Avoid Winter Blues with RETREAT and New Patterns!

Good evening stitchers! It was a beautiful day out there, but it sure has been cold so far this week. This time of year it’s not uncommon for a sunny, bluebird day to be a sign that it’s also colder than a witch’s… er… kneecap (yeah, that’s the part I was thinking of) outside. The good news is that by next early week we should be back in the lower 30s for a while, which is about the best we can ask for at the beginning of February in WI. Hey, that reminds me! Don’t forget, tomorrow is Groundhog Day. A day where, thanks to Pennsylvania Dutch superstition, human beings with advanced science and technology rely on a sleepy groundhog to prematurely emerge from its winter burrow to predict the weather for the next month and a half. Kind of silly yes, but I’m beginning to think that this may not be a bad method of forecasting the weather considering the track record of some of the meteorologists out there these days. LOL!

Over the years I’ve come to realize that no matter which way it goes for the groundhog tomorrow morning, we will most likely be seeing at least six more weeks of winter – if not more – before we can officially start calling it spring (unless you go by the calendar, then it’s March 20th this year). Winters here are always long but some years it seems to go on forever… Like four years ago when we got two plus feet of snow halfway through April – woo hoo! As much as I love my winter sports, by March enough is enough. To break up these cold and dreary days I thought it would be a great idea to host an event designed to brighten your spirits while we gather together and sew/stitch. That’s why the gals at The Gathering and I created the “Winter Escape” open sew event happening Friday, February 17th and Saturday, February 18th, 2023 at The Gathering!Bring whatever projects you’re working on (or any you’d like to start) to this over night, open sew session where the plan is to hang out, laugh, eat, sew, eat, stitch, SHOP, eat… and laugh some more! Enjoy excellent lighting with multiple cutting tables, steam stations, and large spacious sewing tables equipped with power strips. On top of that, there will be door prizes, delicious food prepared by Erica and crew, shopping, and an exclusive embroidery project designed just for us by my colleague and friend, Gloria Parsons. Bring a friend or come alone and make new ones! We would love to have you. If this sounds like something you need in your life, don’t wait! Spots are limited. Give Gloria a call at 920.778.8031 to register. It’s going to be great!

Well everyone, it’s time to hang it up for another day. I’ll be back tomorrow LIVE on YouTube at 1:00 p.m. CST. I’ll be talking about pattern releases for a few of my ongoing projects like the O’ Say Can You Sew QAL, the Revel Quilt, Dragonfly Dreams, Pumpkin Carving Contest and Garden Stars to name a few. PG Encyclopedia Jess will be on deck answering questions, Heidi is on Prize-Patrol (get those comments in!!!), and of course our fearless camera woman Kali will be at the wheel. Hope to see you there! You can tune in by clicking the STITCH button below. Have a great night everyone! ~Lisa

Love and RETREAT is All You Need!

Hey gang! Welcome back. I’m happy to report that even though it’s only about five degrees outside (with windchills around -15), the sun is shining and I’m feeling a heck of a lot better than I was just a few days ago. After keeping things fairly low-key this weekend, I think it’s safe to say that I’m on the road to recovery – even if it might take me a while to feel 100% again. Good thing too, since my Love is All You Need day retreat is only a week away! I had a blast at this event last year, plus I’m a sucker for Valentine’s Day so I’m really looking forward to this year’s shenanigans. Haven’t heard about Love is All You Need? Let me tell you all about it!

Next Tuesday, February 7th, 2023 is my annual “Love is All You Need” Valentine’s Day Retreat at The Gathering (sorry, the Saturday class is no longer available). It’s a fun-filled, Valentine-themed day class, full of creativity, friendship, good food, and of course, LOVE! We’ll start the day with Erica’s fresh-made mocha lattes and raspberry scones to help break the ice and get us in the mood for stitching. After that, we’ll spend the day working on two new projects that I recently designed exclusively for this event (class participants will be the first to see and stitch these fresh new designs before they’re available to the general public).

I know you’re probably curious about what those projects are so let’s take a look. The larger of the two projects we’ll be working on for the day is Love Quilt.” At 80″ X 92″ “Love Quilt is on the bigger side for a one-day class, but also quite simple so don’t worry about the size. Big, easy blocks will make quick work of this darling quilt, making it the perfect challenge for a weekend project or new quilter.

