‘Tis The Season to RETREAT!

Over the last few weeks I’ve been noticing little things that are definitely early signs of autumn approaching. It’s getting dark a little earlier at night and the crickets are singing especially loud lately. Plus, we haven’t had a really hot day in a couple of weeks. I know, I know – you hate to hear these things, but I promise I have a good reason for bringing up the inevitable. As we all know, some of the best holidays come along with the cold seasons, which also means it’s about time to get started on some of the best fall-time holiday projects as well! I don’t know about you but I absolutely LOVE decorating my home for the autumn and winter seasons which is why I’m excited for the next bunch of classes and retreats that we have coming up on the calendar!

It’s hard to fathom that September is right around the corner but according to the calendar, my annual “Witches Retreat” is only a couple of short weeks away! If you’re looking for the perfect place to gather in peace with your fellow witches, this quilter’s coven was designed especially for you!

Enjoy this spooky four-day retreat just in time for Halloween, as we work on one quilt and two wool projects that are sure to give you the goosies! Join us September 12th through the 16th, 2022 at The Gathering as a daily student, or stay for the week in our state of the art quilter’s retreat house. Classes run from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM daily with lunch provided. Dinner is also included for lodging guests. I’d love to be able to give you a sneak peak on what the projects will be at this retreat, but I’m not quite done finalizing all the details yet. I will tell you that if you’re a fan of my, “Just One of These Things…” series, you’re going to really like the quilt project. I know you’re dying to know more but you simply must trust me – mwa, ha, ha (enter mischievous witch’s cackle HERE)!!! Space is limited, so if this enchanting gathering of quilters sounds like something you’d like to dance around the fire to, don’t wait! Sign up today by calling Judy at 920.778.8031.

Once all the witches have cleared out of the retreat house and the cauldrons are all put away, I’ll definitely be in the mood to welcome the official start to the autumn season with open arms. Pumpkin fanatics, take note! On Saturday September 17th, 2022 or October 17th, 2022, we will be hosting “All Things Pumpkin” – a pumpkin-infused, one day retreat that’s just what the doctor ordered to get you ready for fall!

As if your love for working with wool isn’t enough to make this one-day retreat a must-do, just add a heavy dose of pumpkin spice to the mix! We’ll start things off in the morning with pumpkin lattes and made-from-scratch pumpkin scones to get your creativity flowing. Once settled in, we’ll spend the day focusing on pumpkin-themed wool projects, complete with one-on-one instruction from yours truly. Class fee includes project kits and lunch! Class will be held from 9:00 AM until 4:30 PM. Students will also receive exclusive “All Things Pumpkin” event favors for participating. To nail down your spot for this super popular workshop call Judy at 920.778.8031!

As long as we’re talking about things to come in the near future, I suppose we can’t really avoid the big “S” word… I know you think I mean snow, but I’m actually talking about SHOPPING! Every year I swear I’m going to get ahead of the game and start my Christmas shopping a bit earlier, but do you think that ever actually happens? Albert Einstein once said that the true definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results – LOL! Ok, so I might be slightly guilty in this department but I feel like that’s probably most of us. Not to worry though, our “Sip, Sew, SHOP, & Stay” event is here to give your holiday shopping a jump start!

Prepare to put a dent in your holiday gift shopping at The Gathering on December 2nd and 3rd, 2022 for a seasonal Sip, Sew, & Stay experience! Bring your hand or machine projects and take advantage of all-day open sew on both days. Check in as early as 9:00 AM on Friday and enjoy shopping in our exclusive boutique until 8:00 PM. As an added bonus, late night chocolate fondue will be provided on Friday night and snacks will be available throughout the entire duration of the retreat. Lunch and dinner is also included on Friday, along with brunch on Saturday morning. Who says the holidays have to be for everyone else? Treat yourself and join us for “Sip, Sew, SHOP, & Stay!” All you have to do to sign up is call Judy at The Gathering at 920.778.8031 and she’ll be happy to help you get registered!

Santa has a way of always knowing who’s been naughty or nice – where do you fall on his list in this year? Whether you wear a halo or…not so much… everyone is welcome at my “Naughty or Nice Christmas Retreat!” Take the week to get yourself into the Christmas spirit, December 5th through 11th, 2022 at The Gathering! This festive multi-day event will focus on one quilt, and two wool projects designed to fill your heart and soul with holiday cheer!Aside from hands-on instruction on some great holiday projects, you’ll also enjoy an exclusive behind the scenes tour of Primitive Gatherings and an off-site, local field trip (weather permitting)! This retreat is a couple months away and we’re still working out the final details so I can’t tell you everything yet. What I do know is that this popular event will fill up fast, so if you can see yourself stitching the week away with me, call Judy at 920.778.8031 for more details and to get registered today! I really can’t wait to see you here.

I know the thought of frigid temps and winter driving is nowhere near appealing at this point, but I will admit that a little part of me – somewhere deep down – is secretly excited for “the most wonderful time of the year” to be upon us. I also know that a lot of moms out there are also secretly anticipating the return of colder weather considering it’s just about time for the kiddos to be going back to school – a huge relief for a lot of busy parents to say the least. That being said, I want to give you a quick reminder about our after school Kid’s Sewing Camp being offered at The Gathering once a month. Starting Wednesday September 21st, boys and girls ages seven and up are invited to come learn the basics of hand sewing and how to complete projects from start to finish!

Class runs after school from 4:00 PM until 6:00 PM at The Gathering and is instructed by the wonderful Ms. Adrian – a former elementary school teacher and current fellow stitching fanatic. The class fee is only $20.00 for one session, or $70.00 for four! I don’t know about you, but I would have LOVED to have an opportunity to do something like this as a kid. Heck – I still want to stitch all day – everyday as an adult, so what does that tell you??? Don’t let your kids miss out on all the fun. Sign them up today to let them stitch off some of their school day steam later!

