Wind Therapy is the Best Therapy – The Date Has Been Set!

Hey again! I’m glad you’re back. This post was long anticipated and I’m super happy and proud to finally be making it. I am so thrilled to be able to say that we have officially picked a date to present the latest Hogs for Heroes bike recipient with his keys here at Primitive Gatherings. Mark your calendars and join us at The Gathering on Sunday, August 7th, 2022 at 11:00 AM to watch this exciting event unfold (doors open at 10:00 AM!). As most of you know we’ve been partnered with Hogs for Heroes for two summers in a row now, and have currently raised over $43,000 between private donations, our 2021 “American Quilter’s Stitch Along” fundraiser, and our most recent online auction. Truly amazing! If you’re not familiar with the Hogs for Heroes Organization, let me tell you why I love them so much. This wonderful and generous group of people helps give back to injured WI veterans by raising funds and using the proceeds to provide deserving recipients with a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Seriously, could this idea be any more right up my alley? If you would like to learn more about Hogs for Heroes or want to make a donation directly, visit the Hogs for Heroes website by following the link below!

Today is a special day because we finally get to announce the veteran chosen to receive a Hog funded %100 by Primitive Gatherings through Hogs for Heroes. I am so honored to be able to say that we had such a significant hand in awarding the 30th set of Hog keys donated to a WI veteran in the last six years! We can’t wait for this Army National Guard Veteran to regain his passion for the road, and the healing and the brotherhood that comes with it.

After careful thought and consideration, this time around the generous people at Hogs for Heroes have chosen Sergeant Nick Brewer of Oshkosh, WI as a 2022 Hogs for Heroes bike recipient. Originally from Madison, Nick wasn’t exactly a model student in his younger years. After a childhood of being bullied and fighting, Nick joined the Army National Guard in 2005 in an attempt to straighten his life out. After attending boot camp he discovered that the structure and discipline of the Army actually suited him. He quickly became enthralled with the idea of being deployed while he worked as a Petroleum Supply Specialist with the Guard, and applied four different times to deploy and support other units – only to be turned down each time. In 2009 he finally received full-time orders to serve stateside during the H1N1 outbreak. Soon after his unit was deployed to Iraq, and he was finally granted his chance to serve overseas.

Nick was quickly promoted to Sergeant and was given a tremendous amount of responsibility. Still working with fuel, he and his team worked in an extremely intense and highly flammable arena on a daily basis, that left little to no room for error. The combination of being in such a dangerous environment along with the inherent stress of being responsible for a staff of people under him, Nick became exhausted, mistrustful, and numb to the violence and danger he found himself in. As if the emotional trauma he was already experiencing wasn’t enough, to make matters worse Nick suffered a back injury during training that not only left him in excruciating pain, but also proved to be an injury that would plague him for years to come. He then returned home in 2011. Unable to reenlist due to his back injury, Nick officially separated from the National Guard in February of 2012.

Transition back into civilian life was harder than Nick could ever imagine. His experiences while serving his country left him bewildered and angry, and unable to trust people. He struggled to relate as depression took over, directly affecting his actions and perspective. Nick knew that bottling up his emotions was not healthy and that he needed some kind of release to help him cope. That’s when he decided to take a motorcycle riding course. In spite of the fact that he was using a 30-year-old bike that was too small for his large stature, he quickly discovered the healing power of “wind therapy” through his learning process. His passion for riding was officially born.

Though he was doing everything he knew how to heal and move forward with his life after his time in the service, Nick was still having trouble coping. He found that the one thing that helped settle his anxious mind was his bike – so when it broke down and he wasn’t able to afford to repair or replace it, he was left without his only form of effective stress relief. Despite his best efforts, both Nick and his wife could see that he was fighting a losing battle with his mental health. Along with committing to active counseling in 2015, Nick also found that helping other veterans helped him to release some of his mental anguish. He has volunteered with the Oshkosh VFW, and worked with the Office of Veteran Employment Services. He is now a Veterans Outreach Coordinator for a seven-county territory, and uses both his expertise and personal experiences to help other struggling and at-risk veterans find the help and resources they need.