My favorite part about this quilt is the ombre effect – or visual gradation – the hearts create as they go from light pink on the ends to dark red in the middle. As I mentioned, the large heart blocks are super simple to make and go together fast but if Love Quilt seems like it’s still too large for you, no worries. We can simply adjust the size and/or the number of hearts used to your liking.

The smaller project for the day is going to be my latest wool appliqué pillow design that I so cleverly named, Flower Heart Pillow.” It features – you guessed it! – wool appliqué flowers delicately laid out in the shape of a heart. Flower Heart Pillow is literally the definition of dainty – small and pretty – making it a unique and elegant addition to your Valentine’s Day décor.If you’ve not done wool appliqué before but have always wanted to give it a shot, now’s your chance! Come spend the day with me at The Gathering where I’ll be available for one-on-one help and advice throughout the class. Not to mention you’ll leave with a least a good start on what will be a stunning work of art you’ll be proud of in the end.

The class fee for this event is only $150 per person, which includes a “red inspired lunch” and exclusive class party favors! It will run from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at The Gathering on Tuesday, February 7th, 2023. Maybe you have a special someone you’ve been struggling to find a gift for… If not, maybe you’re single and would rather mingle with a bunch of your fellow stitching comrades than spend another Valentine’s day all by your lonesome. Either way, I’d love to have you join us! So come hang out with me next week while we stitch, laugh, learn, and eat entirely too much. It’s going to be a great time! Space is limited so please call Gloria at 920-778-8031 to reserve your spot. I can’t wait to see you there!

As much as I would LOVE it if every single one of you could make it here for retreat, I realize you can’t. That’s why in order to be able to include everyone as much as we can, I’ve decided to go ahead and make both the Love Quilt and Flower Heart Pillow available to pre-order now, rather than implementing our usual waiting period of several weeks to months. That means that though these projects will not ship until sometime after the retreat is over (anticipated shipping date on these items is February 14th, 2023) you will be the first to receive them once they are officially released. If that sounds like something you’d like to take advantage of, simply hit the links above to pre-order now!

I really hope you had a nice weekend. Tell me about it in the comments! Did you stitch? Stay indoors due to the cold? Or were you laid up like me? I can’t tell you how glad I am to be feeling better. Thanks again to everyone who sent well wishes – you really made it better! Even though I hate it when it happens, we all get sick sometimes and it’s nice to know I’ve got so many people backing me up when I do. Just know that I really appreciate each and every one of you! Have a wonderful evening and I will catch you soon!. Take care. ~Lisa

Sewcialites 2 – Block #13

Hey gang! How’s it going today? I don’t know what it’s like where you live but I’m looking at a blustery winter wonderland outside my studio window right now. I had originally planned to get some skiing in with Heidi tonight, but after checking the weather forecast for the weekend we made the executive decision to go last night instead. Our little impromptu change of plans caused a bit of scrambling at the end of the day, but it also gained us about ten degrees of air temperature and a lot less wind. In other words – I’m confident that it was the right decision to make. Not only was it my first time on the hill this season but it was also my maiden voyage on the new set of skis Nick got me for Christmas. We took it pretty easy and got eight runs in before calling it quits due to my cold thumbs. Not a crazy amount of runs, but still pretty good considering I haven’t been feeling the greatest. The snow was decent and the lift lines weren’t terrible, which are two key factors that can definitely make or break a ski day. Oh! And the verdict on my new skis is… I LOVE THEM!!! Thanks hubby – you’re a keeper (but we already knew that). 🙂 All in all, it was a good time and Heidi and I were both happy to be outside. Now comes some Arctic air to deal with for the next several days but we’ll be back out there as soon as it warms up a little.

After getting a few hours of fresh air and exercise last night I won’t feel so bad staying cooped up this weekend while Mother Nature gets the next round of sub-zero temps out of her system. I plan on laying low and staying in as much as I can for the next couple of days, and will most likely spend the majority of my time resting and getting caught up on a few things around the house. Honestly… as I type that idea, it sounds really nice and I can’t wait to make it my reality. LOL! Sometimes weekends are for work, sometimes weekends are for play, and sometimes they need to be for rest. This is one of those weekends. We all need to do that once in a while!

What are your plans for the weekend? If undesirable weather is also in your forecast and you’re wondering how to pass the time, I have the perfect solution! I’m happy to remind you that along with the weekend, Friday also brings a new Sewcialites 2 block release! This week Doug Leko is the star of the show with his block, Innovate.” Thanks to his mother, Doug has been a quilter since he was just six years old. He began his quilting career by working in her quilt shop. Over the years he fine-tuned and perfected his skills with gained experience. After spending some time pattern testing for various designers, he began developing his own quilt patterns and eventually started Antler Quilt Design while he was still in high school.