Have you gotten the retreat itch yet??? I can’t stress enough that if you have your heart set on participating any of these upcoming events at The Gathering book today! I can’t tell you how many times people have come to me with regret in their hearts because they didn’t act fast enough when the gettin’ was good. If you have any questions at all about a retreat or workshop at The Gathering please don’t hesitate to call 920.778.8031 for more information!

Before I go I just want to let you know that due to scheduling conflicts, tomorrow’s Shop Talk with Shelley will be airing a little bit later at 1:00 PM CST, so catch us if you can! If not, you can always watch the replay on my STITCH with Lisa Bongean YouTube channel! Either way, follow the link below to watch – and whatever you do, don’t forget to leave me a comment, both here on the blog and LIVE during the show! Let me know what you like about Shop Talkand what you’d like to see more of in the future. After all, your opinion matters to me! Ta ta for now, and I will see you soon. Take care! ~Lisa

Hello Spring Workshops!

Pink and Yellow Field FlowersMarch is officially here! I haven’t actually seen one yet, but I am excited to say that I’ve been hearing robins in the woods for the last few days. The sun has been out and temperatures are warm enough to crack the window for a bit – just long enough to let in some much-needed fresh air. Spring time puts an energy in me like no other time of year! I have so many new ideas brewing right now… I feel like I’ve been on a major planning rampage all week!

I have a few things coming up that I should talk about right off the bat. First of all, I wanted to mention that for those of you who are registered for, or planning to register for our 2022 “Red & White Quilt Challenge, be sure to check out my blog post regarding the official details and rules for the Challenge! It has been updated with a button that will provide you with a printable PDF of the contest rules and required forms needed to complete your registration. You can re-visit that post by clicking HERE, or access the contest rules and required forms by clicking the button below!

Ok! Now that we’ve covered the Red & White Challenge, let’s talk shop. I’m excited to announce that starting soon, we will be featuring an additional LIVE broadcast each week called, “Shop Talk” hosted by our awesome quilt shop manager, Michelle (aka Shelley). We’ll cover any shop announcements, upcoming classes, workshops and retreats, product reviews, and more! You can find “Shop Talk” LIVE on my YouTube channel, Stitch with Lisa Bongean weekly on Tuesday at 9AM CST.

Over the weekend there was certainly a busy buzz around The Gathering as our “Cuddle Up & Stitch” retreat was underway. We started out in the morning with Chef Erica’s chai lattes and famous scratch-made scones for breakfast. After our bellies were full we got to work on our projects. In class I covered a lot of useful topics and skills designed to streamline workflow. I talked about starching, layering fabrics for more efficient cutting, perfecting your ¼” seam allowance, pressing with steam, and opening seams for less bulk in the intersections. I also went over how to quickly rip out a row that was sewn incorrectly (I won’t mention who’s ripper got the biggest workout – what happens at retreat, stays at retreat!!!).

Cuddle Up & Stitch Attendees

I also made some real progress on my project, Rustic Retreat,which is my quilt recently featured in the new book, Snuggle Up by Martingale publishing. The best part is, I did it along-side a great group of fellow stitchers who all came to join me for the weekend. I always say the best part about retreat is the new friends I make. I love how The Gathering brings people from all over the U.S. together for fun and quilting fellowship. For example, retreat guest Kris drove all the way form Indiana for her birthday – by herself! Jean and Leanne (who was here enjoying her husband’s birthday gift to her. Wow! I’d say he’s a keeper!) were both here as day guests because they are lucky enough to live in the area. Roselin, Gay, Debbie, Junelle, and Char were here for their first visit, while Cindy and Gloria were back as repeat attendees! We talked, laughed, stitched, and ate our way through the weekend. It was a really good time!
Rustic Retreat Quilt and Cuddle Up & Stitch Attendees

If you’re thinking about staying at The Gathering in the near future, great news! Coming up in March is our next retreat, Hello Spring. This multi-day event will be taking place March 14th through March 20th, 2022 at The Gathering! Hello Spring Retreat Details

The cost of this retreat is $425 per person for daily students, and $275 per person, plus lodging for guests staying at The Gathering for the week. The price includes three projects complete with kits, class instruction by me, daily lunches, an exclusive behind the scenes tour of Primitive Gatherings, and a local field trip (weather permitting). Lodging guest rates also include all meals, a swag bag, and a gift card to spend at the Primitive Gatherings retail store.

For Hello Spring.I have one quilt (with two versions) and two wool projects picked out that I’m sure you’re going to love. They include an adorable pillow and mini quilt which are both St. Patty’s Day themed, and a super cute bunny and carrot lap quilt.Pillow with shamrock and number 17, shamrock mini quilt and bunny and carrot lap quilt

As usual these projects are limited to our retreat guests, and are not yet available to the public. In other words, if you need these sweet little additions in your life, sign up for the Hello Spring retreat today! Spots are limited so don’t wait to get in on the fun. To register, call The Gathering at 920.778.8031. You can also email thegathering@primitivegatherings.us to sign up.

Looking for more great ideas for St. Patrick’s Day? Make sure to catch, Stitch with Lisa Bongean this week on Thursday at 1PM CST where I’ll be showing off some of my favorites from the shop, along with some other fun stuff. Click the link below to watch!

Remember to leave a comment for a chance to win a prize! Tell me what you’re working on for St. Patty’s Day. Is it a big holiday in your house? What do you and yours do to celebrate? Let me know! I will see you all soon. Until then, as always – bee sure to make time to…Pink and Yellow Field Flowers with Bees and Stitch Every Day slogan