Posts Tagged ‘Cultured Expressions African fabric’

It’s been a long time, but I’m pleased to report that Fabrigasm, the Magazine for Lovers of African Textiles, is back with issue #7, ending a 3-year hiatus mostly due to the opening of the Cultured Expressions Sewing Studio in Rahway.

This issue includes an interview with Denver-based fiber artist Valerie C. White, three projects, some exclusive CE recipes, tips for headboard decor and handwoven fabric how-to’s, features on sewcial distancing, and much more. My fellow goat lovers will also be happy to see the return of the Goat Gallery ; ). The issue ships beginning December 15 and can be ordered online.

Fabrigasm Magazine, Issue #7, published by Cultured Expressions, Inc

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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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Remember our purple Prince symbol fabric auction from a few months back? And how it raised over $120 with Christina’s winning bid?  Well, Daniel combined that with donations from some other friends, and was able to present gifts to Calvary School, in Ekon Cape Coast, located in Ghana’s Central Region.

Specifically, he purchased school supplies, book bags and more — check out the pix he sent:

We’re very proud of Daniel for so many reasons, including this project he has created from nothing, impacting the lives of these students.  I plan to visit Calvary School with him when I go to Ghana later this year with some more materials for the children.  Stay tuned!   — lisa

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HolidayGraphic09 Season's Greetings...and Savings thru January 7!Whether you get all caught up in the Holidaze, or take a more laid-back approach to this time of year (like we do!), the time is right to wish you a happy, healthy and creative season, and the very best in the coming year!  I thank you for allowing me to do what I love for yet another year.

It's Sew Easy TV - Lisa Shepard Stewart Season's Greetings...and Savings thru January 7!I noticed that many of you enjoyed our most recent promo (last Thursday and Friday), and a couple of you missed it, so I decided to extend the offer now thru Saturday, January 7, 2017. Choose your deal:

$5 off $35   OR   $10 off $70    OR   $20 off $120

Now there’s no excuse not to begin the year with a creative project in hand  ; )

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UFO Repurpose: Tote Bag to Sewing Machine CoverMost of my sewing lately has been strictly based on a particular need, (like last month’s sunglass case) coupled with the sad reality of having only minutes to sew rather than hours at a stretch.  For my next trick, I offer you a UFO Repurpose: Tote Bag to Sewing Machine Cover

While cleaning up my office, I was repeatedly stepping over my new travel sewing machine and the plain white vinyl cover that came with it. I never thought of myself as the “I-think-I’ll-make-a-sewing-machine-cover” type, but I felt both the machine and I deserved more than plain white vinyl. But with no time to luxuriate in design, measuring, etc, I remembered two jacquard batik quilt blocks there were originally destined to homepg-handbagsbecome another Color Block Batik Bag sample for shows, etc.  These would have been the front and back of the bag, and they had fusible batting applied.  Luckily I knew just where they were stashed, saving even more time…

I stitched the sides of the two sections together, creating a perfect fit around the machine, then turned up about 1/2″ along the bottom, using a wide double-zigzag to hem it.  I didn’t bother with lining since the raw fusible batting provided a nicely cushioned, dust-defying finish against the machine (and lining takes more time!).  Then I stitched the top seam, leaving an opening for the machine handle to come through and finishing the edges of that opening with a wide zigzag stitch. It all took about 20 minutes, or about 3 segments of a “Soul Food” episode, with commercials.

The result? My machine is better protected from dust and knocks, with a cover that’s “quick and dirty”, yet colorful and culturally relevant  ; )  I’ll still be stepping over it as I clean up the office, but now I’ll admire it when I do.  Canustandit??  Now it’s your turn: What half-made projects have you redirected to solve an immediate problem, and how long did it take??  I hope you’ve been inspired to rethink some of your own UFOs…

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Cord Control, African Mosaic Style, #AfricanFabricMonthAfter too long a time fumbling through cords at the bottom of any handbag, I decided it was time for some cord control, African mosaic style. I stitched up an African Mosaic zippered pouch to keep them all together, and out of the way of everything else!  Earphones, assorted charger cords and devices, thumb drives, spare phone batteries, etc. charger cords– the list of everyday essentials continues to grow…  Now, they’re all in one confined space that minimizes the tangling, and makes changing tote bags that much easier.

