Posts Tagged ‘pop culture’


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!


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!! .
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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HolidayCouple.jpgHappy Holidays, everyone!!  Yes, again, already!!  Which means it’s time to upload my favorite Holiday Couple graphic, so I hope you find them as amusing as I do ; )

I’m not sure where 2019 went, but I hope yours included a good amount of creative time with your favorite African fabrics ; )  If you fell a bit short of your creative goals, there’s still time to immerse yourself at the CE Studio.


Our December thru February workshop schedule gives you several chances to end 2019 and begin 2020 with an interesting project in hand!  New to the lineup is our Free Spirit Doll.  

Choose your batik or African print, and your natural hairstyle – Bantu knots, locks, braids, Afro – then embellish as you like. The class makes a fun Girls’ Night Out project, or even a Mommy & Me creative session.

You’ll also find studio favorites including the String Quilt, Corded Organizer, Color Block Batik Bag, Waistbeads and more, all offered at various dates and times. See you soon!  Register by phone at 866-MUDCLOTH, in person at the studio, or online at CulturedExpressions (click on Shop Online / Workshops)

And be sure to join us at the studio December 13 & 14, 2019 from 1-4 pm for Holiday Gift Make & Takes — Drop in and make your choice of five fast, fun gifts, priced from $5 to $25 each.  Make one, two, or all of them, including: Brass & Bead Necklace, Wine Glass Charms, Batik Bookmarks, Fabric Coasters, Embellished Pouch Necklace. No pre-registration needed. Light refreshments will be served, too. Bring a friend and make gifts for each other ; )  See you soon!

DOWNLOAD the Dec – Feb Workshop Schedule


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#AfricanFabricMonth - Let the Giveaways Begin ; )It’s time for our first African Fabric Month giveaway for 2017, inspired by my “Jamaica Blue Mountain” fabric postcard! It started with a piece if extra firm heavyweight fusible craft interfacing, cut about 4″ x 6″. I fused the background fabric to it and layered the appliques to make the design. Note that the rust/orange sky section and the brown/green earth section are a single jacquard batik fabric!  Jacquard batiks make the BEST landscape quilts.  After it’s all arranged and stitched, I cut a piece of backing fabric about 1/4″ larger all around than the postcard, pressed the edges up and over to the front of the postcard, and stitched the raw edges into place as the binding… I love raw edge applique  ; )  and fabric postcards are a nice alternative to regular greeting cards (have you seen the price of greeting cards lately??!!)  If you want to write a message, fuse plain muslin to the center on the back and write with a permanent fineline fabric pen.

The second postcard shown here is one I did several years ago – it turned out to be kind of a landscape/ seascape look, complete with dimensional flowers.  The size is about 4″ x 6″, perfect for playing around with a new technique in a quick project you’ll actually finish.

What are you working on this African Fabric Month?  Comment below now thru this Wednesday for a chance to win a versatile scrap bundle and postcard interfacing for experimentation!  And whether you win or not, please continue to use the #AfricanFabricMonth and #SewAfrican on your African fabric posts all month long.  It’s our second year, let’s GROW this thing!!! Thank you and Good Luck to All!!

#AfricanFabricMonth - Let the Giveaways Begin ; )

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#AfricanFabricMonth…Win Fabric on Fridays in September!  Take the #AfricanFabricMonth Challenge, co-sponsored by Cultured Expressions and Harlem Needle Arts…

#AfricanFabricMonth - dashiki decorFor four Fridays during the month (September 9,16, 23 and 30), we challenge all African Fabric Lovers to post Instagram photos of your favorite African fabric projects between 10:00am and 12 Noon EST, and be sure to include #AfricanFabricMonth!  All pictures posted with the hashtag will be entered into random drawings for Fabrigasmic fabric prizes provided weekly by Harlem Needle Arts and Cultured Expressions!

Share images of how you use African Fabric in your home décor.  Show off throw pillows, quilts, wall hangings, upholstery, draperies, shower curtains, table settings, etc. in textiles like Ankara prints, Bogolan/Mudcloth, Batiks, Brocade, Adire (tie and dye), Aso-oke, Adinkra cloth, Kuba, and Kente.  Take pics of your existing decor, or create something new just for the Challenge.(Shown above is a daskihi-print-as-tablecloth, and for a little extra credit, a kuba cloth on the upper-right wall. Below, Glen’s  piano bench, which I quickly reupholstered in classic black/cream bogolan.)

