Check Out Lisa’s Expert Tips for Marcus Fabrics


Confused by Fusibles?

Pillow Perfection

Craft & Decorating Tips:

Displaying Your Favorite Textiles


Zimbabwean potato-stamped accessories. Photo:

Try these suggestions to make your projects more professional, and your creative time more enjoyable:

It’s easy to create a block of fabric from a single kente strip. Cut it into three to five pieces of equal length, then immediately zigzag or serge the raw edges to prevent raveling. Slightly overlap the edges and use a zigzag stitch to join the strips. This creates a square or rectangular block of fabric suitable for a pillow front, placemat, journal cover of other creative use.

When finishing your quilts, try sewing cowrie shells or African beads through all thicknesses of the quilt to anchor the layers, as an alternative to quilting the piece, or even in addition to quilting stitches.

There’s an easy way to remove those large stick-on mill labels you find on authentic African prints.   VIDEO

Having trouble threading yoru sewing machine needle?  Try this easy tip!   VIDEO

On many authentic African fabric prints, the name of the mill or country of origin is clearly printed along the edge of the fabric. Cut the names out and incorporate them into your quilting, craft and sewing projects for a “designer label” look. Some familiar mill names are Sotiba, Afriland, Homeland, and Afritex.

Stabilize the loose weaves of fabrics such as mudcloth and korhogo panels by fusing interfacing to the back. Test the interfacing first on a corner or scrap of the fabric to determine how soft or firm the finished piece will be.

Save broken strands of beads and shells, earrings, stray buttons and other pieces for your creative projects. Recycle them as decorative embellishments for picture frames, wall hangings, lamp shades and more.

Always back the fabrics you use for pillows with fusible fleece. It gives the pillows more body and helps the corners to keep their shape. Trim the fleece approximately 1/2″ smaller than the fabric to reduce bulk at the edges, but be sure that the fleece is caught into the seam to add stability.

When using a staple gun to upholster a stool, fabric screen, or other home dec piece, color the staples with paint or felt tip markers in appropriate colors to make the staples less visible.