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Archive for the ‘African Design Club’ Category

FaceMasksFinished

Happy Sunday!  I hope everyone is maintaining well through The Situation.  To that end, yesterday we published a tutorial video on the fabric face masks that are currently in such hot demand.  Sew an easy pleated face mask with Cultured Expressions’ quick tutorial by Lisa and Edie!

FaceMAskVideoRAF

Cultured Expressions DIY Face Mask Video

These are not intended for hospital use necessarily, but for personal use. There are numerous tutorials, guidelines and opinions on the use of these masks…we encourage everyone to do some research on what will work best for you. Stay safe!!
***Note that in the video, after the pleats are sewn down on each short side, you should continue around the long edges of the mask as well. You can see this stitching in the photo above.  This will finish the edges nicely and close the open edge where you turned the mask inside out!! .
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Due to the demand, we’ll be creating a limited number o finished masks, beginning April 1. Be sure to follow us@culturedexpressions on IG and FB as well as Cultured Expressions!

Video Music by @ericparker20

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KidSewing-Taiye

With schools closed indefinitely and increase in the number of work-from-home parents and guardians due to the COVID-19 situation, planning daily activities for your favorite little people will obviously be key for the well-being of all involved!

Once their online schoolwork is complete, try using your own interest in sewing and quilting to keep them occupied. Depending on the age group, they could be happy gluing colorful African fabric scraps to cardstock to create collage artwork.  Older kids might want to stitch together fabrics in their favorite color (by hand or machine) to make a pillow or tote bag.

 

IMG_20190427_111213711_1556406572394Whether they’ve expressed an interest in learning more about the needle arts, or the suggestion is yours, we’ve gathered a few tips for quilting with children to make the process both fun and successful!

  • Keep it simple – Begin with a single block that can be made into a decorative pillow, a bed pillowcase, tote bag front, or accent block for a denim jacket back or a T-shirt. It can also become a simple art piece suitable for framing.
  • Mending is Trendy!  Show them how to creatively mend their clothes and/or add decorative patches with hand stitching and easy embroidery stitches.
  • Take into account the child’s personality when planning your quilting session. For younger kids, keep it fun (and safe) by avoiding projects that require precise measuring and cutting. Instead, pull out some precuts from your stash, focusing on the fun of design and the creativity of blending colors and patterns.
  • For older kids, or those who are naturally inclined to math and geometry might want to explore the more precision-based aspects of quilting, where templates & rulers are used.
  • Remember that children’s taste levels are more sophisticated than ever; have a variety of fabrics and embellishments available for experimentation. Provide the opportunity to work with batiks and other cool “adult” fabrics that aren’t strictly juvenile in design and coloration.
  • Let the child work with scraps of one of your own current projects, to create a small “featured block” you can use as the back label for your quilt. The label can include both of your signatures.
  • Remember, the key is to reduce the stress of the situation – with any luck, you might also create a budding new fiber artist in the process! Have a follow-up project in mind to keep up the momentum and encourage their efforts as they work. The follow-ups can introduce new techniques to gradually increase their quilting skills.

And remember, though things seem to be changing almost hourly, we plan to open the Cultured Expressions studio during regular hours this week, including Virtual Visits, (shopping the studio via video phone call!) and we expect to continue operating our online shop

Thanks to Taiye and Maya, two of our lovely young Kids Camp attendees from 2019 ; )

Stay safe, everyone, and whoever you’re housebound with, keep creating!

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Don’t Miss These CYBER Specials:

  • FAT QUARTER FUN! Save 20% on all African Print FQ assortments, including 10-, 20- and 40-packs, kente 6-packs and black/white 8-packs. Shop Fat Quarters NowFQs
  • Purchase any GIFT CERTIFICATE of $50 or more and get 10% bonus value added to it! For example, order a $100 certificate and we’ll adjust it manually in the amount of $110. They are beautifully packaged with a Fabric Surprise. Please include the names of the Giver and Recipient, along with a preferred color, in the Comments when you order (or just email us these details after you place the order) And yes, Giver and Recipient can be the same person, so go ahead, treat yourself, too Shop Gift Certificates Now
Offers Valid Online, Now thru Monday, December 2 at 11:59pm!

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The highlight of Cultured Expressions’ SewJourn Santa Fe is our two-day workshop with master fiber artist Gasali Adeyemo.  We immersed ourselves in glorious indigo, learning his batik and tie-dye techniques, along with the cultural significance of indigo in Yoruba culture.

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I always provide the SewJourners with white brocade fabric and rubber gloves to use during the workshop, but I always look forward to the opportunity to dunk my hands into the freshly prepared indigo.  This year, I was accompanied by several of the participants. Who needs gloves when you can experience the undeniable spirit that exists in the dye.

Later that day, we took it to the NextLevel by applying clear nail polish to preserve the indigo dye on our nails only, as the rest of it washed away or wore off…

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We loved he results!  I generally don’t bother with nail polish on my fingers, but this here is different.  i guess it’ll be my once-a-year Indigo manicure.  I wonder how long it will last with a few touchups of clear…

Join me in Santa Fe next year for authentic indigo batik… and manicures ; )  Thanks, brother Gasali!!

