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Here’s exciting news!!

Fabrigasm® LIVE happens May 1-2, 2021, and wed love for you to be involved! It’s the ultimate Virtual Experience for Lovers of African Textiles… Picture Fabrigasm Magazine gone virtual, with informative panel discussions, inspiring presentations, creative demos and how-to’s, fun opportunities to Sewcialize, retail therapy and more.


Click on the registration link to check out the COMPLETE SCHEDULE

Choose from these TICKET OPTIONS:

All-Access BASIC – $15 Admission to all virtual presentations, demo, vendors and sessions on May 1-2. All

Access PLUS – $35 Includes Basic level, plus 10%OFF of (1) online order at CulturedExpressions.com thru May 9, 2021 and Pre-ordered Fabrigasm magazine issue #8, (Fall 2021)

All Access DELUXE – $85 Includes Plus level, and a World Premiere exclusive virtual sew-along to make the Ankara Charm Shoulder Bag (shown) at the end of May. Includes class and precuts

Fabrigasm LIVE – FAQs:


Is this going to be on Zoom? No, we’re using a platform called Hopin.com. You’ll need to create an account with your email address and a password to register for and access the event.


I’m not available all weekend. Can I access a recording afterwards? Yes, we will send the link to registered individuals upon request. The event will be available for limited time following the event.


I’m considering the Deluxe ticket. When will the virtual class be held? It is tentatively scheduled for Friday evening (EST), May 28. If you are not available for the sew-along, a recording will be made available to you afterwards.


What are the “Creative Critique” sessions? For each of these sessions, we invite attendees to come on live and show a current project, to get peer suggestions or input, or to just collect compliments! Share your work and make new friends!


What else do I need to have handy? You’ll want to keep a notebook nearby, and a yard of your favorite ankara or batik fabric to wrap your head with Lecretia on Saturday, or work on a cloth doll along with Kianga on Sunday! We invite you to work on your own projects thru the weekend, or just sit back, relax and soak it all in. Check out the full schedule and plan your projects accordingly!

Questions? Contact info@CulturedExpressions.com

We’ll see you soon!

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Black History Minute / Sewing Edition 🤗
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Most of us know that American inventor Garrett Morgan invented the traffic light, and an early version of the gas mask…
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But, did you know…
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He began his career as a self-taught sewing machine mechanic, and developed improvements to the machine mechanism, including the ability to create a zigzag stitch?!
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Later, he and his wife, a dressmaker, ran a sewing business.
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So, the next time you sew a stretch stitch, buttonhole or decorative stitch, think of Mr. Morgan ❤️🖤💚🧵

BlackHistoryIsWorldHistory #sewingmachinehistory #garrettmorgan #zigzagstitch #blackhistorymonth #americaninventors #blackinventors #blackownednj #funfact #sewingtrivia

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Vanessa customized her pillows thru shape, color, pattern and firmness!

Back in March of 2020, little did we know how long our new shelter-in-place lifestyle would remain in effect. And through the past year, collectively, we’ve grown to realize the increasing significance of a comfortable home, as it evolved to also become a workplace, study space and entertainment hub for many as well.  For some, this monumental lifestyle shift pointed up the need to create (or update) the home as a true oasis, a place of safety and well-being, and yes, even style. So it’s no wonder sewing is enjoying a resurgence right now!  It’s a creative, practical, fun and economical way to upgrade your décor.  In addition, It could be the mental health boost – and the colorful distraction — you’ve been looking for!

Likewise, you can sew plush, oversized body pillows for lazy lounging while streaming your favorite shows and movies.  (Don’t forget a dogbed for your best furry friend!) By sewing your own, you control not only the fabric choice, but also the amount of firmness, the shape and size, as Vanessa learned during her recent class at Cultured Expressions Sewing Studio in Rahway.  Plus, you’ll enjoy the bragging rights that come with “I made it myself.”

Table toppers are another great choice for creativity, from full table cloths to runners, right down to placemats, cloth napkins, mugrugs and coasters.  Any of these would be a perfect choice for beginners, and can be made by machine or hand sewing, or with no-sew methods using iron-on products.

Window treatments are still another way to customize your home with ease.  When you choose fabrics with lots of visual impact, you can sew the simplest styles, letting the fabric provide the “Wow” factor.

For the bedroom, quilts are by far the most striking room-transforming choice, created in your favorite color scheme.  If you don’t have the time to devote to a full-sized bed quilt, consider stitching up a cheerful wall hanging to greet you in the morning, or a bed runner and a pair of quilted pillow covers.  The Winter 2021 issue of Fabrigasm® magazine includes a feature on creative headboard ideas, and tips and tricks for using handwoven fabrics.

Finally, be sure to get the kids involved in your home-enhancing projects – creating with fabrics, beads, needle, thread and glue can expose them to a fun new hobby as well as an important life skill.  And maybe more important, it gives them a much needed break from the excessive screen time demands of their online lessons.

For information on private sewing classes, fabrics, kits, Fabrigasm magazine and more at-home DIY inspiration, visit the Cultured Expressions Sewing Studio in Rahway or call 866-MUDCLOTH. You’ll find info on online classes at SewcialDistance.com.

