October is here and—finally—we are beginning to get a reprieve from the heat of summer. By now, my house has gotten back into the school, work, homework, bedtime routine. (I think every year Maggie manages to negotiate a later bedtime, while mine gets earlier and earlier.) October is one of my favorite months, because it starts to really look and feel like autumn. Leaves are changing and falling, and backyard fire pits are put to regular use. If you want to visit and make a drive down the Natchez Trace, this is a great month to choose.

We hope you have been enjoying the new hours, offerings, and libations at The Factory. October is National Cookbook Month and, given our obsession with cookbooks, we have plenty to flip through and share. Some of our current favorites include the Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook, Heritage by Sean Brock, Pure Pork Awesomeness by Kevin Gillespie, Anne Quatrano’s Summerland, Hugh Acheson’s The Broad Fork, and Steven Satterfield’s Root to Leaf (among others).

As for the rest of the month, here’s what it looks like for us:

October 2-3 – Collection + DIY Trunk Show at Craft South in Nashville, Tennessee

October 3 – Two-Hour Sewing Workshop at Craft South in Nashville, Tennessee

October 3 – Book Signing + Cocktail Hour at Craft South in Nashville, Tennessee

October 8 – Our very first Sip + Sew, scheduled for the second Thursday of every month. Join us to sew, socialize, and enjoy a glass of beer or wine (or whatever beverage suits your taste). Small bites will also be available for purchase from the Factory Café.

October 11 – National Southern Food Heritage Day. We humbly suggest a membership to the Southern Foodways Alliance as a way to celebrate year-round.

October 16 – World Food Day. We can end world hunger in our lifetime. At Alabama Chanin we celebrate family farmers—like our partners at Bluewater Creek Farm, Jack-o-lantern Farms, and the Fatback Pig Project, who ensure that our food is grown with care and respect.

October 21 – National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day. Click here for our favorite recipe.

October 21 – Lecture on Mid-Century Modern Design @ the Birmingham Museum of Art in Birmingham, Alabama.

October 22 – Our first-ever One-Day Business Workshop @ The Factory.

October 23 – Our first-ever Indigo Dyeing Workshop @ The Factory.

October 24 – Friends of the Café Dinner + Southern Makers with Atlanta chef Anne Quatrano.

October 31 – Halloween. Whether you plan to “trick” or to “treat” this evening, we have the best information on how to carve your best pumpkin.

October’s Swatch of the Month features straight stitch appliqué, which you can find detailed on page 101 of Alabama Studio Sewing + Design. Chapter Seven of that book offers more options and variations on the appliqué technique, if you want to experiment further. For specific instructions on Circle-Spiral Appliqué, reference page 51 of Alabama Studio Style.



Fabric – 100% organic medium-weight cotton jersey
Top layer fabric color – Blue Slate
Backing layer fabric color – Blue Slate
Appliqué fabric color – Twilight
Design – Spiral
Treatment – Circle-Spiral appliqué
Button Craft thread – Navy #13

Please feel free to share your own swatches from this year’s project—and any variations you have experimented with. See you next month!

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