Friday, December 7, 2012

Looking for some great gifts this holiday season? Stop by Southside Ministry Center for the Gifts That Give Twice: International Market this Saturday from 10-3PM. 
Americana Fiberworks will be there selling handmade items that make great gifts!
Visit for more information and directions to the center

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Field Trip!

This month, we took a field trip to JoAnn Fabrics. This was so much fun! We learned how to pick out a pattern, where the patterns are located, how to find the right size, how to figure out how much yardage you need, how to estimate how much your project will cost, and where to find the bargain bins.


Mah Mae, from Burma, wore her new skirt she made in class. We all came home full of inspiration!

This summer we were excited to offer a two-week Teen Fiberworks class to girls participating in our Summer Program.  Fifteen girls signed up to take the class and they all did such an amazing job!  As the Teen Fiberworks teacher, Rachel was excited to share with the girls her love of fiber arts.  They started by making reusable market bags out of old tie-dyed t-shirts.  It turned into a bit of a crash course in machine sewing, but Rachel was proud that every girl made her very own bag.

After the chaos of the first project, they decided to focus on hand embroidery.  Each of the girls made their own embroidery based off of a design Rachel saw on Miniature Rhino.  All the girls looked at pictures of different embroideries and drew their own designs on their piece of fabric.  They learned the running stitch, the daisy stitch, and how to make French knots.  The girls all did a great job, and one of their embroideries decorates the wall next to Rachel's desk.  It’s festive bright colors and writing, ‘BFF’, reminds her of the wonderful two weeks she spent working with our teen girls!

This was our volunteer Colleen's last day. She was such a big help this summer! We miss you already and have a great school year, Ms. Craft!

We desperately need help with childcare! If you would like to volunteer to provide childcare so that our students can come to class, then please call 502.366.7813 or email and let us know!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Learning to Read Patterns

This month we have been making clothes! Thanks to volunteers Colleen Craft, Malea Hoepf Young, and Mallory Glaser, we have been learning about basic pattern shapes and clothing construction. Everybody loves a new skirt! Especially when someone asks, "Where did you get that?" And you get to reply, "I designed and made this, myself!"

Malea was really helpful in pattern selection and guest artist, Kim White, taught us more about pattern transferring and drafting.

We've also been learning how to design our own graphics and utilize them in our fashion designs. By using simple household items such as freezer paper, some paint, and an iron, we've been making our own stencils, and applying those images onto fabric. This gives us even more design possibilities!

Be sure to look for the Americana booth at Forecastle Festival, this weekend!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fun At The Water Tower

We had a thoroughly successful and fun day at The Buy Local 1st Fair! Last Sunday, Louisville's finest small local businesses came together in the spirit of friendship and solidarity. We met lots of great people, and made lots of new friends. We even made a little bit of money! So thanks to everyone who stopped by, and I hope I see you in class.

Don't forget, Americana World Festival is Saturday, June 2nd. Festival-goers will enjoy a full day of performances, food, and fun. Entertainment this year will include the local band Mercy Academy; hip-hop group CPHR DVN; the Coco Yam Band; Native American musician Michael Jacobs; a Bollywood dance troupe; belly dancers; a traditional Burundian drumming ensemble and more. A “Kids Zone” will feature games and activities for children, such as face-painting and bounce houses, until 8 p.m. A variety of food and beverages will be sold by on-site vendors. International crafts and other goods will be available for purchase from local artists and vendors. Several community organizations and nonprofits will be on hand as a service to the public. There will also be a raffle for prizes from several local businesses. The raffle grand prize will be $500 cash. Raffle tickets cost $1 each and can be purchased in advance at participating ValuMarket locations and at the festival on the day of the event at the Americana booth.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Free Pattern

Check out our new market bags crocheted out of grocery bags! We take common leftover plastic shopping bags and recycle them into "yarn". Then we use the plastic "yarn" and crochet it into market bags!

To celebrate the beginning of Farmer's Market season, we are offering this bag as a FREE PATTERN!

Included in this pattern is a photo tutorial showing how to make your own "yarn" out of plastic shopping bags.

What a great way to help save the planet! Thanks to student Maria Castro from Mexico for showing us how.

And special congratulations to her for receiving her United States citizenship!

Great Job, Maria!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Do you love working with children? Do you want to join a supportive network of women who are working to improve their English skills and artistic abilities?

Then become a volunteer at Americana Community Center and help watch children while their mothers improve their English while working on fiber arts projects that supplement their income!

Americana Community Center’s Fiberworks program is designed to support the positive integration of refugee and immigrant women into the Louisville community by learning and sharing artistic skills, expanding literacy skills, exploring US culture, and developing social networks. Women in the program meet three times a week to learn and practice English while working on a fiber project. Americana Fiberworks classes teach English in the context of fiber arts—mostly sewing and crocheting. Participants gain practical skills, learn English, and sell the products they make.