Of course, you can hashtag your creations throughout September – then just re-post your favorites during the hours of the Challenge.   And be sure to follow @iamharlemneedlearts and #AfricanFabricMonth - PianoBenchREDO@culturedexpressions on Instagram for great AFM inspiration all month long,and beyond!

Thanks to the illustrious Michelle Bishop of Harlem Needle Arts for co-sponsoring!  You might remember our interview with her in the 2nd issue of Fabrigasm magazine (Winter 2012)

Note: The Challenge is open to US residents only.  Participants may enter any or all of the four drawings, however, each participant can only win once….Good Luck to all  ; )

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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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Headwraps!  CulturedExpressions.comYou know that moment when you’re reviewing pix on your phone from months ago, and realize you intended to share something, but never got around to it?  Well, here’s my favorite pic from Roc-A-Natural, a natural hair and healthy living expo that took place in April in NYC.  These ladies above were happy customers and couldn’t wait to try on their purchases – the lady in turq wrapped both herself and her friend. Flawless African Style, ladies, and thanks for modeling our gorgeous Ghanian batiks!! Each wrap was a simple 1-yard length.

For more on headwraps and natural hair in general, check out Cultured Expressions’ new hair page.

And if you missed RocANatural in April, you can still get great headwrapping tips and fabrics at our upcoming Customer Appreciation Day, in conjunction with Yara African Fabrics.  It happens on Saturday, August 6, 2016 from 12 to 5pm.  Details!

#africanfabric #headwraps #AfricanStyle #CulturedExpressions #RocANatural #naturalhair @CulturedExpressions


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Yaaass!!! That was my first thought when I learned about this mega event: “Creative Africa” at the Philly Museum of Art? I’m there! I don’t know exactly when I’m going, but I have to get to Philly to check out the array of African fabrics and more.  The 5-part exhibition event includes a nod to Vlisco, contemporary African art, photography, and “Threads of Tradition”, a textile exhibit…canustandit???

If anyone wants to meet up in Philly for a day, let me know and maybe we can do a group thing, find some food, maybe hit a day spa?? I’m thinking a Friday would be best.  Each of the 5 units has a different closing date but the earliest closing date they publish is September 25, 2016.

Creative Africa at the Philly Museum of Art #CreativeAfrica

Creative Africa at the Philly Museum of Art #CreativeAfrica

VliscoBagPrint Creative Africa at the Philly Museum of Art #CreativeAfrica     

#CreativeAfrica #CulturedExpressions

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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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IFAMBrochure Last Call for Santa FeLast Call for Santa Fe!! I just got this brochure in the mail, showcasing some of the artists attending the International Folk Art Market, the main event of Cultured Expression’s 2015 SewJourn… It makes a great reminder as our Last Call for  Santa Fe, happening July 9-13, 2015.

Hotel confirmations are due this week, so it’s not too late to join us there for the ultimate cultural exchange, the shopping, deluxe accommodations, international gourmet fare, our own personal tour guide and more.

Questions?  Contact me today  ; )    – lisa

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Santa Fe Folk Art Market 2015 - Janet Nkubana

Int’l Folk Art Market – Janet Nkubana
Photo by Bob Smith and courtesy of M3 Films, LLC

Join us July 9-13 on our SewJourn to Santa Fe, and meet international artists like Janet Nkubana from Rwanda.  She and her fellow artists there create gorgeous baskets,  bringing unity and peace in Rwanda through weaving.

It’s just a sampling of the wide array of beautiful and meaningful folk art treasures to be discovered at the Santa Fe Folk Art Market 2015.    I just got an email from the International Folk Art Market that includes her inspiring video message, and I had to share it with you.  (You’ll notice a donation request, and what better donation could there be than to meet the artists in person and immerse yourself in their unique creations as a part of the SewJourn?)

In addition to exploring the Santa Fe Folk Art Market 2015, we’ll take in Santa Fe in Cultured Expressions style, with a full-time tour guide, textile artist studio visits, optional activities, and great meals including a champagne brunch.  And meet artists like Janet!

Treat yourself and register for the SewJourn to Santa Fe today   — lisa

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