Fiberworks Is Back!

After a brief hiatus, Fiberworks is back! We are pleased to welcome our new Fiberworks Artist Coordinator, Rasha Hassan, to the program and staff. Rasha has lived in the United States for 14 years and brings many artistic skills to the position from Iraq. Rasha will lead this woman’s arts and educational group to help immigrants integrate into our society. Women share their interest and talents in Fiberworks and use their final pieces of art to sell to the general public to add financial support for their families. Final pieces will include many types of art, whether crochet, knits, quilts, or sewn masterpieces, there will be a lot of ways to express talent and, at the same time, have fun. Conversations during the meetings will also help members to practice their English-speaking skills.

Women members will be able to showcase and sell their finished art pieces at numerous fairs, festivals, and other venues. Women are invited to join the group on Fridays from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm and on Saturdays from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.

We need volunteers to help with childcare on Saturdays from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Volunteers should have experience working with kids and preference will be given to women for the comfort of Fiberworks participants.

Shop well this year.

Want to buy gifts this holiday season that are ethically produced, locally made, and handcrafted?  Looking for presents to please the special people your life and make an impact on the lives of others?  If so, check out Americana Fiberworks!  We have a variety of beautiful, practical, and reasonably priced fiber arts products that are handmade by local refugee and immigrant women.    Each purchase supports not only the Fiberworks program, which provides a space for the women to learn new skills, practice English, and build a new social support network, but it also supports an individual woman and her family as they integrate into the Louisville community.

You can purchase Fiberworks products in a variety of ways:

  • Visit our store in Americana Community Center at 4801 Southside Drive.
  • Find us on Etsy under “ACC Fiberworks.”
  • Browse our products at the Fourth Presbyterian Church Holiday Craft Fair at 3016 Preston Highway from 9am-3pm on December 6th.
  • Come see us at Kaviar Forge and Gallery at 1718 Frankfort Avenue.  Americana Fiberworks will be featured during the Black Friday Frankfort Avenue Trolley Hop on November 28th to celebrate the beginning of this exciting new partnership! (https://www.facebook.com/events/534427350035590/?fref=ts)

Here is just a sampling of the products that we have available:

Tote bags ($18-$25)

6 pocket bag black
This one has 6 pockets.

green dragonfly bag

hiam bag 1

elephant tote
Made with fabric from East Africa!

hiam bag 2

 

print tote

 

Purses ($25)

purse green

purse purple
Nothing is more convenient than purses that sling over your shoulder!

 

Dresses ($25)

anwar dress 1 edited w black

anwar dress 2 edited with black
Lightweight and comfortable.

 

 

Tie-dyed T-shirts ($12-$20)

tye dye tshirt green with spot

tye dye tshirt long sleeved
Shirts like these never go out of style.

tye-dye tshirt rainbow

 

Dyed fabric squares ($7-$15)

red blue green swirl fabric
You could use it as a blanket…
purple blue orange xs fabric
…or hang it decoratively on your wall…
red and blue circle fabric
…or wear it as a scarf…
yellow circle fabric
…or turn it into a superhero cape!

 

Crocheted hats ($5-$10)

crocheted hats
If this winter is anything like the last one, everyone will appreciate this gift!

 

Coil mat or wall hanging ($40-$50)

coil mat burned
So beautiful and intricate.

Tie-dyed totes ($8)

tye dye tote rainbow

tye dye tote pink and yellow
Tween girls love these!

 

Hand-dyed silk scarves ($15)

silk scarves
High-quality fabric.

 

Pillows ($5-$20)

pink pillow with fringe
This one has fun fringe.

 

red gold striped pillows
These would make a great set on a couch.
pig pillow
Yes, those are pigs on that pillow. AND it has pockets.
candy shaped pillow
Candy-shaped pillow!
pillow pile 2
A whole pile of pillows!

These are just some of the items we have for sale.  Be sure to visit us to see all of the handmade gifts we have available!  If you have any questions, please contact Justine Brunett at justine@americanacc.org.

snowflakes

Do you love working with kids?

Then we need you!  If you have visited the Americana Fiberworks room recently, you might have noticed several sewing machines busily whirring, many swaths of fabric covering the table, and numerous women eagerly showing off the beautiful bags, clothes, and other crafts they have made.  You would have noticed, in other words, that Fiberworks is growing!  The increasing vibrancy of Fiberworks is fantastic, but it also means that there are more young children romping around the art room as their mothers sew.  We are looking for volunteers to provide childcare during the Fiberworks sessions (Mondays and Fridays between 12:30 and 3:30pm, and Saturdays 10:00am to 1:00pm).  If you could come in for any amount of time on any of those days to watch the children, we would really appreciate it!  Contact volunteering@americanacc.org if you are interested in helping out.