To fully utilize the program, the women must be able to focus their attention on what they are learning, creating the need for childcare providers during the meetings. Fiberworks meets every Tuesday, Thursdays, and Saturday from 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. If you are interested in becoming a childcare provider for our Fiberworks Program please email Rachel Slaughter at or call (502) 366-7813

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Here We Go!

Thanks to 21C and their continued support! Fiberworks is proud to partner with  21C Museum Hotel , who showcases our tissue-box covers in all their guest rooms and also sells them in their gift shops. We wish them good luck in their two new locations! Proceeds from these sales provides Fiberworks artists with additional income and increased self-confidence. So, thank you SO much!

We've been busy this month making dolls and learning how to read sewing patterns! All of these dolls were made using the same pattern. Students were allowed to pick out their own fabric, hair, facial expressions, and dress. It's been so interesting to see how different they've turned out!

Join us at The Water Tower on Sunday, May 20, 2012 for the 4th annual Buy Local 1st Fair. Anyone who has lived in Louisville knows how much variety its inhabitants bring to the table.  The Buy Local 1st Fair is an event organized to bring together all of those unique offerings whether it be art, agriculture, music, businesses, or just the consumers themselves.  Admission is free!

The date for big mural unveiling at The Americana Community Center has changed. It's been pushed back a couple of weeks due to our renovations. Now come join us on Friday, May 11, from 7pm - 9pm. There's going to be a huge party and art show! The kids are even putting on a talent show! We're going to be there showing off our crafts, hope we see you! Call 502.366.7813 for more information.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Weaving Stories

This week, Damber and Rachel made a back strap loom out of some sticks, some string, and some spit. And it worked, beautifully!

Damber is a Bhutanese refugee and an experienced weaver and seamstress. We are so lucky to have her in Fiberworks. Thanks to Sally Moss and The Little Loom House, we recently acquired an antique Stucto Aircraft table loom. We can't wait to see what Damber weaves next!

One of our interns, Katy, teaching 9 year old Jeanette how to knit using a knitting loom.

An online store is coming! Someone, I won't say who, just couldn't wait, and had to have these.
Other tie dye throw pillows are for sale, $15 each. Send us an email if interested.

Friday, April 27, from 7pm - 9pm is the big mural unveiling at The Americana Community Center. There's going to be a huge party and art show. The kids are even putting on a talent show! We're going to be there showing off our crafts, hope we see you! Call 502.366.7813 for more information.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fiberworks foto fun!

One of our VISTA volunteers, Rachel, helps take pictures for the blog.

Volunteers are needed for a wide range of activities. From teaching a student how to thread a sewing machine, to manning a booth at World Fest this June, we would love your help! Contact Suzanne at or call 502.366.7813.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Crochet classes are being held on Tuesday nights from 5:30pm - 8:30pm at The Americana Community Center. Make friends and learn how to crochet household items and accessories out of household items and accessories! You would never guess, but the purses above are made out of crocheted plastic grocery bags.

Learn with us and watch us grow! Our participants are not only learning about crafting, but the possibilities of the internet, as well. This week we've added video to the blog. We'll be posting informational videos about Fiberworks and the fiber crafts we create. This also serves as a valuable learning tool for our ESL students. Thanks to The Kentucky Foundation for Women for helping us with this project.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Dancillla's Embroidery

Dancilla creates beautiful freehand embroidery in her free time. These gorgeous squares are to be included in our spring group project - a quilt art wall hanging. This piece will we done in time to be raffled off at World Fest in June, so stay tuned for future updates.

Dancilla is from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

New Year : New Blog

New Year : New Blog

This is the first Fiberworks post for 2012!  Welcome to our new blog!  Here you can keep up with our program and where you can find our products.

Americana Fiberworks is a women’s arts and educational group designed to support the positive integration of refugee and immigrant women into the Louisville community using a common interest in the fiber arts. Participants help one another develop confidence, skills, and resources necessary to identify and pursue goals for themselves and their families as they adapt to their new home in Louisville.

Fiberworks’ program members focus on:

Increasing literacy skills
Developing talents in fiber arts
Fostering a supportive social network
Promoting the microenterprise goals of the group

The women in our Fiberworks program sell their art at community events to supplement their families’ incomes.  Fiberworks goods can be found at many local arts festivals. Fiberworks is also proud to partner with 21C Museum Hotel, who showcase tissue-box covers made by the women in the Fiberworks program in all their guest rooms and also sells the covers in their gift shop. Procedes from these sales provide the Fiberworks artists with additional income and increased self-confidence.

Volunteers are a valuable part of the Fiberworks program! 

act as an English language practice partner
assist with arts projects
care for children during the sessions

Have a fiber arts skill you’d like to share? Or would you like to donate supplies for the women to use? To get involved please contact Programs Director Suzanne Steiger at 502-366-7813 or e-mail her at

Or visit the center! Sit in on a session, meet the artists, and browse through our new products.

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