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!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas Stitches

A few of my Christmas designs are available in the Etsy Shop. This little design features a North-woodsy kind of Santa -- maybe even from Lapland! -- racing across the wintry snow with his reindeer and his little cat helper. The design is available as a downloadable chart, and the model was stitched on 14-count pale blue Aida. The snow is fluffy and done with white Madeira Lana thread.

Hope you are finding time to stitch during the Advent and Christmas seasons!
post signature

Friday, December 11, 2015

Needlewomen and Art

Needlewomen feature quite prominently in fine art. I think, probably more than any other occupation, sewing and needlework are the quintessential feminine arts. In my search for inspiration, I discovered so many beautiful and interesting paintings showing women plying their needles. I love them! As I try to get up and running again, I'm going to share my findings with you all.  NOTE: Mostly I have been on a Google search, and I don't have attributions for all my images. If someone knows what a particular image is, and I don't, please feel free to let me know how to cite it. Thanks!

Meanwhile, please do let me know what you are all working on! I love to hear and see other people's work. 
post signature

Thursday, December 10, 2015

What's Really Going On at Fearn Abbey Needleworks...

Oh my goodness! How behind I am! I have been derailed since July, when my Dear Husband and I went to America. It completely discombobulated me. But friends, I am trying really hard to get back on those tracks. I do have a new design. I am dusting off my needles and threads. I actually have been doing some sewing, and trying to get our home life back in order.

I could really, REALLY use some inspiration. What do you all do when you find you've been away from your stitching for far too long??

Meanwhile, here's a little video of what's been going on at Fearn Abbey Needleworks!

post signature

Friday, June 12, 2015

One Dozen Easter Eggs :: Set B

I have finally added the second set of my Easter Eggs to the shop. YAY! These are numbers 5 through 8 of the series of 12. The whole series is colorful and mostly pastel. These four designs feature: a violet, an angel blowing a trumpet, a dove in front of a radiant cross, and, a lamb! Each design is approximately 3" X 3". My photos are a bit dark, but the fabric is white 14-count Aida, and the threads are DMC stranded cottons.

You can visit the shop or browse around on the blog or visit Fearn Abbey Needleworks to see the first four eggs. 

I'm taking a break from eggs right now, and last night I started stitching a design with some tartan in it!

Have a great weekend!

post signature

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

A Favorite PIN This Week :: Little Sheep Virtues

I have the charts for all of these "Little Sheep Virtues" (by Little House Needleworks), and I've not had time to stitch even ONE! Does anyone else have these cute little designs, or have you stitched them? My plan (which is always subject to change) is to stitch them individually and use them as Christmas ornaments. My other plan (which seems to be taking awhile to come to fruition) is to have a sort of "primitive" Christmas tree, only with cross stitch ornaments and white lights. Does anyone else have a tree like that?

I've been busy finishing up a design for The Orthodox Stitcher. Now I plan to finish the Easter Egg set, and then move on to a special Scottish design that has been sitting here, patiently waiting to be stitched!

I hope all of you are well and happy, and stitching madly!
post signature

Monday, June 01, 2015

Slow Stitching, and Manic Monday

I have finished the 3rd of 4 Easter Eggs in Set B. I'm almost done with the 4th. This third one features a cross with a radiant light behind it and a dove in front of it.

Here is it a little closer.

But WHY OH WHY do I start so many projects at one time? Things are terribly torn up at home right now. We have decided to turn our spare room into a more functional, and more attractive place. We spend a lot of time in there. A LOT. It has our icon corner. It has our office. It is where my crafting, stitching, and sewing all take place. So, we're in the middle of turning the closet into the office. We'll have lots more room that way. And things are being painted. And some things went into the living room, which means that room is sorta torn up, too.

There is work going on in the garage. I am trying to get some photo prints ready for selling. If you read The Daily Doodle, you'll know there is trouble in Lamb Paradise. Meanwhile, we are also getting ready for a trip. My dear husband is working a lot of overtime right now. Things feel fragmented. And I'm trying to get a design on The Orthodox Stitcher blog for the stitch-along.

