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 Fabrigasm Magazine Issue 6 Spring 2017 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! Vogue 1313

I’m still basking in the glow of a sewing retreat I enjoyed this weekend, with the members of NJ ASDP 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… 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! Fabrigasm Magazine Issue 6 Spring 2017

Akufo-Addo’s New Found Love; African Prints

This article is giving me LIFE… I had to stop what I was doing (working on Fabrigasm issue #6) to share this article with you…

I’m hoping that Ghana’s new president, Nana Akufo-Addo, will help to bring quality African-led fabric production back to the region. You might remember his January 7, 2017 inauguration outfit. Since then, his love for African prints is becoming a Thing.


Cultured Expressions - Nana Akoufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo, who is known for his sharp suits, seems to have developed a new love for African prints and is making waves with his new shirts. Read more

cultured Expressions - Nana Akufo Addo

Cultured Expressions - Nana Akufo-Addo

Cultured Expressions - Nana Akufo-Addo



New Brass Embellishments for Our April Events! Brass embellishmentsNew Brass Embellishments for Our April Events! TODAY our shipment finally arrived, just in time for the Empire Quilt Guild Show tomorrow and Sunday!  We’ve revamped the brass offerings, starting with the round pendants.  We also named the styles so now you can choose the specific designs for yourselves!

Then came the button assortment – a 10-pack of shank buttons, with one each of 10 different symbols, including THREE NEW symbols by popular demand…”Duafe”, “Gyawu Atiko” and “Onyankopon Adom Nti Biribiara Beye Yie”.  And we now have the 1.5″ pendant in the same 10 symbols Check out the website for all of the culturally significant meanings.  (These were formerly offered in 1″ and 2″ sizes – the new 1.5″ size is a more versatile dimension and allowed us to add the new styles.  Enjoy! Brass Brass embellishments

And if you’ll be in Baltimor, MD on April 22, you can choose yours in person when we visit the African American Quilters of Baltimore, and the Southern Comforters Quilt Guild together in a joint trunk show event!  Or at the Roc-A-Natural Hair Expo on May 13 in NYC, or at our Customer Appreciation Day with Yara African Fabrics on July 29 in the Bronx…




Fat Quarter FLASH SALE!

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!

CE and Yara African Fabrics – It’s That Time Again!

Yara Customer Appreciation Day

Mark your calendars for our 4th Annual Customer Appreciation Day, a day when Cultured Expressions and Yara African Fabrics join forces to celebrate and enjoy African fabrics with great deals, freebies, creative inspiration, door prizes, delicious food, and the company of some of our favorite customers!  Did I mention that it’s all FREE??

If you’ve been before, you won’t want to miss it, and if you’ve never been, then you REALLY shouldn’t miss it.  Either way, join us!  Doors open at 12 Noon.

 Saturday, JULY 29, 2017!

Yara Customer Appreciation Day

In other words, now would be a great time to begin whittling down your fabric stash from last year, so you can enjoy this year’s bargains guilt-free  ; ) And new this year, we want to check out  YOUR  skills in our first-ever Headwrapping Contest – more on that later!  Oh yeah, it’s happening, so Save the Date JULY 29, 2017 bring a friend or three, and come enjoy an afternoon with us!

Coming Up May 13: We’ll Be Wrappin’ at Roc-A-Natural!!

Today I’m thrilled to share the news that I’ll be a part of the mainstage lineup for the 4th Annual Roc-A-Natural, on Saturday, May 13 in NYC!  I’m demonstrating my favorite headwrap and bodywrap ideas, on a variety of live models (I still might have a few openings if you’d like to model, contact me!).  Headwraps aren’t just a fashion choice, they’re a lifestyle choice, and I’ll sow you how you can incorporate your favorite African fabrics into your everyday life. Of course, I’ll be vending too, so come hang out with us for some no-sew fashion inspiration!

For updates, follow @culturedexpressions and @rocanatural.  See you there  ; )

Coming Up May 13: We'll Be Wrappin' at Roc-A-Natural!!

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