch the heart and border only.  However you like!

The design is available as a 6-page instant PDF download, which includes full-color photos and charts, as well as instructions, key, and supplies list.

Grab yourself a little love from Scotland!
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Friday, January 17, 2014



Two Valentine's charts are in the works here at Fearn Abbey Needleworks.  And others are in the design stage!  As usual, I have WAAAYYYY misjudged how long it will take me to stitch up the models.  I'm nearly done with this first one.  Ummm...yes...it's a lamb inside a heart.  It was the sweetest thing I could think of!

Aside from the subject matter, one of the things I really like about these two designs (the second one coming soon...I hope) is how versatile they are.  The are done in lovely pastel shades with lots of pinks and a red.  They are stitched on cream Aida, giving them a slightly vintage effect.  Each one has a lace-like stitched border and words you might find on a Conversation Heart.  You could choose to stitch just the heart and what's inside...or, you could add the words as well...or, you could do the complete chart with the border...or, you could do the border and the heart, but no words.  Your choice!

I'm planning on turning the finished designs into throw pillows, sort of like the one below.  The chart for that one, by the way, can be found on Patterns Online.


I thought I might share with you a bit of my process.  I am SO not a big deal designer with all kinds of help, technology, etc.  When I decide on a design, it generally sits in my brain for quite awhile and I turn it over and over and live with it.  Eventually, it becomes some sort of graphic...often a sketch with colored pencils.  The sketch may only be a sort of initial thought.  Once I think I've got the design in my head, I start charting it.

Charting is a long process for me because I do not have a fancy computer or a wonderful cross stitch design program with all the bells and whistles.  I usually choose my colors as I'm charting, and the fact is, even if I had stitchers to help with the models, I probably couldn't work that way because I often adjust and change colors as I'm stitching.  I do have a very basic charting program on my very old computer, and I like it because I can print out very large charts from it, complete with the 10-stitches-per-square layout.

As you can see from the above and below photos, my original St Thomas drawing and my St Thomas completed cross stitch came out quite different!  


Even though I have lots of designs brewing, I can't produce them all that fast.  And if I'm making up a kit, good grief, it takes even longer!  This all means I really appreciate all you lovely folks who read my blog and like my charts and freebies.  I am thankful for your patience, and for everyone who has hung in there with me!  THANK YOU! 

I will be posting and listing my first Valentine chart ASAP (the one you see above), and starting the second one.  I am also planning a freebie soon.  Please check back!  And happy stitching (because, after all, that's the whole point, right?)!!

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