Doug’s distinctive approach to quilt design often combines secondary design elements and color. His patterns are known for being very pretty but also intricate, and often times more on the difficult side. Sticking with his signature style, Innovate is one of the harder blocks in the Sewcialites 2 series. It features a pinwheel center constructed of half-square triangles and flying geese. The outer elements are done with half-square triangles and corner squares, along with units that are like flying geese but with corner squares added. Now I know it seems like a complicated pattern but Doug’s advice for this block is simple – don’t be afraid! He says, “follow the pressing arrows on the pattern so that all your seams will nest and your points will come out great. You can also press your seams open so you don’t have to worry about bulk. Change the placement of all three prints and your block will look completely different.” Another little hack to make this block a bit easier for you is triangle paper. Depending on which size blocks you’re making, there are a couple of sizes you may need. If you don’t have any on hand, I highly recommend my custom designed Primitive Gatherings Triangle Paper, which you can find in most sizes on our website by clicking HERE! You can find the full pattern and instructions for Innovate by clicking the link below! As you know, I’ve decided to use my Garden Gatherings fabric line for this quilt-along, leaving out the five tans. For the background I’m using a selection from the Garden Gathering Shirtings Collection, #49176 15 – a cream fabric with an adorable tiny mustard/orange floral print. Want to do yours just like mine? Click the button below to shop Garden Gatherings fabric while it’s still in stock!For those of you still trying to decide whether or not to participate in Sewcialites 2, don’t worry about being behind. One of the best parts of this quilt-along is that you can do it on your time, however your schedule allows – you can join us at any time! Previously released blocks are posted on the Sewcialites 2 Landing Page along with my blog in the Sewcialites 2 Block Archive, which is listed in the main menu of links at the top of the page.

Newly released blocks can always be found on Kim’s blog The Jolly Jabber, along with a video tutorial on her YouTube Livestream the same day. Each designer will also post their own block to either their blog or their website on that day as well. I will also be posting each block release here on MY blog every Friday for your convenience. Fabric requirements and all block patterns will be posted on the Sewcialites 2 Landing Page, which you can access by clicking the link below. If you’d like to get automatic updates on Sewcialites 2 you can subscribe to the blog by signing up in the Email subscription box by visiting the Landing Page, or by subscribing to the YouTube channel by clicking HERE.

Nothing like a weekend challenge to keep yourself busy. These little weekly assignments are just the ticket to making sure you get a little stitch time in – every day! And the best part is, the price is right – LOL! If you need even more to keep you busy and you missed STITCH with Lisa Bongean earlier this week, you can always catch the replay by hitting the link below. I showed some Valentine’s day ideas – both old and new projects – perfect to express your love this Valentine’s Day. You don’t want to miss it!

Well everyone, I hope you have a wonderful weekend and manage to keep yourselves out of trouble. On my way out I’d like to give a huge thanks and congratulations to Yvonne S. and Judy Z. for their comments here on the blog last week. Thank you ladies – check your email! You made my day with your lovely comments and I’d love to send you a little something to show my appreciation (please remember that 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. She will use your email address to confirm that you are in fact the winner. If you think you are a winner but have not received a prize confirmation email, please be sure to check your spam folder – it’s not often but our emails will sometimes end up there)!

If you’d like to be considered for a prize, I’d love it if you won! All you have to do to be eligible is leave me a comment here on the blog and voila! You’re in like Flynn. I would like to remind everyone that if you’re using a “handle” or screen name that is different than your real name, please leave your first name and last initial in your comment so we can include you. That’s all for now folks, I will see you next week. Until then, stay warm and take care stitchers!

Will You Be My Valentine?

Hey stitchers, happy Hump Day! I’m thrilled to report that I seem to be on the mend after being stuck under the weather for a bit there. I admit that I’m still pretty low energy, but I’ve been forcing myself to take it easy after what seems like a heck of a lot of strict nagging coming from not only Nick, but my right-hand staff as well. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but it seems like they really know how to take care of me around here… As I always say, thank God for my family and top-notch employees. I don’t know what I’d do without them – especially in times like these!