Fiberworks at the Americana World Festival

The contents of the Fiberworks store—beautifully hand-made purses, scarves, fabric squares, belts, hats, pillows, blankets, and more—have been packed into crates and loaded into cars.  Why?  Because tomorrow is the twenty-fourth annual Americana World Festival, and Americana Fiberworks will have a booth there!  The Americana World Festival yearly showcases Louisville’s rich diversity through live music, entertainment, and food.  Additionally, there are fun activities for kids, a variety of community vendors sharing about the services they offer, AND Americana Fiberworks products for sale.  Please stop by the Iroquois Amphitheater between 11am and 9pm to check out the amazing craftsmanship of the Fiberworks artists and celebrate the incredible diversity present right here in Louisville.   Hope to see you there!

Fiberworks Photo of the Week!

Fiberworks Photo of the Week!

Suda shows off her new skirt that she just finished sewing. With warmer weather approaching, many of the women have been practicing making skirts and dress from lighter-weight material!

Denim Day Event

Peace Over Violence

Today is the day! In Kentucky, March is Sexual Violence Awareness Month and Denim Day, a day of awareness and advocacy for sexual violence, is celebrated today, March 27th. If you would like a little more background information on Denim Day, please check out our previous blog post by clicking here.

Americana Fiberworks made Denim patches by block printing and hand painting on donated blue jeans. Today, we went to the Louisville Metro Services Building located at 810 Barret Avenue to spread some awareness about Denim Day and give away the patches for donations to the Center for Women and Families. CFW is a great organization that helps victims of abuse and sexual violence become survivors, advocates, and educators for the community. For more information, check out their website by clicking here.

This was a great opportunity for the women to engage in their community and give back to Louisville. The amazing Kathryn Tillet from Louisville Metro Office for Women also gave our women a tour of building because it houses many offices for services that our women could benefit from. We were also able to spread the word about the Fiberworks Program and Americana Community Center. It was a great success and we were able to raise $50 for the Center for Women and Families.

Chris and Kathryn from Louisville Metro Office for Women wearing their Denim Day Patches

Chris and Kathryn from Louisville Metro Office for Women wearing their Denim Day Patches

 

Kristin, ACC's program director, and Odette sit at the Fiberworks tableKristin, ACC’s program director, and Odette sit at the Fiberworks table
 

Denim Day Patches

Denim Day Patches

 

Getting a tour of 810 Barret - Louisville Metro Services Building

Getting a tour of 810 Barret – Louisville Metro Services Building

 

Fiberworks members on a tour of the offices of 810 Barret

Fiberworks members on a tour of the offices of 810 Barret

“I Dreamed Since I Was a Young Girl…”

“I dreamed since I was a young girl to be able to sew and be an expert in fiberworks… now I think it is the right time to make my dream come true” – Amal B.

Here is Amal, seated center, working in the Fiberworks Room at ACC

Here is Amal, seated center, working in the Fiberworks Room at ACC

Today our conversation in Fiberworks centered around why each of us decided to be a part of Americana Fiberworks. Many of the women gave very practical answers like wanting to learn how to sew and knit so that they could make clothes, household items, and gifts for themselves and their families. Others said that they first came to Fiberworks to practice English or meet other women. A lot of the women mentioned that prior to starting Fiberworks, they spent most of their days at home. Since joining Fiberworks, Asma said that she has something to do each afternoon when she gets out of ESL class and has somewhere safe to spend time with her friends from class. It was great to hear that Fiberworks was fostering a supportive network of women and that it meant so much to them to have Fiberworks class during the week. As we continued talking, one answer really stuck out in my mind. Amal, who is from Algeria, joined Fiberworks in February of 2013.She said, ” I dreamed since I was a young girl to be able to sew and be an expert in fiberworks. I was very busy before, but now I think it is the right time to make my dream come true.” Amal is also a member of our Family Education Program with her lovely daughter Sara. Amal never misses class and her sewing skills have improved greatly since she started with Fiberworks. She has made bags, a baby quilt, curtains, and most recently a new shower curtain for her bathroom! I am so happy that Americana Fiberworks is available to her to help make her dreams of being a Fiber Artist come true.

Eman’s Birthday!

This week, like most weeks lately, has been busy for Fiberworks. We started off the week with another new participant. Saleha is our fourth new participant this month and we aren’t even halfway through March! It is great to see Fiberworks growing at such a great pace. Saleha is from Dijbouti and moved to Louisville five months ago. She is in ESL with a few of the other women who participate in the group and Asma encouraged her to join Fiberworks!

Pillow cases have been a huge project this week! It all started when Hanan made a new set of pillowcases for her daughters’ bed a few weeks ago. Since then, I think every participant has made at least one new pillowcase for their home. Amal even made zippered pillow covers for the throw pillows on her couch using some upholstery samples we received as a donation. Pillowcases are a great sewing project for beginners, so if you are thinking about learning to sew and want a simple, fool-proof project, that is what I would suggest.

Possibly the biggest highlight of the week was celebrating Eman’s 40th Birthday! We enjoyed some delicious sugar cookies from Nord’s Bakery and sang Happy Birthday to her. Did you know that the Happy Birthday song was written by two sisters right here in Louisville? Celebrating Eman’s Birthday was certainly a sweet way to end the week, check out the photos below of some of the delicious cookies from Nord’s!

Sweet Cupcake Cookie for Eman's Birthday

Smiley Cookie from Nord's Bakery