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It’s finally here, just in time for the holiday season! Introduce the little people in your life to the beauty of creating with African cotton prints, bogolan/mudcloth from Mali, beads from Ghana and more! Designed for ages 6 and up, the Crafty Kids African Fabrics Activity Pack offers a unique mix of supplies and instructions for seven projects, plus interesting cultural facts about the fabrics and beads. Children can make our fun & easy projects, or design their own.   The Activity Pack is perfect for crafty kids of any skill level,with projects requiring a glue stick, fabric glue, or sewing includes:  

  • (10) African Prints
  • (2) Bogolan / Mudcloth Strips
  • Beads & Cowrie Shells
  • (3) Blank Cards & Envelopes
  • (1) Mini Art Canvas
  • Waxed Cotton Cord
  • Jewelry Stretch Cord
  • Ribbon
  • Instructions for 7 Projects
  • Interesting Cultural Facts
CraftyKids Activity Pack includes everything shown above!
…packaged in an attractive clear PVC box

  Crafty Kids introduces young people (and adults alike) to African fabrics and beads, allowing them to craft with cultural relevance…It’s “Creativity, Africanized”!!  With bright colors and easy instructions, it makes the perfect gift, or Mommy/Daddy and Me activity. Comes in gift-ready clear PVC packaging – just add a bow! (Package includes loose beads – recommended for ages 6 and up.) $49.95  

Shipping DECEMBER 1 — Reserve yours Now!

Kori and Collin get creative with fabrics and cardstock, included in the Crafty Kids Pack!

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…along with the rest of the world! With workshops, trunk shows, sew-alongs and virtual visits for shopping, Cultured Expressions continues to evolve and adjust to the virtual world, and I have to say, it’s been pretty cool! Here’s the rundown as of November 2020, starting with on-demand workshops…

REGISTER NOW for these classes! You can also order fabric for the Ankara String Quilt or a Supply Kit that makes 3 of the pouches

GROUPD OFFERINGS: We’re also arranging LIVE online classes, sew-alongs and trunk shows via Zoom for guilds and informal groups. You’ll find details at SewcialDistance.com.

AND… You can shop the studio from the comfort of your home by booking a “Virtual Visit” using your choice of Zoom, Google Duo or WhatsApp. At the appointed time, we take you thru the studio via your cell phone, you make your selections, we take payment by phone (or send you a Paypal invoice) and a few days later, your package arrives! Book your Virtual Visit online here. Once you book, you can even invite a friend located in another city and shop together via Zoom!

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I know, that shouldn’t exactly be a major headline for the owner of a sewing studio, but time has been tight over thesthe last several months, so it was really a treat to take some MeTime!

I did a quick New Look top in a gorgeous piece of adire cloth by my friend and master indigo artist Gasali Adeyemo. I opted for a zipper instead of the buttons but otherwise kept it straight-forward. And I love it!!!  Sidebar: if I  get tired of the sidewings, I’ve already figured out how to convert them into pockets! 😜

What’s everyone else working on??

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IMG_20200724_213719_714

Since reopening a couple of weeks ago with pandemic requirements in place, I was debating how to manage classes (and whether I even could). So rather than try to devise a class schedule, I decided to limit classes to private sessions, most of which are our “Learn Your Own Machine” classes that are one-on-one by nature.

Occasionally I’ll also offer shorter classes (2 hours or less) to 2 or 3 students, depending on the amount of space needed for that particular project.  If you’d like to take a class, just contact me and we can likely make happen ; )

#babysteps

Keep creating, everyone!!

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Hi Everyone!

I hope this post finds you navigating life as creatively as possible ; ) It’s been a Blessing to continue to serve you through all of your newly-found sewing and quilting time, the mask-making and more. Your curbside pickups, online orders and virtual visits have kept us afloat and we THANK YOU SEW MUCH! We miss our regular tribe of visitors, and have made sew many new friends in the past few months who are curious to explore the studio, too!
SO…we’re re-opening the Studio this Wednesday, July 8! 
Please see important information below… 
StudioStreet
We welcome you back starting this Wednesday with a few simple precautions to help ensure everyone’s safety:
  • To help maintain social distancing, we will serve a MAXIMUM of 3 customers inside the studio at one time.  Please CALL THE STUDIO at 866-683-2568 or TEXT Lisa at 908-553-0196 to let us know approximately what time you’d like to come by. This will help us to give you personal service, juggling with virtual visits, etc.
  • A FACE MASK is required by EVERYONE entering the studio.
  • Please use our HAND SANITIZER, available as you enter, so you can safely enjoy the tactile, Fabrigasmic experience of fabric shopping.
  • Naturally, we must all observe social distancing as much as possible.
  • You can now schedule your Virtual Visits ONLINE! If you’re far away, (or even if you’re just around the corner!) visit us virtually! Check out our new online booking page. Appointments are now generally available Wednesdays thru Fridays.
  • ONLINE ORDERS and VIRTUALS: Due to our higher volume of orders AND increasing shipping delays of the USPS, it may be taking a few extra days to receive your orders. Please keep this in mind if you’re working with a specific deadline.
  • An update on CLASSES:  I’ve decided to suspend all of our in-person classes, events and parties thru the summer, and will revisit plans based on the conditions in September.   Sorry for any inconvenience, but I look forward to booking events again when possible, and am now actively preparing online classes and trunk shows, so stay tuned for details!!

This Wednesday we’ll open for extended hours of 12-8pm, and we’ll start back with regular hours for the rest of the week – Thu 12-6; Fri 12-6 and Sat 10-6pm.  Of course, as regulations and situations continue to change, hours may also change, so please feel free to call, check our email newsletter (subscribe here), and follow us on Instagram and Facebook @culturedexpressions for updates.

NEW IN THE STUDIO…

Bead Packs!
Handbag Handles!
Brass Embellishments!
MORE New Ankara Prints!

1417 MAIN STREET, RAHWAY, NJ 07065   –   www.CulturedExpressions.com

Thanks for your cooperation —

we look forward to seeing you soon, in person and/or virtually!

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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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