Today has been pleasant enough – not too cold with light snow falling most of the day – it’s very pretty outside. The forecast is saying that frigid Arctic air will be back in WI by early next week, so I’ll take a little bit of cloud cover to keep things on the warmer side while I can get it. After the unseasonably warm temps we’ve been seeing lately, it’s far too easy to forget that we still have a long way to go before the end of winter is even close to being a reality. In fact, we still have one more winter holiday to celebrate before moving on to leprechauns and spring flowers… Valentine’s Day! If you recall, a couple weeks ago I made a post highlighting some Valentine’s Day projects that I thought would be a great way to get your creative juices flowing in the holiday décor department. If you missed it, you can check it out by clicking HERE. Don’t worry if you didn’t find quite the right pattern for your decorating needs in that last post. As promised, I have a second batch of options for you ready to rock. Let’s check em’ out!

First in line on the project taxiway is my Love You, Love You More table runner. I absolutely love this project! At 16 1/2″ x 39″ this runner is not too big and not too small, and works well for the beginner quilter and the seasoned old pro. I love how the hearts seem to pop off the white background with individual pizazz and style.

This runner could quite possible solve the age old argument of who loves who more… I would think making this for someone special proves that a whole lotta love is going on. After spending the time and energy on such a thoughtful and expressive gift, only to lovingly give it away, I’d say – you win!

Next in line we have a two-in-one project. I designed the You and Me pillow to go hand-in-hand with my “Antique Lady of the Lake” quilt. In other words, you’ll not only have some super cute pillows in the end, but you’ll also have a beautiful matching quilt to show for your hard work as well. Finished, the You and Me pillows measure 16″ x 24″ and 15″ x 15″, and the quilt will be 73″ x 90″. As you can see they go together like peanut butter and jelly – perfectly! Not to mention, this traditional red and white quilt looks great on display during Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and any time of year!

Love is All We Need is another sweet little quilt sure to warm the heart of whoever is lucky enough to receive it. At 54″ x 63″ it’s by no means a huge quilt nor is it overly complicated, so if you’re trying to find just the right weekend project to crank out for that special someone, this is an excellent choice. Have you seen the Sincerely Yours fabric line by Sherri and Chelsi yet? For those of you looking for something that fits the Valentine bill, but also something that is a bit different than the traditional reds and pinks that we’re used to seeing around the holiday, look no further. Sincerely Yours brings back the simple days of cutting out construction paper hearts in different sizes for your Valentine box in grade school. With its delightful mix of pinks, coral, reds and purples, these prints are sure to inspire your quilting and sewing projects all throughout the year. You’ll fall in love with creating color-inspired quilts and accessories for your home with this mix of modern and traditional prints, and simple geometric designs with dainty florals. If you love this fabric like I do, check out Cross My Heart,” a quilt designed by Sherri and Chelsi with this pretty fabric line especially in mind. This fat-eighth friendly project is light and cheerful, all the while screaming LOVE!!! at the top of its lungs. Plus, because it avoids the traditional red, white, and pink hearts that we usually see this time of year, Cross My Heartis a great quilt to display all year long. Finished, Cross My Heart” is 61 1/2″ x 69 1/2″.Is time a factor this Valentine’s Day? On the smaller and less time consuming side of things I have a couple of ideas that make great gifts for your sweetie without taking too much away from your precious free time. At 14″ x 14″, My Twisted Heart is a mini quilt with a big message – LOVE!Even smaller yet, my project simply titled Hearts is three fun projects all in one pattern. Heart number one is 5″ x 6 3/4″ while heart number two is 5 1/2″ x 8″, and heart number three is 5″ x 6″.  Make all three for the same person OR – if you have more than one sweetheart, split them up and give them out individually!

Display these little cuties on a clipboard or use them as an embellishment or gift tag on a larger Valentine. Ever hear of a holiday tree? These would make perfect ornaments too! The possibilities go on and on.

If you have a Valentine’s Day project picked out already but your fabric or wool stash is low, I have a few suggestions to remedy that as well. We have some super cute love-themed fabrics designed by my Moda sister, Stacy Iest Hsu from the Moda Holiday Essentials collection called – you guessed it. LOVE!

Moda Essentials are just that – small collections of prints that are especially suited four seasonal holidays. The LOVE collection includes small, sweet tossed prints that are SUPER cute and versatile, allowing you to create endless possibilities. Quantities are limited on this one so get em’ while you can by clicking the link above!

