I am happy to greet May, partly because April came “as advertised”—dropping buckets of rain—but also because May is filled with so many good things. So many, in fact, that I might feel differently by month’s end, but for now I am ready. There are workshops, both at home and afar. Maggie finishes school at the end of the month, which (in her mind) means summer has begun and it’s time for a backyard barbecue. (May is, after all, National Barbecue Month.)

Here is what the schedule looks like for the rest of the month:

May 10: Mother’s Day (the second Sunday of May). We are hosting our first-ever Mother’s Day Brunch at the Factory Café.

May 11: On Design: In the Kitchen + Biscuits @ The Factory

May 14: One-Day Studio Stenciling + Pattern Design Workshop @ The Factory.

May 15 – 17: Classic Studio Weekend Workshop here @ The Factory.

May 17: Sunday Brunch: Pies + Casseroles, a Celebration of the Southern Oven—a Makeshift | Friends of the Café fundraiser for Jones Valley Teaching Farm featuring acclaimed pastry chefs (and all-around amazing women) Angie Mosier and Lisa Donovan. Seating is limited, so purchase yours today.

May 20: Stay up late for David Letterman’s final Late Show.

May 21: Two-Hour Sewing Workshop and Book Signing at LF8 in NYC.

May 25: Memorial Day—in remembrance of those who died in service to our country. Many in our community still refer to this day as Decoration Day and spend time picnicking and cleaning or decorating memorial plots and monuments.

May 26: National Biscuit Day. While this is celebrated daily in many Southern kitchens, it is nice to know that the mighty biscuit has its own day to shine.

May 28: Last day of the school year for Maggie.

Somehow, in the middle of all this madness, I have to find time to transplant my tomatoes and okra, and tend the rest of the garden. Wish me luck.

Please take some moments for yourselves and work on May’s Swatch of the Month—backstitch reverse appliqué in our Large Medallion 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 – Blue Slate
Backing layer fabric color – Navy
Stencil – Large Medallion
Treatment – Backstitch reverse appliqué
Textile paint – Pearl Silver
Embroidery floss – Dark Grey

Look back at some past projects for your completed swatches.

Review January + February, March, and April’s swatches and look for a new design in June.

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

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