Summer is now officially in full swing. As adults, we rarely get to indulge in a full-scale month of vacation—as our children often do. But, in July I like to take a few extra days to enjoy summer with my family and friends. Maggie absolutely loves July (and July 4th festivities are some of her favorites) and her excitement is contagious. So I am preparing for a month or so of fireworks and sparklers, cookouts, swimming pools, cocktails, and beaches.

My garden is producing peppers and (the beloved Alabama) tomatoes. The summer is just such a challenge: How many tomato sandwiches can one person eat?

Here is what some of my July looks like. I’m leaving room for improvisation:

July 4 – Independence Day and my neighborhood’s epic parade and potluck.

July 6 – National Fried Chicken Day. I’m headed to Nashville; hello Hot Chicken.

July 20 – On this day, back in 1969, Neil Armstrong took man’s first steps on the moon. Maggie and I are headed to San Francisco on the California Zephyr for our upcoming events @ Heath Ceramics.

July 24 – Opening Party at the Boiler Room @ Heath Ceramics in San Francisco. Come out to celebrate our new collaboration with Heath Ceramics. If you can’t make it to the party, the show will run through August 23rd.

July 25 – National Hot Fudge Sundae Day. If you are in The Shoals, a trip to Trowbridge’s is definitely in order.

July 26 – One-Day Sewing Workshop @ San Francisco, CA

July 30 – Makeshift Conversation @ Heath Ceramics. Cathy and I will be lead a conversation around design, craft, and fashion—followed by an interactive workshop where we will be designing, creating, and making a DIY Tote Kit.

I’ll also make the trip over to A Verb for Keeping Warm in Oakland, CA. We’re still working through the details, but check back on our Events page in the coming weeks for a date and details.

Maybe on your plane rides, car trips, or poolside lounges, you can take time to work on July’s Swatch of the Month—whipstitch appliqué in the Large Polka Dots stencil. (See information on the parallel whipstitch on page 25 of Alabama Studio Sewing + Design.)

For detailed instructions on applique, please review pages 100-103 of Alabama Studio Sewing + Design. We offer details and photographs of several methods of appliqué, if you want to personalize your swatch to your personal taste.



Fabric – 100% organic medium-weight cotton jersey
Top layer fabric color – Baby Blue
Backing layer fabric color – Baby Blue
Appliqué fabric color – Blue Slate
Stencil – Large Polka Dot
Treatment – Whipstitch appliqué
Button Craft thread – Slate #26
Textile paint – Pearl Grey

Visit our Journal for ongoing Swatch of the Month samples and projects.

Happy July to all of you from Alabama Chanin—and see you in August!

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