Posts Tagged ‘sewing’

Black History Minute / Sewing Edition ūü§ó
Most of us know that American inventor Garrett Morgan invented the traffic light, and an early version of the gas mask…
But, did you know…
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?!
Later, he and his wife, a dressmaker, ran a sewing business.
So, the next time you sew a stretch stitch, buttonhole or decorative stitch, think of Mr. Morgan ‚̧ԳŹūüĖ§ūüíöūüßĶ

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

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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…¬†
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.


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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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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Don’t Miss These CYBER Specials:

  • FAT QUARTER FUN! Save 20% on all African Print FQ assortments, including 10-, 20- and 40-packs, kente 6-packs and black/white 8-packs. Shop Fat Quarters NowFQs
  • Purchase any GIFT CERTIFICATE of $50 or more and get 10% bonus value added to it! For example, order a $100 certificate and we’ll adjust it manually in the amount of $110. They are beautifully packaged with a Fabric Surprise. Please include the names of the Giver and Recipient, along with a preferred color, in the Comments when you order (or just email us these details after you place the order) And yes, Giver and Recipient can be the same person, so go ahead, treat yourself, too Shop Gift Certificates Now
Offers Valid Online, Now thru Monday, December 2 at 11:59pm!

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Thank you sew much to the members of the New Mexico Quilters Assn (NMQA) for hosting me to lecture and teach this past week!¬† On Monday I presented my “Global Textile Influences for Quilters” trunk show (ably assisted by Judi and Nancy) followed by Tuesday’s African Mosaic workshop:

Quiltin' in Albuquerque

Debbie and Sandi went for extra credit, creating African Mosaic borders for centerpiece handpainted mask and mola designs, respectively (below).  We all had a great time, and I look forward to seeing photos of the completed works ; )

To arrange a Cultured Expressions trunk show and/or workshop for your group, contact me.


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Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and here at CE we’ve celebrating creative moms everywhere with a fun new TOP TEN LIST of ways for you to show your love! Find the perfect gift for your favorite moms, nanas, grandmas, gi-gis, aunties, sisters and friends and others…oh, and if you’re a mom, just forward this list to your family ; )

  • Treat her to our Wine Lover’s Quilt Retreat, August 8-12, 2018 – We still have a few spaces available!
  • Shop the CE Studio (Live far away? You can arrange a Virtual Visit!) We have gifts for sewing & quilting fans AND non-sewers alike, including beaded bracelets, fabric wallets crafted in Ghana, wall hangings and more.
  • Come in and make Mom an Adinkra beaded necklace in just a few minutes.¬† Or choose a ready-made African bead bracelet if you’re really short on time…
  • Order a 10-pack of Fat Quarter African Prints – we can tailor the selection to her favorite colors.
  • Cover all of the Moms in your life by arranging one fabulous Fabrigasmic sewing or jewelry party for everyone, at the Studio.¬†Contact us for details!
  • Bring her in to select a yard of batik or African print fabric, and¬†we’ll¬†wrap her head on the spot, then take her to lunch or dinner in downtown Rahway!
  • Maybe she needs a new sewing machine!¬†Each machine purchase
  • comes with a CE gift certificate for $25 to $100 in studio merchandise.
  • Stitch up a few African Vintage Coin Purses… they’re 20% OFF, now thru Sunday, May 6!
  • Give her enough creative inspiration to last thru next Mother’s Day with a copy of Global Expressions¬†(decorating) or African Accents On the Go! (handbags & accessories with cultural style)
  • Still can’t decide?¬† That’s what Cultured Expressions¬†GIFT CARDS are for¬† ; )

Plus… if you book a Virtual Visit now thru May 15, you’ll pay just $2.95 shipping (US addresses only).

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We’ve morphed this year’s SewJourn Colorado into a treat for quilters who also enjoy wine, in our first Wine Lovers’ Quilt Retreat!¬† Imagine a 5-day, 4-night pajama party with like-minded friends, in a beautiful mountain retreat house. It’s complete with well-equipped workspaces, a gourmet kitchen and comfortable dormitory-style accommodations!¬† It’s just secluded enough to focus on your creativity, without being scary-secluded ; )

In addition to spending days and nights immersed in our favorite projects, with a focus on African fabrics, we’ll spend one day in Denver proper, enjoying a trunk show with renowned fiber artist Valerie C. White, attend the¬†WaShonaji quilt guild‘s annual exhibition opening, and enjoy a few other stops along the way.

New this year: We’ve added wine tastings to the itinerary, for an even more relaxed vibe.¬† We’ll be pairing wines not only with food, but also with various sewin projects, just for fun!¬† So register today , pack your sewing machine (ask Lisa how – it’s easy!) and a few projects, and immerse yourself in some well-deserved “me-time”.

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We’ve come up with a fun and easy way for our faraway friends to enjoy the new Studio in Rahway!¬† It’s called a Virtual Visit – think personal shopping meets African fabrics meets video chat.

