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Posts Tagged ‘fat quarters’

I hope this post finds everyone safe and ready to enjoy the holiday season, to whatever degree you prefer.  As usual, I’ll be taking the laid-back approach, doing as little as I can get away with, but with all of the fun – and work – of the studio launch, there isn’t much leisure time at all for me this December! #nocomplaints  ; )

We’re at 1417 Main Street, Rahway, NJ, in the Arts District.  If you’re in the area, come out to the studio this Saturday, Dec 23.  We’ll be open our usual Saturday hours form 10am – 6pm, and from 3-6pm, join us for some birthday cake and champagne as we also celebrate the release of the winter workshop schedule, and studio progress in general.

The studio is easy to reach from NYC by NJ Transit, and just a one block walk when you get off of the train!  Or, if you’re driving, you’ll love the very affordable covered parking deck, just across the street from us.

Can’t get here?  Check out our online specials, now thru December 31  ; )

We’re ready for 2018!!  Are you???

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Now thru 11:59pm tonight, save 10% on Cultured Expressions’ 20-piece and 40-piece African Fabric Print FQ bundles!  The current selection may vary from what’s shown, but be assured of a colorful, varied assortment.

What’s a Fat Quarter? It’s a quilting term for a ¼ yard of fabric, measuring 18″ x 22″. Its “fat” dimensions (compared to a standard ¼ yard of fabric that measures 9″ long x 45″ wide) are more versatile for quilting, crafts, pillows, doll clothes, photo frames, desk accessories, covered journals… or just for general procurement – we don’t judge ; ) Fat quarters make it easier to collect a wide variety of prints for your fabric stash.

Fat Quarter FLASH SALE!

No coupon code needed – the discount will appear in your shopping cart.  Enjoy!

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and we’re offering $1.00 SHIPPING on all orders of $30 or more!  Check out our newest Shop additions, just in from Ghana:

bluesii

blackwhite10

and stock up on your favorite fabrics, kits, patterns and creative supplies!   No coupon code needed, so check out the shop today!

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Today more than ever, The Ankara Quilt Made EasyAnkara is all around us, in fashion, shoes, handbags, and of course, quilts!  This classic “Chinese Coin” quilt design becomes the Ankara Quilt Made Easy, a simple to sew yet  striking design. Showcase your favorite African prints, whether you purchase the fat quarters specifically for this project, or use up your leftover fashion scraps.

Bold yet beginner-friendly!  I just cut up rectangles of the Ankara prints (these are approx 11″ x 7″), piecing them into three bars, then joining the pieced sections with wide black strips (sashings) in between, and slightly wider black borders all around.  Here’s am alternate basic Chinese Coin tutorial.

To add some interest, I also used scraps of the prints within the top & bottom borders.  One key to making this quilt is to use a really “good black” cotton fabric to frame the prints.

I pieced this quilt top a couple of years ago after a Ghana trip – probably time to get it finished  ; )

The Ankara Quilt Made Easy #ankaraSee the current 14-piece assortment of Cultured Expressions’ Ankara FQs here…

 

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So only today did I finally get around to un-tying and unveiling the fruits of my labor at our mini workshop with master textile artist Gasali Adeyemo, part of last week’s SewJourn to Santa Fe…he shared with us some fancy folds that result in some of my favorite “special effects” tie-dye patterns.  I figured I’d keep it simple and work on a couple of fat quarters.

Indigasms I Love My Tie-Dyes Cultured Expressions

I always say that my contacts in Ghana have me spoiled to the point that I don’t ever seriously consider dyeing my own fabric (why make my own when there are perfectly good, professionally made pieces waiting to be bought, right?)  but we all had a great time and I would definitely immerse myself in it again, pun intended.  But I’ll probably have to wait until our next visit with Gasali and his authentic Nigerian indigo, but I look forward future indigasms!  And I’d love for you to join me, so watch for announcements of our next SewJourn to Santa Fe.

Thank You again to my talented and gracious friend Gasali, and to our SewJourn participants.

 

 

 

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Well, yes and no.. There’s the good news, and the not-so-good news…

The good news is that while in Ghana hosting our recent SewJourn, I heard repeatedly from market vendors, fabric artists and retailers alike that right now, African fabrics are enjoying a huge resurgence in popularity!  It’s fueled in part by the explosive growth of the African fashion industry and the use of prints by some designers during African Fashion Weeks in various cities worldwide. (Google IMAGES of “Africa Fashion Week”)  It seems the locals can’t get enough of the classics as well as new designs for clothing, handbags, shoes and more!  The revival also meant more variety and better shopping for me and our 28 SewJourn participants  ; )

These contemporary looks by Akonnaba are just one example. Akonnaba is a new wholesale company headed by Cultured Expressions‘ own Ghana export manager, Daniel Addo.  These shoes and handbags are typical of the current African print faDanielPurpleBagbric buzz.

DanielBagShoe

However, with all of the excitement comes the sinking realization that many of the fabrics aren’t actually made in West Africa, but instead are smuggled in from China, India and other locations.  This situation is nothing new, but it’s becoming more difficult to control, and more difficult to purchase authentic African prints due to the counterfeits flooding the market. The major mills have either closed or been bought out by other countries, resulting mostly in low-quality versions of the real thing. As both a personal fan, and a seller of these fabrics, it’s my hope that Ghana in particular continues its efforts to embrace the opportunity for economic advancement and cultural expression by returning to the production of high quality authentic African prints as they used to.  I look forward to that day, and my next visit to Makola Market!!  — lisa

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