Of course, you can never have too much red and pink wool hoarded away – you just never know when you’re going to get that “ah-ha” project moment that calls for all pink! LOL We have shades of reds and pinks from super light to saturated and dark. Get it in a bundle, charm pack, pre-cut pennies, or individual pieces!

Last but certainly by no means least – CANDY! Everyone knows you can’t have Valentine’s Day without sweet treats – it just wouldn’t be right! That’s why Jess has put together these festive one pound bags of our famous Vande Walle’s caramels for you to give to your sweetie pie – proudly hand-made, right here in WI! You can’t go wrong with this gift idea. Even if the recipient is a crazy person who decides they don’t like caramels, trust me – they won’t go to waste. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s downright dangerous having an endless supply around me at all times… but we won’t talk about all that.

Anyway, I really hope that you found something you like in my menagerie of Valentine’s Day gift ideas. If not, you still have another shot at figuring this out! Tomorrow during my LIVE show I’ll be going over even more ideas for the big day – including a couple that haven’t been seen before by the public so DON’T MISS IT! We’ll be on at 1:00 p.m. CST so set your reminders now. As usual, you can easily tune in by hitting the STITCH button below. Until then have a great night! I thought for just a fleeting second that I might try and get a walk in tonight – just for some fresh air so I’m off to go continue to convince myself this is a good idea. I will see you all tomorrow on YouTube for the show! Sweet dreams everyone! ~Lisa

…in With the New!

Hey everyone, I hope you had a nice weekend! Most of you know that I was feeling less than adequate by the middle of last week, so I was pretty relieved once Friday evening came rolling in. I’m not usually one to spend my weekends laying around, but I’ll be the first to admit that is exactly what I did for the last couple of days. I am notorious for not allowing myself enough time to recuperate after an illness so I’ve been trying super hard to take it as easy as I can so that I don’t end up making myself sick again. Despite the logic in that, you know it hasn’t necessarily been easy for me to relent to what my body needs versus what my brain wants. Tale as old as time…

Thanks again for bearing with the time change last week for my LIVE show on Friday. If you didn’t get a chance to watch it, no worries. You can always catch the replay by hitting the STITCH button at the end of my post. I went over a bunch of new projects that I’ve been impatiently waiting to release to you for a while now. If you’re unable to watch, no worries. I’ll go through them here for you, one by one.

Let’s start with one of the latest additions to my clipboard banner series called, It’s a Good Day.” I love this banner! I’m a firm believer that a huge factor in finding true happiness in your life is simply choosing it on a daily basis. It’s a Good Dayreminds us that every day is a good day to be happy…

This banner is great if you need a gift in between holidays for a birthday or other occasion, or – just because! It’s easy to cheer someone up. It’s a Good Daymakes it easier than ever! At 12″ x 12″ this banner fits perfectly on one of Scotty’s custom built clipboards, which makes displaying it fast and convenient – especially if you already have the board for other projects. If not, you can easily order it along with the pattern and kit for by selecting “add clipboard” when making your order selections.

If you’re a fan of my seasonal clipboard series and want to keep adding to it, check out All Things Pumpkin.” This seasonal banner features all things…gourd really. LOL! Basically any kind of “pumpkin-like” fruit that we see here in WI around the harvest time.

I had a lot of fun making each and every one of the little cuties adorning this autumn-themed banner, and you will too! Plus, at the manageable size of 12″ x 12″ if you’re new to wool appliqué, this is a great project to get some good practice in without making a huge commitment. Ready to get started? Click above to add All Things Pumpkin to your hanging banner collection!

Next up we have a cute little project that I came up with simply called, Wool Bucket and Rotary Cutter Case.” I’ll admit that it took me a try or two to get this one figured out just right so that the sides were stiff enough but I’m really happy with the final product. The outside of the basket is wool, and the inside is soft flannel.

I designed this project so that when you order the kit you end up with enough for two projects in the end, rather than a bunch of waste. After you’re done with the basket you should have plenty left over from the kit to also get an adorable wool appliquéd rotary cutter holder out of it. I really love the idea of projects that yield more than one thing in the end to show for all your hard work and this one certainly doesn’t disappoint! It makes a great gift or the perfect functional project to keep for yourself.

