Spring Has Spru… Nevermind.

Hey everyone! Lisa here, coming to you from my cozy spot at The Gathering on yet another snowy day here in WI. Just as soon as we got used to temps in the 40’s, we’re now in the middle of receiving an additional 6″- 8″ of the white stuff. The storm made its debut last evening, making the commute home an interesting (and fun?) journey for anyone traveling more than a couple of miles. It came in fast and hard with whiteout conditions at times, and hasn’t really stopped since. Needless to say, it’s caused a bit of grumbling around here but personally, I’m happy to see it – fresh, clean, and ready to ski on… I’ve been super busy over the last couple weeks and my ski time has suffered because of it. I welcome the chance to get out there at least one more time before it’s over for good. Not to mention, it’s nice to see it fluffy and white again after unseasonably warm temps turned it all to a sloppy mess last week – my least favorite part about all four of our seasons combined. No thanks!

We’ve had a busy week here at Primitive Gatherings and The Gathering, and I couldn’t be happier about it. The famous and wonderful Sue Spargo has been here since Sunday, gracing us with her presence for not one, but TWO weeks of glorious retreat. If you don’t recall seeing this one advertised that’s because we never got much of a chance! Sue is so popular that as soon as people heard that she was coming to The Gathering, word of mouth did its magic and both sessions were full before we even had time to put it out there – and I can’t say I’m surprised either! Sue is an extremely talented fiber artist known for quilting, layering, and embroidering. She uses market wools saturated in bright colors along with multi-medium layering and embroidery to create textural depth and dimension that is truly unique. Sue also offers a variety of quality notions, tools, fabrics, speciality wools, a vast collection of embroidery threads, technique and pattern books, and kits at her online shop, suespargo.com. Check it out by clicking HERE! I’ll warn you now… This site may be hazardous to your pocket book!

Well stitchers, we can’t have Friday without a Sewcialites 2 block release, so let’s get to it. This week we celebrate Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree & Company with her block contribution, Invigorate. Joanna has had an interest in the creative arts all her life. She and her sister grew up working in the family business until adulthood when she eventually moved on to start her own business, Fig Tree & Co. Highly inspired by color, her designs for fabric and quilting always start with the color palette, which is typically inspired by everyday things like fabric swatches, her flower garden, antique quilts, and flea market finds.

Invigorateis a traditional Weathervane block, which just so happens to be one of Joanna’s favorite block types of all time. She describes it as, “the perfect blend of interesting and simple.” This block showcases fabric of any style nicely, which makes it a great opportunity to finally do something with that perfect collection you’ve been hoarding away for just the right project. Despite its simplicity, Invigorate is still considered intermediate on the Fat Quarter Shop’s skill level scale (unless you are working on the three inch version – then it is considered advanced). It consists of one background, one fabric for the outer pieces, one fabric for the inner pieces, and another fabric for the middle square (in other words, one background and three fabrics total). Units include half-square triangles, corner squares, rectangles with corner squares, and a solid square.

For my blocks I’m sticking with my Garden Gatherings fabric line, leaving out the five tans. For this block I chose to go with yellow, green, and orange. For the background I used a selection from the Garden Gathering Shirtings Collection, #49176 15 – a cream fabric with an adorable tiny mustard/orange floral print. I love how it turned out!

You can find the full pattern and instructions to get started on Invigorate by clicking the button above. You can also visit Joanna’s blog Fresh Figs by clicking HERE. She not only gives her two cents on the block, but also offers two alternative option ideas for what to do with it, including a pin cushion, table topper, and runner. All three are super cute and FREE!

Well everyone, it’s getting to be about that time – prize time I mean! As always, thanks a ton to everyone who continues to comment on my blog and LIVE shows. I have so much fun reading through them, and do any chance I get. It’s one of the ways I get to hear about what’s going on in everyone else’s life and what you’re thinking about. It’s also a great way to let me know what you’d like to see more of. Spring is right around the corner and I’m going to start talking about spring projects more and more, so leaving a comment is a perfect way to tell me what your favorites are. Plus, you might even win a prize for it – just like Lora C., Dolores R., and “Grammy” H. did for commenting last week… Congratulations to the three of you! Note: I do not post last names or email addresses for your privacy, so if you think you’re one of the lucky winners this week please be sure to check your email. You can also contact Heidi at heidin@primitivegatherings.us if you have not already received a prize confirmation letter from her. If you think you are a winner but have not received a prize confirmation email, be sure to check your spam folder – it’s not often but our emails will sometimes end up there)!

Alright friends, time to get back to my stitching before my teacher notices me not giving her my undivided attention. Just a quick reminder before I go that if you’d like to send a card or gift to wish Shelley well during her fight to beat Leukemia you can do so by sending it to: Shelley – C/O Heidi Niesl at Primitive Gatherings – 8567 South Loop Rd – Larsen, WI 54947. Special thanks to those of you who already have sent things. You have no idea how much she – and I – appreciate you! Positivity really does go a long way and she can use as much as she can get right now, so from the bottom of my heart – thank you.

I hope you all have a great weekend and manage to stay out of trouble. …I will do my best. No promises though. You never can tell what kind of shenanigans you’ll find happening at a quilting retreat, and I’m not about to put a governor on the engine of Lisa Bongean. Just gonna let it run – that’s how you get things done! Take care and I will see you all soon! ~Lisa


24 responses to “Spring Has Spru… Nevermind.”

