A Glimpse at Our SewJourn: Quiltin’ in Colorado!

Quiltlin' in Colorado SewJourn2017 CulturedExpressions.com

Check out these pics from our SewJourn — we were all-in and fully immersed! Catch a glimpse of  quiltin’ in Colorado!

Quiltlin' in Colorado SewJourn2017 CulturedExpressions.comquiltin' in Colorado SewJourn 2017 CulturedExpressions.com

In addition to having our own time to create in our comfy mountain retreat house, we had the pleasure of visiting with the illustrious Valerie White for a trunk show of her beautiful work.  It was a special treat to tour her artfully appointed yet very comfortable home and studio space.  She even prepared a lovely lunch for us!

Next, we stopped in at the Rocky Mountain Wa Shonaji Quilt Guild’s opening reception for their annual quilt exhibition.  These ladies do a top-notch presentation, with gorgeous quilts, an ATC mini-exhibition, fun games, giveaways handcrafted by the guild members and yes, a nice buffet ; )

 The exhibition, “I Did It My Way”,  is on view now thru September 28 at the Blair Caldwell Library in Denver. I had lots of faves in the show, but here are a few:

Between Valerie and the Wa Shonaji guild, we left inspired to go back up the mountain and continue to create, laying the groundwork for an extra-productive African Fabric Month in September — get ready!!

#AfricanFabricMonth    #SewAfrican

And the WINNER of the ABC Bundle Is…

So of course, as I was basking in the glow of our easy-breezy summer SewJourn Colorado Mountain Retreat, I forgot to publish the winner of this mini ABC Bundle giveaway! Thanks for all of your great comments, they were fun to read.  And now, without further delay, the winner of the ABC Mini Bundle is…

Vanessa Peters of Houston, TX!

Congratulations to Vanessa…If you weren’t as lucky as Vanessa this time around, you can visit the CE Shop online for your own ABC fabric bundle.

BTW, the blocks from my garage session are coming along.  I was able to add the first black sashings to each block.  I ended up using real adinkra cloth rather than the silk douppioni…

Enter the Garage Sip & Sew Giveaway!

After seeing and hearing about everyone else’s exciting projects during three CE events this summer  — namely the African American Quilt Conference in Lawrence, KS, then Quilt Odyssey in Hershey, PA, and our joint Customer Appreciation Day event with Yara African Fabrics in the Bronx, NY — I decided to stop everything and get back to my own machine.

I set myself up in the garage last Sunday, one of those perfect-weather days, and stitched up some not-so-random blocks using CE’s ABC Strip Bundles… sipped water and wine between blocks, it was fabulous!  The open garage gave me the perfect combination of indoors and outdoors. I need to do that more often… like maybe this Sunday!  Then I’ll be packing up the Janome Jem Gold for our SewJourn Colorado Mountain Retreat, starting this Wednesday  ; )

This is what I have so far – imagine 12 more blocks, with black silk douppioni sashing…hopefully I can move it forward during our retreat.

Enter the Garage Sip & Sew Giveaway!

So what are you sipping and sewing this summer, and where are you doing it? Comment below for the chance to win a mini-strip bundle! All comments posted by Wednesday at 12 noon will be eligible to win…Good Luck!


Check Out Quilt Odyssey this Weekend in Hershey!

So, we’re enjoying fond memories of last week’s exciting inaugural African American Quilt Conference in Lawrence, KS.  Thank you to everyone who attended this historic event!  We’re now in Hershey PA for the annual Quilt Odyssey show, taking place July 20-23, 2017.  And I’m happy to say that the ladies in Lawrence nearly cleaned me out, however, I still have some fun stuff in store for the Hershey crew…

Along with the usual Cultured Expressions batiks, ABC Strip bundles, fat quarters, African Mosaic quilt supplies and embellishments, my books and Fabrigasm magazine, this year at Hershey we’re featuring bogolan and kuba, along with masks and upholstery remnants so you can create your own version of these looks.  You’ll find it all (and me) in Booth #307  ; )


Back-to-Back July Events!

So I’m spending the weekend in high merchandise prep mode, with the quilt conference in Lawrence, KS coming up next week, and Quilt Odyssey in Hershey, PA the following weekend! I hope I have enough batik… I’m also prepping precuts, FQ bundles, African Mosaic Quilt Kits (above), brass embellishments, patterns, Fabrigasm Issue #6, and more.

Then, on July 29, we’re co-hosting our 4th annual Customer Appreciation Day with Yara in Bronx, NY.

Just for fun, if you see me in person at ALL THREE July events, you’ll earn a $20 gift certificate! Check out www.culturedexpressions.com/events  for more details and links.

Back to work…  #nocookingtoday #letsorderout  😁


This Handbag Remains a Workshop Favorite!

Check out these pics from our most recent Color Block Bag workshop! It’s one of my favorite classes to teach because just about everyone finishes and carries her handbag home with her, sometimes in use!  Seeing each bag take shape – literally – never gets old for me.  I also love how everyone in class comes up with ideas for their “next” bag, because you really can’t make just one – variations in pockets, closures, size and shape, color combinations, handles and an endless list of other options lets you make this bag your own, over and over again!  And to help them along with these fun options, a copy of my third book, African Accents ON THE GO! is included with the workshop as a take-home textbook.  Just a few reasons why this handbag remains a workshop favorite!

This Handbag Remains a Workshop Favorite!

This Handbag Remains a Workshop Favorite!