Looking for a mini-charm friendly project? Try Mini Scrappy Pouch.” This project is pretty much exactly as the title reads – a mini pouch made using a mini charm (plus your binding and lining) perfect for keeping all sorts of things safe and sound all in the same place. There’s no such thing as too many zipper pouches in my humble opinion – I have them everywhere! I keep thread, needles, other notions, bobbins… anything I need to keep contained really – all safe and sound in these little babies. They’re super fast to put together and make perfect gifts for your stitcher friends. Plus, they’re PERFECT for traveling! Grab one for you and a few more to give away. Each comes with a zipper charm to make it extra personal. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned quilter, you can’t go wrong with Mini Scrappy Pouch!

Moving on to some larger scale projects, we have Nantucket Summer,” a quilt originally from our quilt box subscription that is now finally available to the rest of the world. It offers a simple yet eye-pleasing design derived from everyone’s favorite – half-square triangles!

This quilt can conveniently be done using just a charm pack. It’s not a difficult quilt to do but if you’re one of those people who’s not a huge fan of half-square triangles, I highly recommend using my 1 1/4″ half-square triangle paper, which you can find by clicking HERE. To order Nantucket Summer click the link above!

On With 2022 is one of my favorite projects from last year’s wool box, and it just so happened to be the on-going project. This wool appliqué runner features hexis, wool pennies, stars, fancy stitches, and a rainbow of color to dazzle your mind’s eye.

There was a ton of interest in this runner so it makes me happy to finally be able to share it with you. If you do decide to tackle this beauty please be aware that the background wool color and texture included in the kit is subject to change. Also, the Homespun backing is not provided in the kit for this one so if you would like the backing fabric, please make sure to select and put that in your cart. You will need 1/3 yard.

Many of you have heard me talking about my 1883 project from our exclusive Special Edition gift box earlier this winter and after hearing all the rave reviews it’s gotten, I’m sure you’re anxious to get your hands on it. Well, wait no longer! 1883 is now available for purchase as an individual project!

Featured on one of Scotty’s custom designed display boards, 1883 was lovingly designed around the spin-off of one of my favorite shows of all time, Yellowstone! It features a pretty floral motif with a handsome spring robin and is done with wool appliqué. As a little bonus, you’ll also be able to squeeze out the matching pin cushion with any excess wool left over from your kit. As you can see I used the 1883 date on the main project, and this year’s date on the pincushion. How will you date yours?

Did you see anything that you’re extra excited about? Let me know in the comments what caught your eye and what you think your next project is going to be. Remember, if you’d like to see those projects a bit more in detail, don’t forget you can always go back and watch me go through them on last week’s episode of STITCH with Lisa by hitting the link below.

Ok folks, that’s it for today! This girl is exhausted. The good news is, Captain Crab Ass is actually Captain Sweetie Pie today, since he is at home as we speak preparing pork chops, green beans and mashed potatoes for dinner… And yes, without even being asked! We might pick on the poor guy a lot around here but trust me – it’s all good. He knows he’s loved. Have a great night everyone and I will see you all again soon! Until then, take care and have a lovely evening. ~Lisa

 

 

Sewcialites 2 – Block #12 “Captivate”

Hey, everyone – I’m back! Most of you know I wasn’t feeling the best yesterday, which unfortunately caused me to have to postpone my LIVE show until this afternoon. I apologize again for that – I really HATE being sick, and hate it even more when it gets in the way of keeping my nose to the grindstone. I just want to say thanks to all of you who sent me messages and well wishes while I was under the weather. You and my staff are some of the best kinds of people! You really know how to make a girl feel genuinely cared for, and I really appreciate that. As much as I don’t prefer to waste a day laying around, sometimes ya just gotta do it. I guess it’s the proof everyone needs that I am indeed human. Who knew!?

I hope you had a chance to catch me LIVE this afternoon. If you did, thanks for tuning in! I was super excited to announce the winners for the Meet Me in the Garden Stitch-Along prize drawing, and apologize again for making you all wait an extra day to find out who won. If you’re not familiar with this particular contest, this was a drawing for a $250 gift certificate amongst those of you who completed the Meet Me in the Garden Stitch-Along, and submitted a photo of your finished work. Winners were chosen completely randomly (we did the ol’ fish bowl method). In case you missed it, the winners are Pat Batulis, Jeanne Berry, and Patti Koch. Congratulations to all of you, and great work! You should all be super proud of yourselves. That quilt was not an easy task to say the least!