  1. Sylvia miller Avatar
    Sylvia miller

    Always uplifting to read your blog. Great ideas for future projects

  2. Shari S Avatar
    Shari S

    Prayers being sent for Shelly!!!

  3. Patti O'Donnell Avatar
    Patti O’Donnell

    I hope you enjoy the skiing, me I’m ready for spring.

  4. Mary Lou Dawson Avatar
    Mary Lou Dawson

    Oh how I wish I lived closer. I love Sue Spargo. Thanks for all you do, Lisa. You are so kind and giving. You have a wonderful staff and great customer service.

  5. Betsy Avatar

    Enjoy the snow while you can! It’s a snowy day here in Northeast Pennsylvania! Just wanted you to know that our local quilt guild’s quilt show was last weekend. I won a first place ribbon for the quilt I made from your Summer Block of the Week, Somewhere In Time. I did the version with the black background. It was a fun quilt to make! Thanks for making such wonderful patterns and sharing them with us!

    1. lisabongean Avatar

      Hey Betsy! Please send a photo with the details on your win to my trusty Blog guru Heidi at – heidin@primitivegatherings.us if you’d like it to be featured in a future “PG Winner’s Circle” post. Include as much info as you can so Heidi can give it the justice it deserves. She’ll contact you when it makes it into a post. Thank you so much for using my pattern for your contest submission. I’m truly honored!!! ~Lisa

  6. Pam Meulemans Avatar
    Pam Meulemans

    I’m hanging up my first lap sized quilt on a wall. Would love to know, how you keep the bottom edge hanging straight against the wall and not nicely. You have so many hanging at PG, any tips?

  7. Bea Ann hunter Avatar
    Bea Ann hunter

    I’m ready for spring so I can throw open all the windows – love the smell of spring ❤️

  8. Nana W Avatar
    Nana W

    Wishing all the best and praying for Shelly.

  9. Abby (Phyllis) Kundrick Avatar
    Abby (Phyllis) Kundrick

    Spring…..what a wonderful sight! I’m in northern Michigan and heard my first robin….what are they thinking? Spring is on the way. I can’t wait!! It’s great having Vicky giving me new ideas for spring. Thank you!!

  10. Jasmine Cooper Avatar
    Jasmine Cooper

    The Gathering, Lisa, Sue Spargo…what a dream team!!
    Something I would love to see from Lisa in the future would be wool applique with peacocks, done in the PG style.

  11. Jeanne Giebe Avatar
    Jeanne Giebe

    Hi ops you get out to ski once more in the new powder! Enjoy Sue Spargo!

  12. Darlene Wegrynowski Avatar

    Well I am not lucky enough to be close to your shop, but I am lucky enough to be an hour away from Sue’s. So glad she was able to teach at the Gathering. I often add her beautiful additional stitches to your pieces.

  13. Lisa Marie Avatar
    Lisa Marie

    Beautiful block Lisa. Enjoy your snow!

  14. Catherine Dorsey Avatar
    Catherine Dorsey

    Love those colors used in your block. I live in rural Nebraska on a lake. Our snow is almost gone but the ice on the lake is still over 20 inches deep. Enjoy skiing. It will be over shortly.

  15. Cindy Avatar

    The weather has been crazy this year!!! Glad the retreat is going smoothly even with snow!!! Have fun in the snow this weekend as I’m going to enjoy some fun in the sun!!!

  16. Amy Pingot Avatar
    Amy Pingot

    Wish I lived closer to attend the Sue Spargo event!

  17. Charlene Morris Avatar
    Charlene Morris

    Wish some of that snow would come to Georgia. We have not had snow in years. Just flurries. I have had BuNNi, my four legged companion, since 2019 and she has never had the chance to be in a snowball fight or just a good roll in the snow.
    This weekend I have actually put together a quilt top that needed completed. Gives me an excuse to go to quilt store tomorrow- drop off quilt and buy more fabric.
    Yesterday I went to a small local quilt show. My daughter was with me and she has this major interest in machine embroidery. Do not know how long that may last.
    Have a wonderful weekend

  18. Diane Schumann Avatar
    Diane Schumann

    Thanks for the projects you offer! They really help me get through the long days of winter. This is my first year learning how to stitch and do wool appliqué. Thanks for all the inspiration.

  19. Audrey Moore Avatar
    Audrey Moore

    Thank you for the link to Sue Spargo’s website. I loved browsing and admiring the beautiful kit options and accessories. Oh my, already creating a new wish list.

  20. Denise Aldridge Avatar
    Denise Aldridge

    The snow is not over yet Lisa! Strap on those skis and go for it!!! Prayers to Shelly and all her family. She is a lucky lady to have friends like you and your staff!!

  21. Sandi Z. Avatar
    Sandi Z.

    Take the day off, go Ski girl! I think the new lakeside gathering line is stunning!

  22. Bonita Scruggs Avatar
    Bonita Scruggs

    I do hope that you got some ski time in this weekend. I have never skied but my husband has and always enjoyed it. Enjoy your weekend and stay warm.

  23. Stephanie R Avatar
    Stephanie R

    This retreat looks so fun! I am hoping there will be a class or retreat in July I can attend 🙂 I also love those bags and goodies you featured during the live for all those staying at the Gathering!

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