With the arrival of April (and the announcement of our partnership with Nest), it feels as though we are finally settling into the year. April’s warmer weather is also welcomed with open arms (and horseback rides). April is a busy month.

April is National Poetry Month. Poetry lovers can begin a project using our Poetry stencil—available for download on our Maker Supplies + Stencils page or work your favorite poem or quote directly onto any garment.

Here is what’s on the horizon for April:

April 2 – International Children’s Book Day—Maggie recommends favorites by Maira Kalman.

April 5 – Easter Sunday – however you choose to celebrate, we hope you approach today with a spirit of renewal.

April 7 – Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns launches (very exciting)

April 11 – This day we host our Alabama Chanin Open House + Community Picnic, plus our One-Hour Mini-Workshops at the Factory. Spend a day with our team at The Factory. Sign up for mini-workshops on dyeing, stenciling, and/or sewing. For the potluck-style picnic, we provide barbecue and “fixins”—so bring your favorite side dish or dessert to share. The open house is free and open to the public.

April 12-18: National Egg Salad Week—we plan to serve my Gram Perkins Egg Salad every day this week in the Factory Café.

April 12 – Guilty Pleasure: Game of Thrones returns.

April 13 – On Design: Little Forest + Biophillic Design @ The Factory

April 14, 6:00 pm Gael Towey + Rosanne Cash: The River and The Thread A special screening at Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, hosted by Tisch School of Arts, 194 Mercer St., 5th Floor, New York, New York, Limited Seating,

April 15 – Income Tax Day—it’s unavoidable.

April 19 – One-Day Sewing Workshop @ Chicago, Illinois

April 21 – Natalie Chanin Lecture and Book Signing at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

April 22 – Earth Day—Commit to thinking about what you can do to protect our planet and create a sustainable future.

April 23 – Take Your Daughter to work day (4th Thursday in April) – Though I take my daughter Maggie to work plenty of days, this is a chance for all of us to really show our daughters what mom and dad really do every day. (I’m lucky enough to work with my son every day.)

April 24 – Arbor Day—Support the Arbor Day Foundation as they grow urban and community forestry, take steps in rescuing the rainforest, and work to replant our National Forests. Or plant your own tree that you can enjoy for years to come.

April 25 and 26 – work in the garden. It’s time to transplant my cauliflower, kale, and pea seedlings into the soil. Maggie and I will plant cucumber and okra seeds.

April 30 – To round out National Poetry Month, celebrate National Poem in Your Pocket Day. Select a poem you love, carry it with you, then share it with coworkers, family, and friends.

And, as always, I will make time throughout the month for spring cleaning. On days when the sun is out, I find it so satisfying to open the windows and get down to business cleaning. Find some of our natural cleaning methods here.

We hope you find time to work on our April Swatch of the Month—backstitched reverse appliqué in our Small Polka Dot stencil.

For detailed instructions and photographs, please refer to page 97 of Alabama Studio Sewing + Design. The book also demonstrates other variations on the appliqué technique you can explore.



Fabric – 100% organic medium-weight cotton jersey
Top layer fabric color – Dove
Backing layer fabric color – Twilight
Stencil – Small Polka Dot
Treatment – Backstitched reverse appliqué
Textile paint – Pearl Grey
Embroidery floss – Light Grey

Look back at some past projects for your completed swatches.

Review January and February’s swatches here and March’s swatch here. Check back next month for a look at May and a new swatch.

Follow along on social media and on our Journal with the hashtags:

4 comments on “APRIL + SWATCH OF THE MONTH

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  1. Phyllis

    I was very excited about joining the 2015 swatch of the month. I had a great time with the first 3 months and was looking forward to April. I’m even in the process of cutting the February stencil to be used on a kimono jacket. I must express a little disappointment when I opened April’s offering to find the third polka dot stencil (although the dots are different sizes, polka dots are not a personal favorite). I only hope that these are the last dots to be done and that subsequent months get more challenging and varied. Thank you for offering this program.

    1. Alabama

      Hi Phyllis,

      We are sorry to hear your disappointment. Look for our Large Medallion for next month’s swatch. Other rotating designs include: Angie’s Fall, Spiral (applique), and Eyelet embroidery. Thank you for your feedback and support of Alabama Chanin. Happy sewing!

    1. Alabama

      Hi Diana,

      If you would like to design your own swatches, we suggest choosing the 10 x 16 Sample Block under garment options in Custom DIY: http://alabamachanin.com/custom-diy

      Currently, Custom DIY does not have an option to charge shipping on international orders and is, therefore, subject to a separate charge. Our shipping coordinator, Emily, who can be reached at orders@alabamachanin.com can provide you with shipping costs to New Zealand. Let us know if you have any more questions.