Quilts From the Pen of Bisa Butler

Wangari Maathai quilt by Bisa Butler


A native of Orange, NJ, Bisa Butler is an American fiber artist known for her quilted portraits and designs celebrating the lives and culture of African Americans.  As a child, she spent her free time first watching her mother and grandmother sew, then being taught by them. She majored in Fine Art at Howard University, where she studied the work of Romare Bearden and attended lectures by prominent black artists such as Lois Mailou Jones. While pursuing a master’s degree, she took a Fiber Art class that inspired her choice of quilting as an artistic medium. After that class, she made her first quilt, a portrait created in homage to her grandmother upon her deathbed.  From that point on she turned to quilting full time, and the rest is HERstory.

Celebrate Contributions and Achievements of African-Americans with J&O Fabrics

With Black History Month officially kicking off this week, we thought it would be the perfect time to celebrate the multitude of contributions and achievements African-Americans have made toward the advancement of not only our country, but the human race as a whole in the fields of science, math, athletics, literature, medicine, technology, agriculture, art, music and more. From our farmer’s bible…aka…the Almanac created by Benjamin Banneker (appx 1791) , and clothes dryer by G.T. Sampson (1862),  to the ever popular cell phone invented by Henry Sampson (1971) and house keeping friend …the dust pan, by Lawrence P Ray (1897), the list of ‘firsts’ invented by African Americans goes on and on. Each year since it’s inception,  Black History month has been drawing more recognition to the achievements of the past, encouraging more creative ideas and first’s to come in the future, and offering exposure to the faces and stories our books have often left out in its attempt at rewriting American HIS-story.

Fabric for the Cowboys and Cowgirls

Cowboy Silhouette by horsephoto stock.xchngI suppose every child goes through a phase where they dream of being a cowboy or cowgirl. I know I sure did! Growing up my dad and I often watched re-runs of Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. No matter what the bad guy with the black hat did, the cowboy with the white hat came out on top, singing as he rode into the sunset. I miss those classic shows and wish we had that good old fashion entertainment once again!

Let’s Go Camping! Fabric Featuring the Great Outdoors

Camp Little Dewey Cruiznbye Flickrimage by cruiznbye

As the days start to lengthen I enjoy spending more and more of my evenings in the great outdoors. There is nothing like spending the evening hours in the fresh air to give you a good night’s rest. This year my family and I are planning a camping trip. We love to go kayaking, fishing and hiking. So, this summer we are especially excited about our trip and all the memories to be had. There is nothing like a meal cooked from scratch over a campfire or telling stories while the embers slowly fade into the night.

J&O Customer Poll: Top 10 Loved Fabrics

As a fabric lover who also works at a fabric store, I am privy to not only the latest and hottest top shelf fabrics as soon as they come off the truck, but a plethora of textiles that I may not normally have come in contact with along my journey. From popular new novelty cotton prints for 2011, to elegant mid-century Maharam decorator designs, if you were to ask me to list my favorite, it might just take a few days. But such a question shouldn’t go to waste , and so the crew at J&O Fabric Store decided to let our curiosity be fed as we posed this poll to our fabulous facebook fans. Afterall, knowing what our craft customers like most, gives us an idea of which fabrics we should purchase more of to keep our customers satisfied.With so many fabric-holics as fans of our J&O facebook page, it didn’t take any time at all for the feedback to start pouring in. From faux furs and brocades to Michael Miller and Amy Butler, the selection was as diverse as the people who voiced them.

J&O Fabrics TOP 10 Vintage Items That Catch A Curators Eye.

  • jandofabrics, retro, vintageI remember as a child, I was always drawn to the French inspired sleek cuts and boyish yet feminine energy behind the clothing of the Flappers from the roaring 20’s. From the raised hemlines and dropped waistlines of the dresses, to the Robe de Style signature designs by Jeanne Lanvin and chest flattening Side Lacers, if their was an era of clothing that appealed to me the most, this was it.