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Summer's Bounty

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Hi y'all! It's Christy Schmitz here, bringing you the freshest and latest news and ideas from the world of Just CrossStitch.

Well, it's definitely summertime, right? Many of us are at that point where we're longing for those cool spring mornings or crisp fall evenings, and there seems to be no end in sight for these hot, humid days. But I choose to look at the bright side -- literally -- the sunshine of summer. I love these long, bright sun-filled days. But you know what I love even more? I love those pop-up summertime showers and storms that bring a momentary break in the heat. If I'm at home when one blows through, I try to grab whatever project I'm working on and head out to my patio. There's something so calming and grounding about rhythmically pulling needle through fabric while listening to the gentle (or not so gentle) rainfall, and if there's a little cool breeze along with it, that's just fine too.

We've talked before about gardening and summer's bounty, and I hope you're enjoying the fruits of your labor (or from a nearby farmers market) too. My tomatoes seem to be readying for an explosion of juicy fruits, while my blueberry bush has provided us with so many smoothies and a pie already (not to mention the ones eaten straight from hand). Abby is a fan of blueberries too, and she eats them as soon as we pick them. Ellie is not a big fan, but she's willing to chase away the birds that are eyeballing the fruits. Summer's herbs are going crazy too. From thyme to basil and lavender to various mints, my patio is a cornucopia of herbal aromas. It makes stitching outside so pleasurable.

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We've been taking a look at various specialty stitches, which I hope you're enjoying. Today, we're looking at another -- the Scotch (and reverse Scotch) stitch. Let's get started!

Scotch ... Neat

We've covered several "pulled" stitches in the last few updates, but today we're going to take a look at a different kind of stitch -- the Scotch and reverse Scotch stitch. The two can be worked alone or together for varying textures in a project. Let's jump right in to see it.

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1. After securing the thread on the back of the fabric, bring the needle up as indicated by 1 on the stitch illustration. Next, sink the needle where indicated by 2 on the illustration. Bring the needle up where indicated by 3 on the illustration and sink where indicated by 4. You're working a type of satin stitch!

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2. Bring the needle up where indicated by 5 on the stitch illustration and sink the needle where indicated by 6. Bring needle up at 7 and then down at 8. You've now worked half of your Scotch stitch.

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3. Continue working the stitch, repeating the pattern for the remaining half of the Scotch stitch. Watch your tension and thread placement as you work. Don't pull too tightly or you'll distort the stitch, and pay attention to making sure your fibers lay flat for consistency and optimum sheen.

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4. The reverse Scotch stitch is worked the same way except in ... REVERSE! Two stitches in one tutorial -- what the what? I love using the Scotch stitch for borders on projects since it just adds a bit more sheen and interest; plus, it's quick and fun to work.

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For other stitch illustrations, check out Annie's Stitch Guide here.

Colorful Rainbows

It's no secret that I love color, especially "sea glass" hues, but I'm open to all colors. One of my favorite parts of stitching is making projects my own by altering the color palette. However, selecting the most complementary colors for the project can be challenging at times. Enter the Color Scope, a fabulous kaleidoscopic tool that you can point at your floss selections and move around to see how various colors will work together. For a more in-depth explanation and to see it in action, take a look at the video from Annie's Creative Studio here.

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Annie's Creative Studio is a new streaming service which debuted this year. New content is added weekly to this membership-based service, and new members can sign up for a free 30-day trial membership. Check out the new Annie's Creative Studio here.

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