Increasingly, since opening the CE studio in downtown Rahway almost 2 years ago (!), I’ve come across other talented people who wanted to carve out their own piece of this exciting industry, but needed some help getting started, or moving forward.
I began to help a few of these creatives toward their goals and decided to better structure my own efforts along the way.
As a result, I’m thrilled to announce Artisan Business Coaching, a new branch of the Cultured Expressions experience READ MORE, and if I can be of service, just yell!

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.


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…


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!!


Casual chic…  you will love this cute bolero jacket styling in gorgeous, richly textured bogolan/mudcloth fabric!  It’s perfect for this time of year, and a great way to celebrate African Fabric Month, too ; )

Join us for class this Saturday, September 7 from 11am-1:30pm and sew your shurg on our Janome S5 machines!  The workshop is $60.  You can bring your own fabric (at least 5 strips wide and 72″ long) , or purchase a piece here before class.  Please register by Friday evening either online, or call us at 866-683-2568 (aka 866-MUDCLOTH!!)  See you soon…

njwbtjxckyp7llklieiaSeptember is African Fabric Month, and while I’m a little disheartened to see the summer end so quickly, thoughts of my favorite fabrics do help to ease the pain!  Stay tuned all month long for a few fun fabric giveaways and contests…and we’re starting  with African fabric HANDBAGS!

wkfqtpzearlapfkeztgbAll month long, you can grab my handbag book, African Accents ON THE GO! for just $5!  No coupon code is needed — the discount will reflect in your cart.

Then, it’s just a matter of which fabric to use first…Bogolan, batik, kuba, kente, ankara?

In the COMMENTS below, tell us what kind of bag you’d love to make this month, and the fabric, for a chance to win a FREE copy of the book!   All replies posted by Saturday, September 7 are eligible for the random drawing... good luck!

Read more about African Fabric Month and spread the word…

And remember to use hashtag #africanfabricmonth all month long when you post ANY projects using African fabrics for a special drawing at the END of the month.  The more hashtags we see, the more prizes we’ll give, so tell your friends, too!

One of the many highlights of our Wine Lover’s Quilt Retreat is the time we spend with the Wa Shonaji Quilt Guild members during the opening reception for their annual qult exhibit.  This year it takes place on Saturday, August 10, 2019 from 12 noon to 4pm..  These lovely women do gorgeous work, and the exhibit is presented beautifully at the Blair Caldwell African American Research Library in Denver.  We always enjoy their talents and the variety of styles their work represents.  It’s really a treat! And did I mention the door prizes, and activities?  Plus, they feed you  ; ) So, if you’re in the area, join us there!

(If you can’t make the reception on Saturday, you can still view the exhibit thru September 26, 2019.)


…for our August thru October studio workshops!

And the schedule includes our most popular classes, plus one new one – the Ankara Corded Organizer earned raved reviews whe I posted it on Instagram & Facebook, and we’ve now added the class (pattern and kit are in the works!)


Plus, two special events –  we’re celebrating African Fabric Month on Saturday evening,  September 7 with a Sip n’ Sewcialize event, including a trunk show, quick project, discounts and door prizes!  then, on October 6, we’re thrilled to have Ghana’s Master Kente Weaver Kwasi Asare back for KENTE & CULTURE II  –  Our first session in May sold out quickly, so if you missed it, be sure to register early!

DOWNLOAD the new Schedule now!!


This week we happily concluded our “SEW IT, SIGN IT” signature quilt project!


It was our first community charity quilt and we’re really pleased with the results.  In addition to completing a beautiful quilt with squares sewn and signed by our wonderful donors, we raised $745.00 for the Sickle Cell Assn of New Jersey.  The quilt is on display just across the street from the studio. at the Rahway Public Library on East Milton Avenue, where it will remain through the summer.  She measures approx. 76″ x 92″ — the result of the paid donor blocks plus a few extras to round out the size and shape.


Pictured l. to r. Sakiyyah Darden and Edie Browne (Sickle Cell Assn of NJ); Lisa Shepard Stewart (Cultured Expressions); Mary Bently LaMar (Sickle Cell Assn of NJ)

To continue the theme of awareness, the Association presented the Library with books and brochures about sickle cell disease.  For information, contact the Sickle Cell Assn of New Jersey.

Again, THANK YOU to all of our donors and supporters – we literally could not have done this without all of you, and we appreciate you all.          ——-      Lisa


Who has the day off today? Come to the studio at #1417mainstreet in #rahwayNJ and check out all of the gorgeous #bogolan #mudcloth and the #kubacloth — all 20% OFF today and tomorrow!! Make bags, pillows, shrug jackets, ponchos and more. If you don’t sew, (#firstofall, shame on you) just use the bogolan as a sofa throw for some quick summer decorating excitement 😀. Then get your friend who DOES sew to make the matching pillows!

And the kubas can simply hang on a wall, or be transformed into the most intersting handbags you’ve ever carried! We have kuba bag projects in African Accents ON THE GO!

If you’re far away, the 20% OFF sale is valid on #virtualvisits, too. Call us to arrange your shop-by-video call appointment now!  866-683-2568 (866-MUDCLOTH)

The meetup for this Saturday, June 29 featuring Randy’s Sewing machine tips has been POSTPONED. The weather promises to be treacherous for the evening hours. Please stay tuned for the new date.
(We are still open today regular hours until 6pm. Pick up a new project to enjoy at home during the storm ; )
Stay safe and keep stitching!!!

Be honest…How often do you clean your machine? Do you change the needle ONLY when it breaks?? What’s that weird noise?


Join us for our next Meetup at #1417mainstreet in #rahwaynj this Sat June 29 at 7pm. Our sewing machine mechanic Randy K will share easy but crucial machine maintenance tips, followed by our usual sew-n-tell. $5 meeting fee can be applied to any purchase. His last visit was standing-room-only 😜 so pls RSVP by Friday via DM or call 866-MUDCLOTH or email lisa@culturedexpressions.com

#sewingmachine #sewing #quilting #tuneup #sewafrican #rahwayissewhappening #meetup