Nick has since had his back repaired and has been physically pain free for some time, however, his mental struggles still remain. Years of counseling have helped him to channel his inner turmoil into an energy he now uses to push forward for his family’s sake and those he serves. These reasons among many others make it easy to see why Nick was chosen to be one of this year’s Hogs for Heroes bike recipients. Nick has accomplished so many things including serving this great country and dedicating his post military career to caring for fellow veterans, the least we could do is get him back on the road doing what he loves – riding his motorcycle. Of course there’s more to Nick’s story than I could fit into one post, so if you’d like to read more about him and his family, CLICK HERE!

So now we prepare for what I consider to be the best part of this ongoing fundraising effort. This Sunday August 7th, 2022, I am so excited to say that we will be presenting Nick with the keys to his very first ever Harley Davidson motorcycle – a 2017 Ultra Limited with only 8,500 miles on it – here at The Gathering at 11:00 AM (doors open at 10:00 AM). This particular bike was chosen after numerous test-drives and hours of searching to find him just the right bike for his large stature – not to mention it’s his favorite color, “blood red.” Win-win! Each and every bike reveal done by Hogs for Heroes is truly remarkable, but I have to say that this time around it’s going to be even more special because this bike has been fully paid for by quilters all across our nation! I am just SO PROUD to be a part of this, and I can’t thank all of you who participated enough. There are simply no words.

Though I know so many of you are far away and unable to attend, I’m officially inviting each and every one of you to join us for this special event. If you can’t be here in person don’t worry. We will be live streaming the event on my STITCH with Lisa Bongean YouTube channel that day. That means you can join us from the comfort of your living room as we hand over the keys that will keep Nick riding for years to come. Make sure to stock up on Kleenex because I’m confident that there won’t be a dry eye in the house – in a good way, of course! In addition, we will also be gifting several hand-made red, white, and blue flag quilts to veterans who are previous Hogs for Heroes bike recipients. Each quilt was made collectively by volunteers from across the U.S. and comes complete with an embroidered label on the back that includes all the names of those who contributed. If you are local I really hope you’ll join us so you too can help present these deserving heroes with their quilts of valor. Let’s show these veterans that we still care about their well-being long after their service is complete! Nothing we do can make up for the adversity they’ve faced as a result of their sacrifice, but this is certainly a great start. Please come! You deserve to be a part of this special day too!

The big event starts at 10:00AM on Sunday August 7th, 2022. Presentation of the keys will be at 11:00 AM. Lunch will be available for purchase from 11:00 AM until 2:00 PM for your enjoyment. The only thing that could make this great day even greater would be to have a phenomenal turn out. Don’t let these veterans down – be there or be square!!! To tune-in remotely, simply hit the STITCH button below! No excuses… See you there! ~Lisa

The Mission Continues…

What a beautiful day it’s been so far! The sun is shining and there’s not a cloud in the sky. It’s the perfect day to take my little black convertible out for a spin – a sweet and sporty two-passenger roadster I have stashed away for just such occasions. Admittedly, I don’t bring it out much and think about selling it from time to time, but then I drive the darn thing and all the appeal comes rushing back! I have a feeling that if and when I do decide to re-home it, the space in the garage will quickly be filled with new and more appealing toys – like maybe another Harley Davidson??? Nick and I both already have one but as anyone who rides Harleys knows, once you get your first you just want to keep adding to your collection… Kind of like tattoos!

I love being part of the Harley family. It’s one of mine and Nick’s favorite things to do together in our free time. We are firm believers in the power of wind therapy! That’s why when I found out about the Hogs for Heroes Organization I knew I had to figure out a way to get on board and help. As most of you know we’ve been partnered with Hogs for Heroes for two summers in a row now, and have currently raised over $43,000 between private donations, our 2021 “American Quilter’s Stitch Along” fundraiser, and our recent online auction. Truly amazing! If you’re not familiar with the Hogs for Heroes Organization, let me tell you why I love them so much. This stellar group of people helps give back to injured WI veterans by raising funds, and using the proceeds to provide recipients with a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Seriously, this idea couldn’t be any more right up my alley! If you would like to learn more about Hogs for Heroes or want to make a donation directly, visit the Hogs for Heroes website by following the link below!