The project requires (1) 50-pack of 2″ African print squares (from which you’ll choose your favorite 36 prints), an 18″ square of fusible layout grid, black lining fabric, fusible craft interfacing and a zipper.  And optional beads for the zipper pull  ; )  Make the pieced block and create the pouch…for instructions, order Fabrigasm issue #4 (Winter 2015, Page 9).

Of course, your squares can be monochromatic instead of mixed.  Here’s one in just my brick reds and browns…and it uses 49 squares (7 across and 7 down).  Tailor yours to whatever size you need.  You’ll find a zillion uses for these — try one, or a few, during AfricanFabricMonth!

AMQKZipperedPouch Cord Control #AfricanFabricMonth

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Fabgas5COVERAfrican fabrics are enjoying a popularity like never before — BECOME the movement!  Whether you sew clothing, quilts, crafts, or home decor accents, start by using #AfricanFabricMonth on your African fabric projects all month long!!   Cultured Expressions is calling all DIY enthusiasts to show your love for the best textile treasures in the world… And yes, we can begin a few days early ; ) — our movement, our rules!!!

Read more about our new venture, and order your copy of Fabrigasm™ magazine for all the inspiration you’ll need!  Issue #5 was just released (>) and you can also catch up on digital issues 1-4.

#AfricanFabricMonth      #SewAfrican      #CulturedExpressions



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One of the many (and there were many) highlights of Cultured Expressions’ recent SewJourn Colorado Mountain Retreat was a visit to the Rocky Mountain Wa Shonaji Quilt Guild’s opening reception on August 13.  I wanted to share some detail shots of some of the quilts on view, see below.  And you still have until August 30 to catch it if you’re in the area!  The exhibit, “Color My World” highlights the talent and creativity of the Rocky Mountain Wa Shonaji Quilt Guild members, through the clever and creative theme of crayons:

“We can learn a lot from crayons; some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, while others are bright, some have weird names, but they all have learned to live together in the same box.”


In addition to the quilts, you’ll enjoy the special crayon-themed displays, interactive coloring project and more. It all takes place at the beautiful Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library (part of the Denver Public Library).  Thanks to the members for your warm welcome, and congratulations on an excellent show…see next year! — lisa





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#CreativeAfrica Exhibit Meet-Up: July 29#CreativeAfrica Exhibit Meet-Up: July 29For those who are interested in meeting up to take in the #CreativeAfrica multi-exhibit at the Philly Museum of Art, I’m looking at Friday, July 29.  If you’d like to check it out with me and a few other friends, just email me to be included in the plans, but for now figure on a few hours to see the works, followed by casual food and drink of some sort  ; )  This isn’t a formal Cultured Expressions event, just a casual get-together where I’ll be in full spectator mode so come and hang out!

Philly natives:  got any suggestions for #CreativeAfrica Exhibit Meet-Up: July 29nearby eats or other activities? I’m debating whether to take the train or drive down… if you’re in NJ/NY, we could go in on a limo #LiveALittle  I’ll get some quotes…  —- lisa

Exhibition details


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  1. You Could Win a Fabrigasmic FQ Giveaway!This was too good to keep to myself — I had to throw you a sneak peek at some of the latest additions of African fabric print fat quarters in the CE Shop!   And just to get the spring/summer creativity ball rolling, we’ll give you a chance to win CE’s FABRIGASMIC  FQ GIVEAWAY  Just comment below with what you’d like to make with your FQs, and your favorite color scheme, and you’ll be entered in a random drawing for one of TWO mini-pack of 6 FQs in those colors! Would you make a wall hanging, tote bag, table topper, mugrugs, fabric bowls, skirt, headbands, fabric bead jewelry…???

And tell your friends to enter, too – if they win the very contest you told them about, you’re entitled to claim at least 2 of the 6 FQs…

All comments posted by Monday, June 6 will be eligible for the drawing. Good Luck to everyone, and even if you don’t win this one, take heart…you can always order online. Treat yourself to a 40-FQ pack, or a 20-pack, or at least a 10-pack! ; )   — lisa

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