Brass Round Accents are BACK!!

Brass RoundAccents


Brass Round AccentsYep, these Cultured Expressions favorites are now back in stock! We searched for, and finally found, a new Brass artist in Ghana to handcraft these distinctive coin-style brass accents just for us!  Even better, you can now choose the specific style you want.

I love these as stand-alone pendants, and zipper pulls and handbag accents.  Or, string together with a few Beads on either side for a fast and fabulous necklace for yourself or a special gift.

Also coming back soon:  Brass Adinkra BUTTONS!


TOMORROW: “Rhythmic Art of Thread” Opening in NYC

I have a piece in this exhibit, the first Cultured Expressions event of 2017…Hope  to see you TOMORROW evening!  Details below.– lisa

This beautiful piece is by Ife Felix.  I love the beige cowrie print in particular:

Quilt by ife Felix

The Rhythmic Art of Thread

Michael A. Cummings, Shimoda Emanuel, Ife Felix, Laura R. Gadson, Jacqueline Johnson, Jackquelynn Jones, Dinga McCannon, Lisa Shepard Stewart and 2016 Teen Curators of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Curated by Harlem Needle Arts, with support fron NYC Park’s Ebony Society

Opening Reception
Wed., Jan.11, 2017 
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
For more information, call (212) 360-8163
or visit

Jan. 12 – Feb. 24, 2017
The Arsenal Gallery
The Arsenal, Central Park
830 Fifth Ave, @ 64th St, Third Floor
MondayFriday, 9:am – 5 pm
Closed holidays // Free admission

This is Why I Love My CE People

FABRIGASM ALERT!!!  So one of my CE  People (Cultured Expressions People), we’ll call her “Brenda from Brooklyn” ; ) emailed to let me know that I mistakenly send her only one bundle of our newest specialty FQ bundle, “Records”, instead of the two bundles that she ordered.  (I could blame the error on my Welcome-to-the-New-Year head cold, but that’s another blog post…)

Anyway, Brenda included this photo indicating the single bundle she received, and I was just so impressed by its simple artistry I had to share it:

This is why i love my CE People

It looks like Brenda is ready to get down to business with her African fabric, and she should have her second bundle tomorrow.  She did promise to share with me a photo of her project when it’s done! If you’ve been equally inspired, order your FQ bundle of “records” soon, quantities are limited!

Thanks for the photo, Brenda, and happy stitching.

Happy SEW Year: Projects & Savings to Jumpstart 2017!

vintagecoinpurseswipSo…looking back on 2016, how did you do creatively?  Were you able to carve out time to sew, quilt, weave, knit, dye or otherwise immerse yourself in your Process?  I seem to remember getting in a pretty good amount of stitching time this year in general.  I didn’t make as many clothes as I wanted to, but I did get in a few interesting sewing hacks and repurposing projects.  I really need to work on some projects using Cultured Expressions’ ABC African Brilliance Collection strip bundles, but happily, many of you know what to do with them on your own.

I ended the year (well, yesterday being December 30) stitching up a few African Vintage Coin Purses for a few friends during our annual January 1 brunch.

It’s worth noting that these little beauties were all cut from a single African fabric (batik) quilt that suffered some damage.  I cut away the unaffected areas to create these.  (If you have your copy of Fabrigasm #5 nearby, you’ll find pix of the original quilt and the entire story inside.)

And now thru January 7 you can choose your discount — due to the great response from our last promo, we’ve extended our Holiday Savings for an extra week.  Enjoy!!  —   lisa

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

Fabgas5COVER   StripBundleSpread

PS – Fabrigasm #5 is selling out in print, soon to be available in digital only!

blackwhite10   homepg-handbags

Season’s Greetings…and Savings thru January 7!

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  ; )

Cyber Monday is Here!

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



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

The CE Handbag Challenge…Everybody Wins ; )

handbag challenge prize sewing contest Fabrigasm African fabric

We’ve picked our two winners for the Cultured Expressions 2016 Handbag Challenge, so without further delay, we congratulate Alexis Delbridge and Pamela Spears-Bradford!!  All of the entries were so noteworthy that we put together a special Handbag Challenge edition of Fabrigasm, and it’s a FREE download!  You’ll find the two top honors on Page 3.  Check it out, and let us know what you think.  This is the prize pack we’ll be sending to Alexis and Pamela >>>

And everyone else who entered receives a $10 CE gift certificate!  Thank you all and keep up the excellent work  ; )  —————– lisa s

Stay Tuned… We’re Announcing the Challenge Winner TODAY!

Hey everyone! Later today we will unveil the TWO winners of our Handbag Challenge

Thanks to all who entered, you’ve really impressed me and my judges.. as a result, the process took a bit longer than I intended.  But trust, this inspiring bunch of bags is worth the wait, so stay tuned  ; )     — lisa

SewJourn Prize GiveawaySewJourn Prize Giveaway

African Fabric Handbag Challenge Closes TODAY!!

African Fabric Handbag Challenge Closes TODAY!!

Yep, TODAY is the final day for entries into our super-easy African Fabric  Handbag Challenge!  You could win a CE Bag Maker’s Gift Pack with my On The Go! book, handbag pattern, notions and other fun stuff.

You can still enter until midnight tonight!! Just email a photo of your African fabric bag, along with your name and a 1-2 sentence description.  Show off your best tote, purse, duffel, handbag, coin purse, etc, in mudcloth, Ankara, batik, kuba, korhogo, kente or other favorite fabrics.  Let us know if it’s an original design or from a pattern – either is fine…And feel free to enter more than once, sending a separate email for each entry.

Email your entries to

That’s it!  We’ll post all entries on the blog this weekend, and TWO lucky winners will be announced.  Good Luck, everybody!!   —  lisa


UFO Repurpose: Tote Bag to Sewing Machine Cover

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…

  • RSS
  • Email
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter