Hi everyone! Yet another week has flown by leaving me wondering where the time went. I had a busy week here at The Gathering as the “Hello Spring” retreat is currently underway. Projects are coming along nicely since we’ve had no issue staying cozied up inside for the last few days. As usual, Mother Nature is having another one of her fits today, throwing rain and snow at us…simultaneously…which is not something I want anything to do with! I will be glad once this part of spring is in the past.
We’ve been having a lot of fun during the “Hello Spring” retreat, stitching and getting to know one another. Everyone in the group made great progress on their St. Patrick’s Day pillows and banners, and of course on, “Nibbles” which is an adorable bunny and carrot themed lap quilt we came up with just in time for Easter. I always love seeing each person’s version of a pattern. I think it’s fun to hang them all side-by-side to see what everyone came up with. Each one is as individual as its owner!
Chef Erica treated us like royalty all week with her delicious, scratch-made meals. As a special treat, she really spoiled us on Thursday with her delicious St. Patrick’s Day meal of corned beef and cabbage, with Guinness cupcakes for dessert – and here I thought it couldn’t get any better than her St. Paddy’s day signature Mint Chocolate Cream Puffs that she’s been working so hard on this week. She never ceases to amaze me!
Needless to say, all of it was simply amazing. I swear she even makes veggies taste good to me! Many of you know I’ve been trying to eat less red meat in my diet. Being a vegetarian, Erica has some amazing tricks up her sleeve when it comes to turning every day veggies into culinary magic. Let’s just say thanks to Erica I’m learning to open my mind as far as trying new vegetable dishes goes!
Speaking of Chef Erica, if you caught “Stitch with Lisa Bongean“ Thursday you would have seen her first ever YouTube LIVE appearance! She walked us through how to make her signature Mint Chocolate Cream Puffs step-by-step. Not only are her cream puffs absolutely amazing, but she’s also a natural in front of the camera! She did a great job and I’m super proud of her. Our goal is to start doing YouTube LIVE presentations in the kitchen with Chef Erica once a week, so watch the blog for more details on that! You can still watch this week’s episode by hitting the link below!
Erica wasn’t the only one to make her on-screen debut during “Stitch with Lisa Bongean“ this week. I was lucky enough to have Pat from Racine, WI join me as we revisited some of my favorite spring projects from the past. This was her second time at The Gathering for retreat this year – she also joined us back in October for one of our Sit & Stitch events.
The first item on our revisited tour is a wool table mat from my, “Crazy” series, which include about six mats total in this shape and theme. This one is simply called, “Spring.“ The series is done with wool appliqué and decorated with crazy threads, stitches, and embellishments. Finished this mat measures 22″ x 15.”
Next up is, “Flax Farm.“ I think this one is really cute because it reminds me of our barn, chickens and sheep here at The Gathering. This beautiful mat also features one of my most favorite bible verses, Proverbs 31:13, which is very important to me as a hard working, female stitcher. It is 28″ x 19″ and oval in shape. So cute!
If you need something a little bit smaller “Garden Walk” is 14 1/2 x 14″ 1/2. It’s a very simple, colorful mat with 16 individual flowers that you can do in either a light or dark theme. You can do it in any color you wish! I could see myself doing several versions – maybe one for each room of the house??? The possibilities are endless!
Have you seen your first Robin yet this spring? I finally did on Tuesday! In a few days Spring will officially be here! The “Birds of a Feather“ table mat is perfect décor to celebrate the season’s change as each day brings us closer to warmer weather and sunshine! Measuring at 16″ x 16″ it features colorful tulips (my favorite!) and cute little brown wrens on a light background. I can’t wait for our bulbs to start pushing through around here! Let’s keep our fingers crossed that they made it through the winter and survived the hungry deer!
Do you love penny mats? You know I do! “Scrappy Flower Basket“ is done with colorful pennies and fancy stitches to create simple, folk-art style flowers. That’s how you get good at doing fancy stitches by the way – by doing more fancy stitches! LOL! This darling little runner would make great practice!
Nothing cuter than the “peep peep peep” of baby birds in spring! “Nesting Time“ features more of my cute little brown wrens as they feed their young in the treetops. This is a little bit of larger round mat at 16″ x 16.”
Last but not least is, “Just Picked.“ If you’re looking for a simple weekend project, this is a great pick (no pun intended)! You can’t go wrong with this one. It makes a great gift as well, especially if you need it on the fly. Plus, it’s fun to stitch! “Just Picked“ measures at 8 1/2″ x 18 x 1/2″
These are all so cute, and not a lot of work. I like to change-up the décor in my home pretty often, so it’s nice to have a variety of things I can use throughout the spring and summer months.
How’s your spring cleaning coming along? One of the best things about this time of year is being able to open up the windows to let the house breathe. Nick has been able to leave the shipping door open in the afternoon couple of times last week when the temps were in the high 50’s. We’ve definitely been doing some spring cleaning around the shop, and especially the warehouse. We need to make space for new inventory arriving later this spring and summer. To help us make some room, the girls have a few things for me to show you that we’d like to see go out the door. Check these cuties out!
First up we have “Birds Eye View.“ This is the quilt I did for the Moda All-Stars Book, “On A Roll Again.” This is a simple nine patch that uses red, white, and blue fabrics. It has little connector corners that are yes – little, but also easy. I used one Jelly Roll from my American Gathering line, and four yards of Bella Solid for the background. You will also need 3 3/4″ yards of fabric for the backing. We also used 1 1/4″ finished Primitive Gatherings Triangle Paper which can be purchased separately if you need them. Finished, “Birds Eye View.” is 59 7/8″ x 66 1/8.”
If you need a quilt QUICK, “Weather Vane Star“ is for you! This is a big and easy quilt, measuring at 80″ x 80″ when finished. Big, easy half-square triangles make up this simple, yet beautiful quilt. You might remember this one from “Urban Farmhouse Gatherings – Volume 1.” We only have less than five of this one remaining, so if you love it grab it now!
If you love scrappy you’re going to love, “Check Me Out!“ This quilt might look familiar because it was a previous summer block of the week. It can be done in two versions. I made mine in blues, grays, and creams, and the other is done in all reproduction color. Check Me Out! is certainly not boring. I think that it’s fun that you get to make a different center in each block. The end result is a really cool checkerboard effect.
If you’d like to hear Pat at I go through each of these beauties one-by-one, you can watch the replay of, “Stitch with Lisa Bongean” by hitting the link below. Just an FYI, I will be on vacation with my grand babies for the next week or so. I will be checking in with the girls periodically so watch for some fun photos of our adventures at Disney! Bye for now, and remember to stitch everyday! ~Lisa