I’m proud to say that Primitive Gatherings continues to contribute toward Hogs for Heroes and their fundraising efforts by combining our love for stitching with an even greater love for these deserving heroes. Our current “Mystery Mission” is right on track, and quickly coming to fruition. With your help, we were able to collect enough donated red, white, and blue flag blocks to create over 30 quilts, which will be donated to Hogs for Heroes bike recipients in the near future. Last month, the amazing generosity of my quilting family continued as stitchers from near and far showed up to help at our volunteer assembly event.

Thanks again to everyone who has contributed to this mission. Whether you sent in blocks, or came in to help assemble the quilts – or both! –  we could never have achieved this massive goal without you! I can’t tell you how humbling it is to see these true works of art in their final stages on the longarms right now. If you tuned in to Stitch with Lisa Bongean on YouTube yesterday, we came to you LIVE from the quilting studio where you got a sneak peek of the progress the guys are making. Check it out!

Things are really coming along down there. In fact, Jake just told me that he suspects that they will be finished with all of the quilts by the end of the day today, which means we are that much closer to being ready to go when it comes time to present them to their new owners. While we don’t have the exact date of when that will be set in stone quite yet, you can catch the replay of yesterday’s episode of Stitch with Lisa Bongeanfor more details on when that miiiiight be by clicking the STITCH button below. Our plan for that day is to not only help Hogs for Heroes award this year’s chosen bike recipient with their new hog, but also to present each bike recipient – both past and present – with their own flag quilts as well. I can’t wait! It’s going to be an amazing day to say the least.

T.G.I.F.! I just about forgot it was Friday but don’t worry, Nick was quick to remind me with all of his fishing talk. As always, I hope you all have a great weekend and that the weather is a bit more cooperative than it has been. I know many of you have been dealing with some super hot temps lately, so I’m hoping we’ll see a little relief in that department by Sunday. In the mean time, if you’re stuck inside hiding from the fireball in the sky, now is the perfect time to do a little shopping both online and in our retail shop (we have great AC!). Don’t forget that we’ve extended our summer fabric SALE! Now through midnight this Sunday, July 24th, 2022 – take 25% OFF all fabric in stock (SALE includes pre-cuts and yardage – minimum of 1/2 yard cut. Sorry, offer does NOT include my Garden Gatherings line or any fabric that is already on sale).

Have you taken advantage of this great sale yet? If so, were you buying for a project already in the works or just for a bit of inspiration for your next one? Let me know in the comments! I’m always super curious about what everyone else is doing. I get a lot of comments thanking me for inspiring other people, but it really does go both ways! I find inspiration all around me, including from all of you! It’s one of my favorite things about being a stitcher – I couldn’t ask to rub elbows with a better group of people! Have a great weekend and I will see you all Tuesday during Shop Talk with Shelley.” This week she’ll be talking all about wool! We might even get lucky enough to welcome a special guest…or two! So don’t miss it. See you soon! ~Lisa

Hogs for Heroes – Official Check Presentation

Hey everyone! I hope the weekend treated you well. It was much sunnier around here than it was originally forecasted to be, but the air was chilly and the wind was strong, making being outside still not that great. I spent Saturday at The Gathering wrapping up the Tulip Festival Retreat which was a huge success! Everyone who attended left with some really neat projects and of course, more friends than they had when they arrived!

I did my best to stay home Sunday to catch up on a few random things around the house…and of course to get some much-needed rest. It’s always so nice to spend time at home – even if it’s just for a day! We all need time to recharge from time to time – even me… though my husband and my staff would tell you that I’m not great at “doing nothing” for very long. LOL!