Just download the DUO video call app on your phone.  Android users likely have it pre-installed, and it works on the iPhone, too.  Look for this icon: 

Then we arrange a convenient time to video call you, and we take you through the studio, where you can see and shop everything that’s available, form fabrics by the yard to fat quarters and precuts to embellishments to kits to handbag supplies, gift items and more.¬† We total your order, take your payment information, and generally ship your order within two days!¬† It’s almost like being at the Studio in person, but without the refreshments¬† ; )

Email us to arrange your Virtual Visit —

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If you’ve been feeling like it’s time for a new sewing machine, we’ve got three great options to fit your needs, your wants and your budget.¬† You can test drive sewing machines at the CE Studio in Rahway…¬† You’ll receive a $25, $50 or $100 gift certificate with any sewing machine purchase (for a limited time), so you can stock up on some juicy African fabrics to christen your new baby! Plus, after you purchase your machine, we’ll schedule a private 45-minute class to get you up and running on it right away!

First, let’s review the three types of sewing machine to help narrow down your choices…

Mechanical sewing machines will cover ‚Äúthe basics‚ÄĚ for just about any sewing situation.¬† Knobs and dials are used to change the settings.¬† Mechanical sewing machines¬†are the most affordable, with the higher end mechanicals offering more utility and decorative stitches.¬† A quality mechanical is a great choice for the beginner and a nice second machine for more experienced sewers to use at home and take to classes, retreats and on vacations‚Ķ¬† Because they’re not computer-controlled, they are not subject to any issues during sudden power outages.¬† We recommend:¬† Janome Magnolia 7318 — includes a $25 studio gift certificate, valid for 30 days after purchase!

Computerized sewing machines¬†are the most expensive type. These machines not only do a variety of utility and decorative stitches, but have the capability of creating embroidery designs.¬† Many have built-in embroidery stitches and alphabets, while some accept embroidery design cards, and still others can be connected directly to your computer.¬† Programmed stitches can also be stored in memory for future use. The computer circuitry involved with these machines allows for a more precise stitch pattern than the mechanicals.¬† You‚Äôll want to protect your investment by plugging it into a good quality power strip with surge protection (such as you would use with your home computer).¬†¬†We recommend:¬† Janome Skyline S5¬†— includes a $100 studio gift certificate, valid for 30 days after purchase!

Electronic sewing machines are basically a hybrid between mechanical and computerized models, creating a workable balance of bells-and-whistles with affordable pricing. Compared to the mechanicals, these machines generally give you a greater selection of utility and decorative stitches, several types of buttonholes, and conveniences like thread cutters and push-button controls.¬† Electronic machines will typically have an¬†LCD¬†screen that allows you to make adjustment to your stitches ‚Äď giving more precision in your sewing. Because of the LCD display, they’re sometimes mistaken for computerized machines, but they don‚Äôt have the same embroidery capabilities.¬†¬†We recommend:¬† Elna 560 Experience¬†— includes a $50 studio gift certificate, valid for 30 days after purchase!

In general, more expensive machines also come with additional feet and other parts included. Come in and test drive one during our regular studio hours:  Wed 4-8pm, Thurs and Fri 12-6pm, Sat 10-6pm.  Or call us to arrange an appointment.  Location:  1417 Main Street, Rahway, NJ #1417mainstreet

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Ready to plan your next creative escape?¬† Or, maybe your first one? Cultured Expressions is¬†here to help¬† ; ) with a quick sneak peek for our 2018 SewJourn adventures!¬† Brochures are coming soon, but you’ll want to¬†mark your calendars and plan to join us in Colorado and Santa Fe/Albuquerque!

We’re planning a fun new twist for our Colorado Mountain Retreat…this year, it’s morphed into The Wine Lovers’ Quilt Retreat.¬† Think of of as a 4-night sip-n-sew pajama party…’Nuff said!¬† Learn to pair wines not only with foods, but with your creative projects!¬† Enjoy time to work on your own projects, along with my mini workshop, a field trip into Denver. It all takes place in the mountains August 8-12, 2018 and the retreat house is located¬†about 1 hour outside of Denver.¬† Details are being firmed up now.

Save the Dates: SewJourns 2018!

Likewise, we’re switching up our SewJourn to Santa Fe just a bit —¬† Master indigo artist Gasali Adeyemo returns as our featured instructor — this time, he’s sharing his expertise in traditional batik!¬† If you’ve taken his adire workshops, this 2-day batik intensive will round out your experience in¬†Yoruba textile arts.¬† And we’ll soak up the knowledge of other area artisans as well, bringing home¬†unique self-crafted souvenirs…¬† October 3-9, 2018

Once details are confirmed, we’ll publish the brochures.¬† If you’re interested, pelase don’t delay – our SewJourns seem to fill up faster each year, and space is limited to ensure a personal experience for everyone.¬† ¬†African fabrics, culture, food and drink with like-minded friends…Do not miss out!!

(Batik photo: Gasali Adeyemo)

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