Since we’re on the topic of great work, we also need to talk about this week’s Sewcialites 2 block release. This time around we have Barbara Groves of Me and My Sister Designs to thank for her contribution to the Sew-Along. Me and My Sister Designs is a quilt pattern company started years ago by sisters Barb and Mary. Like many of us, their quilting journey started almost by accident after taking their first quilting class and falling in love with it. They noticed that the shop they took classes from was up for sale, which then got them thinking about the idea of starting their own business. Though they didn’t purchase that particular store, they eventually did decide to open a quilt shop. After years in business, Barb and Mary decided to sell their brick-and-mortar store to focus more on quilt pattern design, which is how Me and My Sister Designs came to be! After a lot of hard work and establishing a big name for themselves in the quilting world, their rising success continued when Moda invited the sisters to join them as fabric designers. The rest is history!

Barbara’s block, Captivate is a simple and traditional block that is fun to sew. As you can see it’s made up of two nine-patch units along with eight half-square triangles divided into two units. The block is simple enough, but considering it contains everyone’s favorite half-square triangles, I’m willing to be that’s the reason it gets the “Intermediate” ranking on the skills level scale. Take a look…

Easy-peasy, right? My first hot tip on this block is that I recommend using strip piecing for the nine-patch units to save a little time. The half-square triangles will be a little more challenging but I’m sure you can handle it. Now, I know what you’re thinking – ewe! Half-square triangles! But if I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times – half-square triangles really aren’t that bad! Especially if you take advantage of the slick little quilting hack called triangle paper. It really helps to prevent the “wonky” results we all fear! Don’t have any on hand and need to stock up? I highly recommend my custom designed Primitive Gatherings Triangle Paper, which you can find in most sizes on our website by clicking HERE! And trust me, anyone who uses it will tell you that my custom Triangle Paper is the BOMB! In fact, if you’ve used it in the past let me know in the comments! Tell me why you love it… or like it… or even if you hate it. I want to know! I love hearing your thoughts, both positive and negative, on pretty much anything. 🙂 To get the full pattern and instructions for Captivate , click the link below!

Fabric wise, if you’ve been following along with my progress so far you know that I’ve decided to use my Garden Gatherings fabric line for this quilt-along, leaving out the five tans. For the background I’m using a selection from the Garden Gathering Shirtings Collection, #49176 15 – a cream fabric with an adorable tiny mustard/orange floral print. Want to do yours just like mine? Click the button below to shop Garden Gatherings fabric while it’s still in stock!

Can you believe we’re already at the half-way mark with this sew-along? Crazy! In case you are still trying to decide whether or not to participate in Sewcialites 2, don’t worry about being behind. One of the best parts of this quilt-along is that you can do it on your time, however your schedule allows – you can join us at any time! Previously released blocks are posted on the Sewcialites 2 Landing Page along with my blog in the Sewcialites 2 Block Archive, which is listed in the main menu of links at the top of the page.

Newly released blocks can always be found on Kim’s blog The Jolly Jabber, along with a video tutorial on her YouTube Livestream the same day. Each designer will also post their own block to either their blog or their website on that day as well. I will also be posting each block release here on MY blog every Friday for your convenience. Fabric requirements and all block patterns will be posted on the Sewcialites 2 Landing Page, which you can access by clicking the link below. If you’d like to get automatic updates on Sewcialites 2 you can subscribe to the blog by signing up in the Email subscription box by visiting the Landing Page, or by subscribing to the YouTube channel by clicking HERE.

I hate to say it, but now that the end of the day is approaching any burst of energy I might have had motivating me throughout the day has long been spent. As much as I’d like to hang around for the rest of the evening with all the lucky ducks who are at The Gathering for the Cabin Fever retreat this weekend, I really think I need to get home and rest so that I can make a legit day of it tomorrow. You know how it is… I don’t have time to be sick! But if I don’t slow down a little for the next couple of days so my body can recoup, I’m just going to make it worse. So, with that being said, I’m outta here for the night! Before I go however, I do need to say congratulations to Colleen F. and Diane P. – You both win a prize for your comments here on the blog last week! Please remember that 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. She will use your email address to confirm that you are in fact the winner (if you think you are a winner but have not received a prize confirmation email, please be sure to check your spam folder – it’s not often but our emails occasionally will end up there)!

Alright, I’m off! Time to go take a nap. I will miss you all but I’ll be back soon. In the meantime, if you didn’t get a chance to catch me LIVE today I really think you should watch the replay… I covered some of the exciting and highly anticipated new projects that are now available to order here at PG. You can check it out by hitting the link below! Have a great weekend and I will see you all next week. Take care! ~Lisa