I need a cool back porch with a rocker and a glass of iced tea! 
post signature

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Did You Know...

I am on the radio! Yes, I am on for 12 whole minutes, and you can listen to my interview on Ancient Faith Radio HERE. It's all about a stitching project that you can find on The Orthodox Stitcher blog. Thanks for listening!
post signature

Monday, May 25, 2015

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Northwoods Santa :: NEW Christmas Design

Do you ever find yourself just getting completely discombobulated because you are stitching different holiday designs at the same time? That's a stitcher's bane, I think. We are always thinking about Christmas designs, no matter what the time of year, and often...we're thinking of other holidays, as well. Hence my stitching both this Santa and the second set of Easter Eggs!

This Northwoods Santa, whooshing through the soft, fluffy snow with his reindeer and pet cat, are now available in Instant PDF Download form in my shop. I stitched him using DMC threads and Madeira Lana (for the fluffy parts). The fabric is a VERY pale blue 14-count Aida from Zweigart.

Hop over to the shop to view more about him, and to see other items recently added, including printable digital art!

Have a great weekend!
post signature

Friday, May 22, 2015

Threads Threads Threads

There are a lot of embroidery threads out there suitable for cross stitch. I confess, I have a weakness for beautiful thread colors, and it is only economics which keeps me from trying lots and lots of different kinds. For example, I was really ~ I mean REALLY ~ taken with a set of hand-dyed threads a while ago on Etsy. They were so lovely. But here's the thing: most hand-dyed or over-dyed threads are done atop DMC stranded cotton, either Blanc or B5200. These gorgeous threads were, if I remember right, a set of 6 colors, only 4 meters each, for $12.95. I simply could NOT bring myself to spend that much money for 6 threads! 

My question to any of my readers is this: have you bought expensive hand-dyed threads, and if so, did you really love them? What was different about them?

Awhile ago I did a poll asking what threads you preferred. Most folks said DMC. The next most popular was Weeks Dye Works. Anchor came after that. No one voted for Madeira! I don't use Madeira, either, unless I am using a specialty thread like Lana.

Here's another weakness: huge lots of threads for sale on eBay (UK) for much less money. Once, I did buy a set of 50 threads that were supposed to be Anchor. I'm still not sure. Also, I saw someone selling a complete set of threads, all the numbers matching DMC, but they were not DMC, and the listing made that very clear. I was tempted! And, I am tempted by all the art silks I see on eBay. 

Does anyone have any experience with these huge thread sets on eBay?

And once, I bought 12 skeins of white and 12 skeins of black stranded cotton (figuring what could go wrong?), and they were value priced. Honestly, they were AWFUL. Raggedy and knotty. 

So, at this juncture, I would have to say I am still a DMC fan, until something can convince me otherwise. I don't really think it can, do you?

post signature

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Computers ~ ARGH! And What I Am Stitching...

Well, we're humming along, reasonably, but it's a usb-connected keyboard I'm using. My laptop keyboard is apparently not fixable due to some teeny tiny plastic piece that broke off the motherboard. That's nice, isn't it? Sigh...

Never mind. We're still working away...

I am busy with two stitches right now :: First, what you see below. A second set of Easter Eggs. I have a set of four listed in my Etsy shop already. These are eggs number 5 and 6 in the series. There are 12. Obviously. You can't have anything but a dozen eggs, can you?

A lamb (of course)

A sweet little violet

I am also busy with my stitch-along series over at The Orthodox Stitcher. Please visit to learn more.

Next up, I will be stitching a Scottish-themed design I have done, and I'm working on a few projects by other designers. Never enough time in the day! Well, we stitch when we can. I really like using cross stitch in my home decor, so you can imagine the projects I always have developing!

Do you decorate with cross stitch? If so, how?

post signature

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

New Design :: Cheviot Sheep!

