How was your weekend? I’m still in recovery mode after another “no rest for the weary” couple of days here at Primitive Gatherings. The type of tired I’m feeling is one of the best kinds though – one with a whole lot of effort and hard work behind it. It’s the kind that you feel once you’ve hit a major goal but for some crazy reason, you want to keep going and do more. After all the hard work and dedication that went into raising over $43,000 for the Hogs for Heroes Organization in just a little over a year, everything finally came together beautifully on Sunday when we were the proud hosts of the 30th key ceremony, right here at The Gathering. Despite the rainy weather, we had a great turn-out, with both veterans and civilians from all over WI turning up to help honor our veterans.
After so much anticipation before the big event, it’s hard to believe Sunday is already in the past. What a great day! The retreat house was packed – just like I had hoped. The rain certainly tried, but thankfully it was not successful in ruing our plans – we simply moved everything inside. I guess that’s one of many advantages of having a big retreat house to hang out in! Co-founders of Hogs for Heroes Audra and Kevin Thompson were the perfect Masters of Ceremonies for the affair. During their opening statements, they did a beautiful job explaining the concept behind Hogs for Heroes and what they’re all about. Then, after a few initial introductions we kicked off the ceremony properly by welcoming the U.S. Color Guard, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and singing the National Anthem. Patriotism was definitely in the air as they told the story of Hogs for Heroes and explained why they chose Sergeant Nick Brewer as their 30th Hog recipient (the eighth one this year!). If you haven’t had a chance to get to know Nick and why he was chosen for this great honor, you can read his full story by clicking HERE!
I really wish you could have all been there to see this! I was especially honored to be invited to stand along with the people who handed the keys of his dream bike – one-by-one – down a line of dedicated volunteers and other veterans, until they reached their rightful new owner’s hands. Every ounce of effort, and every hour spent making this great day happen was totally worth it. I mean if you want to see what true happiness looks like, just look at the smile on Nick’s face as he starts and revs the bike of his dreams for the very first time.
Just when you thought you had all the feels, we added to the love fest by awarding each veteran that was here to help present Nick with his new bike a quilt of valor of their very own. It was magical! These beautiful quilts are extra special because they were made 100% by volunteers from around the U.S. – and even a few from Canada! The best part is, none of them were expecting it, so their reactions truly showed the gratitude and humble nature of these selfless individuals.
I know I’ve said it a lot but I’ll say it again – I am just SO honored to be a part of all of this. The pride I’m feeling is over the top! To everyone who participated and contributed toward this collective effort, I thank you times infinity. Those of you who donated money, quilts blocks, or time toward putting these quilts together will always have a special place in my heart. And I can’t forget to give a huge shout-out to my staff here at Primitive Gatherings. You are all top-notch! Everyone needs to take a second and give yourself a pat on the back – you deserve it! Just look at what we can accomplish when we all work together!
One of the best parts of the whole day was near the end, when the rain decided to quit just long enough for use to be able to watch Nick take his maiden ride on his new bike. Of course, we couldn’t let him get away without a few photos first, to archive this awesome moment in time! I honestly will never forget this epic day at Primitive Gatherings. This was a huge accomplishment for everyone involved. Even though this part of it is over with and I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders, I can’t stop my mind from already thinking about what to do next to raise even MORE money for Hogs for Heroes… Believe me, I will let you know what that is as soon as I figure it out!
Until then I have plenty to keep me busy, that’s for sure. For instance, speaking of great accomplishments this week we’re celebrating 19 years in business with our 19.1 Anniversary event! That’s 19 years in business, and one year in our new location! Looking back, we really have come a long way in the last year after our big move from Menasha to our new facility in Larsen, WI. I guess you could say it’s a double anniversary, which is all the more reason to celebrate! In order to do just that, this week, August 8th through the 14th, come take advantage of some of the best sale prices you’ll find all year on fabric, kits, and more as we offer 20% OFF store-wide (sale does not include Garden Gatherings pre-cuts or yardage, pre-ordered items, sewing machines, thread kits, Creative Grids rulers, the PG 2022 Holiday Box, Letters for Santa QAL bundles, Meet Me in the Garden merchandise, or any other item already on sale)!
