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What's Hot in Cross Stitch?

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Our central air went on the fritz, so John and I bought a new energy-efficient unit.

Hot hot hot. Thank goodness for air conditioning! How else could a person manage to sit and cross stitch during the summer? I suppose if there were a summer breeze I could cross-stitch under an umbrella outdoors, but for me, there's no better place to stitch than on the couch with the air conditioner going full blast.

I have become a wimp when it comes to weather. I grew up in the Carolinas, and it was nothing to play outside with temperatures hovering near 100. Now I live in Indiana, and if the TV weatherperson predicts an 80-degree day, I run for the thermostat to cool down the house.

I lived at the beach for a short while in high school. As the seasons changed and I experienced cold winds off the sea, my romantic notions of beach living dissipated a bit. But any season of the year, my mother and I loved walking on the beach collecting seashells.

Years later when I moved inland and my parents stayed near the shore, I began cross stitching beach-themed designs to send to my mother. Looking through past issues of Just CrossStitch, I found a pretty design, By the Shore, which we are offering as a free pattern.

In the current issue of Just CrossStitch, we have other beach-inspired designs that I have put on my summer to-do list. AnnaLee Waite's Sail Into Summer is lovely in its simplicity and makes a beautiful beach bag. Framing is always an option if you prefer.

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Laure Fontaine's adorable design, Building Sand Castles, brings back memories of my sister and me playing in the sand.

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We also present three breathtaking designs by Marie Barber, who is the subject of our Designer Profile. I learned quite a bit about Marie, who was born in Sweden and began her career as a graphic designer. You can read about what inspires her, her family, her business and more in the August issue of Just CrossStitch.

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On these hot days, I sometimes daydream about Christmastime. One of my favorite parts of the season is the annual Annie's Needle Arts Festival: Christmas in Williamsburg. Learn about this fun and informative event in the Needle Arts Festival section of this update.

Do you shy away from designs that recommend high-count fabric with eyeball-challenging small stitches? If you don't know how to adjust the design for different stitch-count fabrics, see the Tutorial, Sizing Things Up.

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