As you all know we had another busy week last week here at Primitive Gatherings, and an especially exciting day on Thursday. If you were lucky enough to catch, Stitch with Lisa Bongean that day, you got to see Nick and I present Kevin and Audra from the Hogs for Heroes Organization with a check for over $43,000! You read that right. I am so proud of the fact that currently, we have raised now over $43,000 between private donations, our 2021 “American Quilter’s Stitch Along” fundraiser, and our latest online auction! This is truly an amazing accomplishment that would have been impossible to achieve without all of you. I know I’ve been saying it a lot but I simply can’t say thank you enough! …and to think – my original goal was only $25,000! I should have known we’d far surpass that. Like I told Kevin and Audra, there’s no better group of people to ask for help from when you want to get something done than my fellow quilters.

I was also hugely honored to give Kevin and Audra their own American Quilter’s Quilt that I personally stitched, as a symbol and reminder of everything they do for WI veterans. These two wonderful people not only have impacted my life in a positive and inspiring way, but they have dedicated their lives to helping the people who deserve it the most – our veterans. Kevin and Audra continue to selflessly give on a daily basis to the men and women who sacrifice themselves in order for the rest of us to live our lives freely. They may not realize it and probably don’t agree,  but Kevin and Audra are heroes too! If you’d like to watch the replay of this well deserved check presentation, you can do so by clicking HERE!

I still get goose bumps when I look at these photos! Such a phenomenal number makes me so proud and happy, but mostly it makes me want to do more! As many of you already know I came up with another way to add to our efforts in helping raise funds for Hogs for Heroes. My goal is to produce and collect as many Flag blocks as possible by June 15th, 2022, which will then be used collectively to create a future project that will generate even more funds for Hogs for Heroes! If you would like to participate in raising funds for Hogs for Heroes by making and donating blocks to this charitable mission, click the link below for the pattern and instructions to get started! One is great but if you feel like making more we’d love it!!! We only have about half of what we need for this project so far, so don’t wait – we need you! Please send your finished piece(s) to us no later than June 15th, 2022. We’re super excited to get started on the final project, so if you can get your blocks to us earlier (June 1st, 2022 would be ideal) that would be even better!

Once you’re ready to submit your donated pieces, please package and send your blocks to:

Don’t forget tomorrow is Tuesday, which means Shop Talk with Shelley will be LIVE at 9AM CST on my Stitch with Lisa Bongean YouTube Channel! Shelley will be talking about a few quilts she recommends for wall décor, hot tips on cleaning and organizing your sewing room, some of her favorite current wool projects, and Memorial Day hours (we will be CLOSED!), so set your reminder!

How are you liking Shop Talk with Shelley?” What are some of the things you’d like her to cover in the future? Do you have a favorite segment? Let me know in the comments! As always, leaving a comment both here on my blog and during LIVE shows earns you a chance to win a prize! Lucky winners this time around are: Cynthia R. and Jeanne B.! As always, I am not posting last names or email addresses for everyone’s privacy, so if you think you’re one of these lucky winners please check your email! You can also contact Heidi at if you have not already received an email from her. She will use your email address to confirm that you are in fact the winner (in the case that there is someone with the same initials, she will determine the correct person with matching email credentials)! If you’re not a winner this week, keep trying – you could be next and I sure hope you are! ~Lisa

Hogs for Heroes Online Auction Fundraiser Details

I am so excited to be able to say, “it’s that time of year again!” as we get ready to kick off our 2022 Hogs for Heroes fundraising event. I’m sure most of you know that we are partnered with the organization, Hogs for Heroes as a fun way to give back to our WI veterans. I am so proud of the fact that currently, we have raised over $32,000 between private donations and our 2021 “American Quilter’s Stitch Along” fundraiser event! I want to say thank you to everyone who contributed so far, we could never have done it without you!

The amount we’ve already raised in honor of Hogs for Heroes is truly amazing. Your generous donations and hard work makes me feel inspired to do even more, which is why I’m so ready to get this year’s event rolling! For 2022 we’re going to try something a little different. We had a lot of success back in January when we did our LIVE online Holiday Décor clearance sale auction, so I decided to try something similar for Hogs for Heroes. We have several awesome items we will be auctioning off online, with 100% of the proceeds going directly to Hogs for Heroes. Sounds fun, right? Let me tell you how it works.