If you’ve been waiting for an excuse to replenish your stash, or are just trying to decide whether or not to take on your next project, this is the perfect reason to stock up! Take 20% OFF your favorite fabrics, notions, apparel, kits, and more now through Sunday August 14th, 2022! Of course we also had to plan some fun activities in honor of our success, so we came up with some fabulous demos and make-n’-take projects to get involved in throughout the week! We kicked it off today with an adorable wool pin project demonstration. This decorative piece can be used to snazz up well… pretty much anything! Attach it to your favorite jean jacket, purse, or hat. Getting married soon? Real flowers are expensive and they die. Why not use an alternative that will last forever? These darling flowers would make the perfect archival solution for your wedding day flower needs!
The fun continues tomorrow with mini basket making, instructed by Gloria Parsons (participation fee = $20.00). If you’ve ever wanted to learn the art of basket making, now is your chance! Gloria will be showing us how to make a small basket project – great for storing jewelry, a votive candle, or nicknacks. If you’re new to the art, this mini project is a great way to test the waters of basket making. By the end you’ll know whether or not you want to tackle a bigger project or if this little guy was just enough!
Coming up this Wednesday August 10th, 2022 I will be giving demos on how to make a super cute thread spool project (participation fee = $40.00 – if you have extra old thread spools, please bring them!). I think this piece is especially cool because we are using recycled sewing items to make sewing-themed art. You can spruce up any sewing room, den or even kitchen with this charming piece as either hanging décor or a tabletop conversation piece. If you’re feeling extra ambitious and have a lot of spools to use up, I bet a set of three in different sizes would be extra adorable.
Do you love barn quilts and want to learn to make your own? Join us this Thursday as my sister Lisa and I (yes you read that right!) will be demonstrating how to go about making a 12″ mini barn quilt (participation fee = $50.00). These mini barn quilts are so much fun to do, and the design possibilities are endless! If you’re a fan of colorful geometric shapes in your décor but you don’t have time for large quilting projects, mini barn quilts could be for you! There’s only one way to find out, come give it a try!
I’ll be wrapping demos on Friday August 12th, 2022 with our final project, an adorable small fabric tote (participation fee = $25.00). This bag is a perfect size for running quick errands or transporting a small project. It easily could take the place of a purse if you just need something light to throw your keys and wallet into, rather than having to lug around your entire bag. I have several of these and use them for all sorts of things. I even have one to hold my favorite bible!
There you have it… Five fabulous make-n’-takes for five fabulous days of anniversary celebration (all make-n’-take projects are available from 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM on their scheduled day only, and are located at The Gathering. SPACE IS LIMITED! Please sign up by calling 920-778-8031 if you plan to participate)!
If you’re local you should really stop by and check out all the excitement…and if you have a project you’re currently working on (or one you should have started long ago), bring it with you along with your machine! We also have an open Sit & Stitch going from 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM all week through Friday! Set up shop in our spacious retreat house for the day, surrounded by friendly people who share your love for stitching! Enjoy excellent lighting with multiple steam stations and large spacious cutting tables that are equipped with electricity! Plus, I’ll be around to help you with any problem child projects you might have holding you back. It’s only $25.00 to participate AND lunch is included. You can’t go wrong! Space is limited, so if you plan to join us for Sit & Stitch , please call Judy at 920.778.8031 to reserve your seat!
Alright everyone! Time to go home and get rested up for tomorrow. We’ll be here bright and early for Shop Talk with Shelley LIVE at 9:00 AM CST on my Stitch with Lisa Bongean YouTube channel. We’ll be taking a stroll around the shop looking at all the great things that are ON SALE this week! Tune in and leave us a comment for a chance to win yourself a nice little prize – that’s really all it takes to be eligible! Click the “STITCH“ link below to watch. In the mean time, if you weren’t able to attend or catch the LIVE stream of our key ceremony on Sunday but would still like to see it, you can catch the replay by clicking HERE. Thanks for watching and I will see you all soon! ~Lisa