Here is a new design for you! It is a North Country Cheviot Sheep, stitched on 14-count seafoam Aida from CharlesCraft. This little guy is one of three new designs I'll be sharing this week. As soon as this one, and one more, are listed in Etsy, I'll come back and tell you more about them. 

Keep stitching!
post signature

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Which Threads?

Which threads do you like? I'm curious, and I'm always experimenting myself. I have more to say on threads in a later post, but meanwhile, please join me in taking this poll.  Thanks!

Which threads do you feel are the best for cross-stitching, or which do you use most?
pollcode.com free polls

post signature

Monday, May 04, 2015

This Week's Plans

Spring. Well, it's come...and it hasn't. This past weekend we had some fierce wintry weather. I felt so sorry for all the baby lambs out in the fields. Today, the skies are clearing and it's warmer. The snowdrops are long gone, and the crocuses, too. The daffodils are almost gone, as are the blossoms on the flowering trees. I thought I'd share a last view of some cherry blossoms.

Meanwhile, it was a good excuse to stay inside this past weekend and stitch like crazy. I am just about done with a design, and I plan to share two new designs here, and the beginning of a long, FREE, stitch-along over at The Orthodox Stitcher. Looking forward to a productive week!

Keep stitching!
post signature

Monday, April 27, 2015

Pinterest :: My Pin Pick for the Week

Okay, for a long time, I thought, "Pinterest.  What's the point, exactly?" Then, I got hooked, because after all, if you are an artist or needlewoman or crafter, you are a visually-oriented person, right? Then, I saw folks who had cross stitch boards with literally thousands of pins. Sheesh! But I sort of get that, because don't we all think, "If only I could stitch all those fabulous designs!"

So, I've decided to share a stitching pin (or pins) each week. Something that I've pinned and that I wish I could find time to do (once in awhile, I actually DO).

Here is my pin for this week:

Isn't it sweet? I know Easter / Pascha is just past, but really, most stitchers will work on various holiday projects whatever the time of year, right? I just love this spring Easter egg.

Do you have pins you'd like to share, or perhaps you would like folks to follow one of / some of / all of your boards? Feel free to share here, and I'll post for you!

My Pinterest button can be found on my sidebar! Go ahead...follow!

post signature

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Come to the Carnival

This is a fairly recent stitching project I did which came from, I think, a magazine called The Cross Stitcher, which is here in Britain. Again, my camera is not so great, so the colors are a bit off.  And the wall behind it is pink! Anyway, I really liked the design, but I did NOT like the original colors. I pretty much changed everything and chose all my own colors. The original design even had a dark mustard yellow for one of the horses. YUCK! So, this project turned out to be even more fun and interesting because I was choosing some of the colors as I stitched.

The main colors are a dark salmon pink, light salmon pink, dark aqua, and light aqua, with highlights of pale blues and greens, a bit of yellow, and some black and white. It is stitched on a medium grey 14-count Aida, and so, while the original design left the white word "come" as an unstitched portion (because it was done on white evenweave), I had to stitch it in. It is backed with heavy weight fusible interfacing, and trimmed with aqua pompoms. I hung it on a dowel and used pink and white baker's twine for the hanger.

It was quite a lengthy project. I thought it looked simple and easy, but it turned out to be a bit complex, and very time consuming. I'm happy with the result, though! It is fun to alternate back and forth between my own designs and that of other designers.

If you would like to do this project, I'm pretty sure the magazine was The Cross Stitcher, and I think it must have been in 2012 or 2013. It was featured on the cover, so you would easily find it. It is probably available on eBay right now!

AHA.  Here it is:  The Cross Stitcher, Issue 256
post signature

Friday, April 17, 2015


Good grief! I don't know how long I have been working off and on with my infamous Poodle Valance. I started stitching the flags eons ago. Then I put the backing on. Then I sat with them for ages. Well, it is finally done and installed! Amazing!

Okay, and I have to say...I LOVE IT! I really do. It was worth the hassle. At least, I think so.