This is one of mine.  It started out as a bag, but never quite got finished so I inverted it  and it morphed into a perfectly sized cover for my Janome travel sewing machine.

Ready to make your own?  We have the printed Color Block Bag pattern or downloadable PDF pattern, and the Jacquard Batik squares available online.  Or better yet, arrange a workshop for your guild, or just an informal group of friends.

Contact Lisa for details… then carry a bit of Africa wherever you go  ; )

This Pantone Palette Right Here…

You might already know that antiqued bricky reds always stop me in my tracks, so I had to share today’s email from Pantone with you… Of course, they always present their featured palettes as if they are brand new discoveries, but we know better ; )  I’m looking at my desk and the bulletin board in front of me and I count about 15 things in this color –I’d snap a pic for you, but then I’d have to clean up first and #notimeforthattoday.

But I do enjoy their color names, like “Iced Coffee”. And that wicker elephant is everything, no??

Click below to read more on Far-Fetched. I guess one person’s “trend” is another person’s “Thursday morning”, lol Enjoy…


Pre-Order Fabrigasm Issue #6

CulturedExpressions.com Fabrigasm Magazine Issue 6 Spring 2017

CulturedExpressions.com Pre-Order Fabrigasm Issue #6 Happiness is…a new issue of Fabrigasm magazine.  Well, for me, anyway, and I hope you’ll feel that way, too, when you see it.  Issue #6 (Spring 2017) has to be my favorite yet!  it’s at the printer now and on its way to CE headquarters.  So we plan to start shipping on April 24, after returning from our Baltimore event on April 22. orders will be fillled in the order they’re received, so be the first one in your creative circle to check it out!

As always, online orders for the magazine always include a little fabrigasmic “treat” so you’ll have something to pet as you read the issue.  We’ve increased the print run this time, but remember, once they’re sold out, only the digital edition will be available.

Pre-Order FABRIGASM #6 today!

Did you miss the first five issues?  You can get caught up now with DIGITAL issues

My “National Grilled Cheese Day” Recipe

So apparently it’s #NationalGrilledCheeseDay and while I usually don’t go in for such internet drivel, this one is closer to my heart than most  ; ).  And so I share with you my favorite Grilled Cheese ingredients;

  • butter
  • pumpernickel bread – or multigrain
  • three or more cheeses – any combo of these, with the Gorgo being mandatory: extra sharp cheddar, gorgonzola (or regular bleu, in a pinch) , muenster, mozzarella, herbed feta, jalapeno pepper jack
  • the lightest dusting  of garlic powder

Add the light dusting of garlic powder to the bread. Layer up the cheeses.  Grill in a pre-heated, pre-buttered  cast iron skillet until cheeses ooze forth from between the bread and bubble on the surface of the skillet. Enjoy with a glass of well-chillled Gewurztraminer or Riesling, and mixed greens, with a slightly sweet dressing to balance the savory cheeses.   Of course, to Africanize the experience, serve with a Jacquard batik napkin.  You’re welcome…



Here’s to Sewing Retreat Weekends!

culturedexpressions.com Vogue 1313

I’m still basking in the glow of a sewing retreat I enjoyed this weekend, with the members of NJ ASDP culturedexpressions.com Vogue 1313 - Here's to Sewing Retreat Weekends!(Assn of Sewing & Design Professionals) in PA.  And as much as I love speaking, vending and teaching Cultured Expressions stuff, it’s always a luxury to be a “pay-my-way-and-just-show-up” kinda participant when I can! Three meals a day were prepared for us in between time in the big room, sewing and laughing, snacking, sipping, and ripping out in some cases… I got to work on this Vogue 1313, a DKNY dress.

(VENT: Why do they continue to photograph these designer styles in BLACK when you can’t see the details??  Dammit! Even with line drawings, you want to see the details in real life.  Can you at least show them in taupe or grey occasionally??)  Anyway, I cut mine about 7″ longer for the option of trimming the length later, and made a couple of standard pattern adjustments.

OK so I try it on – the hips were snugger than I wanted, but more importantly, the cotton blend rib knit I chose ended up much dressier than I need it to be, not as sporty/casual as the photo.  I was in NO MOOD for alterations, I just wanted to continue sewing and laughing and snacking and sipping.  Like stress-free! So…

culturedexpressions.com Vogue 1313 Here's to Sewing Retreat Weekends!I re-imagined the garment into a high-split tunic, to be worn with leggings or wide-leg pants with some drape.  I cut the side panels up the middle to the waist, turning the edges in as a self-facing.  I just need to finish the top of the split, then hem it. Not only was this “easier” than alterations, but realizing how much dressier my fabric looked, this gives me a more casual garment, that I could dress up OR down, and get much more use out of it than a regular dress. (OK, I realize the irony that my tunic is ALSO black and you STILL can’t see the damn details, but I’m not the one selling the pattern, LOL…) I was able to keep the pockets in place, which I love.  Add a Kuba handbag and I’m set to go!

So, here’s to sewing retreat weekends.  I highly recommend them.  Yeah, I’m a little sleep-deprived, but satisfied with my project — a fair enough trade off… I’m in a zone… maybe because I just sent Issue #6 of Fabrigasm magazine to the printer, and in  it, we take a look at “Sewcrastination” – what holds us back from indulging in a favorite pasttime, and how can we beat it?  The issue will be available in about 2 weeks!

CulturedExpressions.com Fabrigasm Magazine Issue 6 Spring 2017

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