Stitching Holiday Traditions with Lena King

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Lisa Woolfork

Lisa Woolfork is an associate professor of English, specializing in African American literature and culture. Her teaching and research explore Black women writers, Black identity, trauma theory and American slavery. She is the convener and founder of Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where Black lives matter. She is also the host/producer of Stitch Please, a weekly audio podcast that centers Black women, girls, and femmes in sewing. In the summer of 2017, she actively resisted the white supremacist marches in her community, Charlottesville Virginia. The city became a symbol of lethal resurging white supremacist violence. #Charlottesville. She remains active in a variety of university and community initiatives, including the Community Engaged Scholars program. She believes in the power of creative liberation.


Lena King

Lena King is married, with two daughters, and lives in London. She was born in Ghana, and she loves to craft through sewing. She sews for garments for herself and her family.


Insights from this episode:

  • Lena King’s sewing story
  • Lena King’s holiday traditions
  • Sewing during Christmas
  • Traditions from her childhood
  • Wrapping presents in cuts and scraps
  • Christmas at Lena King’s


Quotes from the show:

  • “I have tried different things but sewing is the thing that really sticks, I think with me as a craft”  —Lena King in “Stitch Please”
  • “Every year, I think to myself, do you know what, I’m going to sew some presents for people. And I plan it in my mind, I think about who I want to sew for and what they gonna get” —Lena King in “Stitch Please”
  • “I tend to have lots of cuts and scraps of fabric every year from my sewing. And last year I wrapped quite a number of presents up in fabric that I had and that made a nice little additional present” —Lena King in “Stitch Please”
  • “One tradition I have brought along with me from my childhood is that of having something new to wear on Christmas day. My mom was a real stickler for that” —Lena King in “Stitch Please”
  • “I found some black fabric which is a bit sparkly and I asked her whether she (her daughter) liked it, and she did, and I made her a very simple neat little top and she loved it” —Lena King in “Stitch Please”


Stay Connected:

Lisa Woolfork

Instagram: Lisa Woolfork

Twitter: Lisa Woolfork


Lena King

Lena’s Blog: Lena King's Babydoll Dress - Simple Sew Blog

Instagram: Lena King


This episode was produced and managed by Podcast Laundry.

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Hosted by Lisa Woolfork

Lisa is a fourth-generation sewing enthusiast who learned to sew while earning a PhD in African American literature and culture. She has been sewing for more than twenty years while also teaching, researching, and publishing in Black American literature and culture.