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Hey everyone! Check out these new arrivals at the studio… vivid prints and gorgeous bogolan/mudcloth for pillows, fun tote bags, table settings, headwraps, clothing, quilts and sew much more!  Stop by the studio or call to order 866-MUDCLOTH. Prints are $8 yard and the bogolan pieces are $50 each, measuring approximately 64 x 44″.  If you need more inspiration, download our workshop schedule for May thru July

     

      

And here’s the contest:  If you’re a true collector, you probably recognize this print of elegant ladies.  You know the print, they measure about 12″ tall and come in various colors. This combo is my favorite.  Ever wonder what they are discussing, or where they are going, or coming from?  Tell us their story below in THREE SENTENCES or less, and the best narrative (as judged by an independent panel of Cultured Expressions studio associates) will win a yard of the fabric! Reply by Monday, June 3, 2019 at 11:59pm for your chance to win!  Good Luck ; )

UPDATE:  The winner of one yard of fabric is @sisterquilternyc, aka Ghana SewJourn alum, Dee Huffman. Thanks everyone for playing along on Instaram and Facebook!  If you don’t follow us there, check us out @culturedexpressions.

 

 

 

 

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SignBlocksSM

Have you done your “Sew It, Sign It” block for our community signature quilt project yet?  We need all blocks submitted by Saturday, May 18 (that’s Next Week!!) in order to complete the quilt around June 19, world Sickle Cell Day.  The proceeds from the quilt ($8 from every $10 registration fee) will benefit the Sickle Cell Assn of NJ.

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If you’ve already ordered your block kit online, PLEASE be sure to get it back to us by Saturday!  As an alternative, if you haven’t ordered your kit yet, or you won’t get a chance to stop by the studio,  you can still support us with your $10 donation, let us know what message to write on the block, and we’ll “sew it and sign it” for you!  Call us at 866-MUDCLOTH (866-683-2568). 

Thank you for helping us to support Sickle Cell Awareness!!

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Hey, everyone  —  believe it or not, spring is on its way, which means NOW is the time to plan your post-hibernation creative activities!  We just confirmed “Kente & Culture”, a great event with our friend and Ghana’s master kente weaver, Kwasi Asare on Sunday, May 5.

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He’ll give an informal presentation on kente cloth and its role in Ghanaian culture, then lead you in creating your own kente sample strip on a hand loom!  PLUS, to keep the vibe flowing, we’ll end the event by serving a light buffet of African-Caribbean cuisine, and it’s included in the workshop cost. ; )

If you’ve joined me on previous Ghana SewJourns, Kwasi will be familiar to you as our kente expert! It’s an event you won’t want to miss…  Register online or call Lisa at 866-MUDCLOTH (866-683-2568).  Space is limited!

(Even better, while you’re here for the event, you can also contribute your block for our “Sew It, Sign It” signature quilt project, benefitting Sickle Cell awareness!) 

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Check out the latest class schedule for workshops at the Studio in Rahway!  By popular demand, we’re introducing two Young Beginners sessions – a kids’ sewing class (Patchwork Pillow), and one for teens, too (Drawstring Backpack).

In addition, there are the usual favorites, and a new Bogolan Zippered Clutch that’s winning rave reviews on Instagram already ; )

       

You can register by phone, in person at the studio, by mail or online.  Details are on Page 1 of the schedule.  We hope to see you soon!

 

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It hit me yesterday, standing in the kitchen.  This is 2019…and African Acents: Fabrics and Crafts to Decorate Your Home was published in 1999.  OMG, is it realy 20 years since I wrote my first book? My baby is 20 years old??  It took me several minutes and a glass of Gewurztraminer to process it.  The book that launched the Cultured Expressions brand. Wauw…

Thank you to everyone who bought the book, shared it, gave it as a gift or otherwise helped it to reach a second printing before it was “retired” by the publisher.   Here’s a little challenge to celebrate…

Dig out your copy and email a picture of you holding the book to info@CulturedExpressions.com.  We’ll pull random entries throughout the year to receive a $20 CE gift certificate!

And if you send a pic of a project you made from the book, you’ll be entered into a separate drawing for a $20 certificate PLUS a fabric prize!

 

The more entries we get, the more winners we’ll pull.  This should be fun… ; )

 

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Join me this summer in the cool Colorado mountains, August 7-11, 2019!

This SewJourn is designed as a classic retreat experience, set in a gorgeous mountain valley, about 45 minutes from Denver, CO.  Spend an  extended weekend fully immersed in your own sewing / quilting projects, and enjoy a trunk show presentation by our guest artist Valerie White.

We’ll also uncover a few of Denver’s best “CE-approved” specialty spots on our 1-day field trip. Think of it as a 5-day pajama party with like-minded sewing & quilting girlfriends!

We’ll share and enjoy our favorite wines all weekend as we stitch, including a guided tasting to help us pair wines not only with foods, but also with creative projects!   ; )  — lisa

Registration is open!

Get the Brochure and REGISTER TODAY!

 

 

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