Starting today at 2PM CST, April 21st, 2022 through May 1st, 2022 we will be auctioning off an item or two per day on my “Stitch Lisa Bongean” YouTube channel to help raise funds for Hogs for Heroes. Auction items will be posted as a video on Stitch with Lisa Bongean” for 24 hours. Bidding opens once the item is posted. After 24 hours bidding will close and the highest bidder wins the item. Once the official winner is determined, we will alert them via YouTube chat feed under that particular item. Winners then need to contact the store to provide shipping and payment information (shipping fees will be applied). Once payment is received, we will ship out the item to the winner. We will be doing a complete wrap up tentatively May 19th, 2022 when we will present the check to Hogs for Heroes. Pretty simple!


Bidding will be 100% online by commenting on YouTube. Each auction item will have a correlating video posted on my “Stitch with Lisa Bongean” YouTube channel. New items will post daily. You must place your bid in the comment section for the item you would like to win. Once bidding is closed after 24 hours, the highest bidder wins the item. Please keep in mind that bids posted anywhere else will not be considered!!!

Since today marks the first official day of this exciting event, I am going to start the bidding off with two special quilts that I personally designed for this great cause. As much as I love and will miss these quilts, I’m more than willing to let them go if it means contributing more to Hogs for Heroes. I am honored to do it! Because I’m hoping for a generous donation resulting from these precious works of art, I’m starting the bidding off at $100 for each. I am also making an exception to the rules and keeping bidding for these two quilts open for the entire auction week (bidding on all other items ends 24 hours after they are posted)! Bidding will end on these items at 8AM on May 2nd, 2022. That’s right! I want to drive those bids as high as we can get them, so I’m taking the week to make it happen!

The first quilt up for grabs is an awesome patriotic themed piece, American Quilter’s Quilt.” I used a seeing star grunge with a hand-sewn striped binding, and a red star print for the backing. Finished size is 67″ x 72″ making it a nice size to display on a rustic table or porch swing. Of course, it’s complete with a sleeve on the back for easy hanging if you want to go that route – and I also promise to add a label to the back before I send it out! I really hope this quilt brings in a chunk, so I’m starting bidding off at $100 on this one. Now it’s up to all of you to see how high we can get the bidding to go! C’mon everyone – let’s show em’ what we’ve got!

The second quilt I have for you today is one you might remember from last year as being a Block of the Month. Hexies for Heroesis an EPP quilt, which is all done tediously by hand and then machine quilted. This is a big quilt with a finished size of 88″ x 88″ which makes it perfect as a bed spread or as hanging décor. I want to give a shout out to a couple of  our great customers and friends, Lori T. and Terry S. for generously donating their time and skill to make this quilt for our auction. A ton of work went into making this intricate piece, so I’m starting bids at $100 on this one as well. Please be generous! It’s the least we can do. A pattern for this quilt will be available at the beginning of May if you would like to make one for yourself.

Remember, to bid on these quilts you need to post your bid offers in the comment section on my Stitch with Lisa Bongean” YouTube channel. BIDS ARE NOT ACCEPTED ANYWHERE ELSE. BIDS POSTED TO THE BLOG OR FACEBOOK PAGE WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED. To see current auction items and to place your bids each day, visit “Stitch with Lisa Bongean” by clicking the link below! I am really proud of the great job we did last year raising money for Hogs for Heroes, but I KNOW we can outdo ourselves in 2022. The ball is rolling everyone, now it’s up to all of you!

Make sure you don’t miss out on your opportunity to bid on new items by visiting me at Stitch with Lisa Bongean” every day to see what’s new and to place your bids! And just a heads up, I came up with another great idea to raise funds for Hogs for Heroes that I will be talking more about in a separate post later today, so keep an eye out for that! We are working on the details but I’ll have more information up for you soon! Until then, happy bidding everyone!