Photo of Christy Schmitz

A Note From the Editor

Welcome winter and happy holidays! Fall's decor has been replaced with the fun and festive sights and sounds of the holiday season -- snowflakes, trees, brightly shining candles, sparkling decorations -- I love them all. But I think my favorite part of the season is time spent with family. I come from a fairly large Southern family, and we always do Thanksgiving and Christmas together. There are tables (yes, plural) of food, children laughing, stories being told, and most important, memories being made. We pull out all the stops for decorating too; there are wreaths on every door, and trees and heirloom decorations that are seen once a year. If it were up to me, I would start decorating at the first turning leaf.

In this issue, you'll find the adorable Thanksgiving Penguins on page 70, the charming Snowmen Pair on page 12 and the whimsical Frolicking on page 21. If your decor trends more toward the elegant, you'll love the Nativity on page 7 and the Graceful Reindeer on page 60. Stitchers of all skill levels will find something to tempt their needle this holiday, and we have several projects that offer a chance to expand your specialty-stitch repertoire. From the blackwork-style Christmas Treasures on page 46 to the Hardanger Ornament Duo on page 33 and the Poinsettias & Hardanger on page 54, texture and color will surely find a way into your holiday stitching.

This issue also sees the conclusion of our Year of Hardanger series; but fret not, we'll be introducing a brand-new stitch-along Hardanger sampler in our February issue. We also say goodbye to our year of Birdhouse designs by the one and only Donna Giampa. It is also with this issue that we bid a heavy-hearted farewell to Donna as she passed away this past spring. She has been a beautiful constant with Just CrossStitch for years, and she will be missed dearly.

I wish you the happiest of holidays and hope that you spend every available moment creating memories with family and friends. Take the time to do things together -- stitch some ornaments, bake cookies, trim the tree or just sit on a bench and simply enjoy each other's company; that's what togetherness is all about. Remember the reason for our gratefulness and celebration this Christmas, and say a prayer of gratitude for the tiny babe sent two millennia ago.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Christy Schmitz signature
Christy Schmitz, editor

Originally from Mobile, Ala., Just CrossStitch editor Christy Schmitz holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Mobile and a master's degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Christy began stitching at the age of 5 when she was handed a piece of Aida cloth, a few colors of floss and the instruction to pretend she was coloring; with that, she was off with a needle in hand. Christy has been with Just CrossStitch since 2005 and now makes her home in northern Indiana where she spends her evenings stitching, cooking, renovating thrift store finds and taking her two beagle mixes for walks in the quiet, rural area.
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