If you can remember far enough back when I first wrote about this project, I mentioned that I was using pink and white striped Aida, 14 count. The poodle design is my own, and I simply changed the colors and reversed the pattern to get this effect.

Each pennant or flag is edged with pink bias binding, and finished with a large pink pom pom and a small white one.

Because of the way the wooden pelmet is made, there is a little half-size space at each end, so I made little end pieces from the same Aida and trimmed them with the pink pom poms. My dear husband made this wooden pelmet (valance) for me. I love it, and the design of it fits perfectly with my poodle valance. I think they complement each other.

The flag in the middle is a big-head cat pattern I found on Etsy, and I changed the colors to match. It is finally done and I'm really happy with it!

We won't talk about the zillions of stuffed animal sheep and lambs up on top!

post signature

Monday, April 13, 2015

So Much To DO!

St Duthac is available HERE!

Meanwhile...so much to do! It is Bright Monday, the day after Orthodox Easter. I feel like I've hit the ground running, and have a list as long as my arm of things I need / want to get done, much of which includes stitching and designing, some of which includes making and photographing, and some of which has to do with homemaking, the Church, friends, family. I have always been fairly well organized, but for some reason, I am feeling very fragmented at the moment. 

I would love to hear what others do to organize their arts and crafts life / workspace / designing time. If anyone would like to write a guest post, or if you have a link to your blog you would like me to share, please get in touch!

Back to work I go....

post signature

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

He's Done!

Here is Number 5 in my Saints Series:  St Duthac. He is our local saint, and I have been working a long time on this design. Also, I am fighting with my cheapo camera. I really need something better. This design is stitched on 14-count CharlesCraft Beige Aida. The photo below is truer to the color. The actual color is a tad darker. I love the combination of blues with the beige background. 

I am busy trying to take better photos, and working on the chart. As soon as it is listed in my Etsy shop, I shall mention it. 

Hopefully today, I will also get started on a smaller design. My "to be stitched" list is completely overwhelming. It has a lot of my own designs on it, but also lots of designs from others. I will have to live to be about Methuselah's age in order to do them all!

post signature

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Did You Know...and...a Free Chart!

I have been busy...branching out!  A good thing to do for Springtime, yes? I have been designing like crazy, stitching, and creating two new arms / branches of Fearn Abbey Needleworks. One branch is called The Orthodox Stitcher, and if you visit the site, you will find a FREE DESIGN there. You can learn about that branch there as well, and what my plans are.

I'll post more about the other branch in a bit!

Meanwhile, I'm hurrying along with another design that I am trying to finish as fast as I can. It turned out to be a much bigger (time-consuming) project that I anticipated, as usual. I am very, very pleased with how it is coming along though. I will post a photo when I am done.

My dear husband and I are off tomorrow morning early for an overnight in Edinburgh. I might not have any stitching time for two days. But, I am taking it along, just in case. If I don't, the compensation is: a visit to at least one, maybe two castles! I'm not complaining!

Happy stitching!
post signature

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I Must Be Old

Hi Friends,

See that cute little "chalkboard" design up there?  Yes, the one by Hands On Design.  Well, I'm attempting to stitch it.  I thought to myself, "This will be a quick little stitch to do in between or along with all the other stuff I'm doing." (Namely my own designs.)  HA! It uses a slate grey, 30-count linen, 2 over 2. I can't see what I'm stitching AT ALL! I have so far stitched the green line in the middle, and half the S. Can you believe that? I have used my strongest reading glasses, really GOOD light (tried it with the Ott Light, tried it in very good natural light), AND a magnifier hanging around my neck. I STILL can't see to stitch properly!

I must be getting old. No. I must BE old. Someone help! How do I make this stitching go a little easier? Oh, and I've already tried the white cloth / paper underneath, too.

I signed up for an auto-ship program though the good people at Patchwork Rabbit. I would hate to have to UN-sign-up because I can't see. Any suggestions anyone?

I'd like to say "Happy Stitching" but, I'm NOT a happy stitcher at the moment!

post signature