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

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

Are You Ready for Valentine’s Day?

Happy Thursday! Wow is it cold out there! I think we got a little spoiled earlier in the week when the temperatures were in the 30’s and 40’s. That was short-lived apparently, as we’re currently sitting at a whole 3ºF. The sunny blue sky looks really pretty out there, but it’s best enjoyed indoors at these temps. I’m glad I was able to get out and ski with Heidi a little before our mini “heatwave” was over on Tuesday night. The snow was a bit on the fast and firm side, but we had a lot of fun as always. I’m hoping to add a few skiers to the mix next week if I can convince them to join us for some fun outside, so watch for photos of that craziness in the future.

How’s it coming with your Valentine’s Day projects? We still have some time before February 14th, but as we all know that will go by way too fast. A couple of weeks ago I went over a bunch of cute ideas for simple and easy projects that would make great gifts for your sweetheart or décor for your home. If you’re still looking for something you can do in time for the big day, I have a few more things that might but just right.

Everyone loves candy conversation hearts around this time of year, they’re definitely a nostalgic staple of the holiday! I thought they deserved a tribute all their own so I came up with this cool embroidered design.

I love how the bright colored wool really pops off the black background on this sweet pillow. It will go together quickly so you can have it ready to give to your Valentine by the 14th. It measures 16″ x 16.” The pattern is not included in our kit but it can be ordered separately. Threads can be also ordered!

My Linked with Love pattern is the perfect solution for someone who could use a few extra cuddles in their life! It’s a longer pillow with a finished size of 13 1/2″ x 40,” which makes it a great fit for the couch or bed. 

I did my Linked with Love pillow with five different wool colors but you could easily do it with just one by using the pattern for my next project which is a table runner I call, Love Chain.  As you can see this one is done with just red. The finished size measures at 9 1/2″ x 37 1/2.” Another easy, fun, and most importantly, FAST project!

In the true spirit of Valentine’s Day I wanted to do something special for all of you! For today only, I’m offering my pattern, Pillow Talk as a $5.00 download (pattern only – offer valid on Feb 3rd, 2022)! This simple one wool, one thread project can be personalized in any way you want! Add a name or favorite slogan to make it unique to your Valentine. These adorable pillows are already kitted and ready to ship out the door tomorrow!

I really hope these ideas helped you tie up any loose ends you might have had in regard to your last minute Valentine’s Day needs. To see a collection of all of our Valentine’s Day-themed items hit the link below! And don’t forget to tune into my YouTube LIVE broadcast, Stitch with Lisa Bongean today at 1PM! Let me know how your Valentine’s projects are coming along! And of course don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a prize! Hope to see you all there! ~Lisa

Need Ideas for Valentine’s Day?

Every year I look forward to Valentine’s day just as much as I did when I was a little girl. One of my favorite memories of this holiday is that every year my dad would never fail to give me a small, heart-shaped box of chocolates. He started this tradition when I was a small child, and kept it going long after I was grown. Because of him there will always be a special place in my heart for Valentine’s Day.

These days I still find a lot of joy in celebrating Valentine’s Day by creating things by hand for the special people in my life. Over the years I have designed and collected a ton of cute things that are perfect ideas for hand-made Valentines. Some of my absolute favorites are these cute little bowl fillers that I call Valentine Sweethearts.

They are fun, easy, and quick! To make it even easier, we have kits for these ready to go! We also offer them in more neutral, earth-tone colors that work great if you want to keep them out a little bit longer.

Another fun project that I really enjoy is my, “Love is All You Need” Valentine Hangers. You can hang them on the wall, clipboard or wooden stand, making them easy to display in any room!

This pattern offers both a light or dark versions, so if you have two Valentines in your life, this dual color option is the perfect solution!

If you adore wall hangers like I do, then you’ll also love this next one. I call it, “Love Each Other.” It’s made using our hand-dyed wools and beautiful flannels. Finished size is 11 1/4″ x 11 1/4″ making it a perfect to display on a clipboard or wall.

If you don’t have the table space for standing decor, these, Day of Love stuffed hearts look adorable hanging from a door knob or hook. These aren’t my design but I think they are so cute!

If you’re thinking that your Valentine deserves something a little bit more on the larger scale, consider a red and white quilt! With our Red & White Quilt Challenge in full-swing, many of you are probably trying to decide which pattern to choose for your entry. My, “Love is All We Need” quilt is the perfect choice for both!

This quilt is 54″x 63″. You will need 4 yards of fabric for the backing. If you order the backing at the same time as the kit you will get a 20% discount on the backing! The pattern is not included in our kits, but can be ordered separately.

If you love red and white but want a quilt you can display for Valentine’s day or anytime of year, be sure to check out the book, Red & White Quilts – Volume 1. This book features 14 of our generation’s top designers, who share their takes on red-and-white quilts – ranging from vintage-inspired beauties to more modern styles. From patchwork to appliqué to English paper piecing, designers including myself, Sue Daley, Kim Diehl, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, Carrie Nelson, Camille Roskelley, and Jen Kingwell offer a one-of-a-kind collection sure to inspire you to create your own legacies in red and white!

Already have volume 1? The eagerly anticipated sequel, Red & White Quilts II is coming! This volume features 14 red-and-white quilt designs that check all the boxes! It includes antique, classic, contemporary, and many styles in between. Designers include myself, Lissa Alexander, Jessica Dayon, Nancy Martin, Sherri McConnell, Debbie Roberts, Gerri Robinson, Pat Sloan, Helen Stubbings, and Karen Styles (Pre-order only. Remember, pre-order items need to be ordered seperately and should be the only item in your cart. Anticipated shipping date at this time is May, 2022).

Red and white quilts have captured the hearts of quilters throughout the years. No matter if you choose to display them strictly at Valentine’s day, or all year-round as art pieces in your home, these red-and-white quilts are sure to be adored and loved for years to come.

Well everyone, I sure hope you’re ready for Valentine’s day since it’s only a few weeks away! If you need more inspiration or would like to see all the great Valentine’s items we have here at Primitive Gatherings, hit the link below for more great gift ideas!

If you missed, Stitch with Lisa Bongean yesterday, you can watch it by hitting the link below. Jess and our new shop manager discuss new winter store hours, upcoming retreats and workshops, new fabric arrivals, shipping updates, cotton box information, and of course some more great ideas for Valentine’s day!

As much as I’d love to stay in Nevada with Val until all the snow back home is melted and gone, I will be back in wintery Wisconsin next week. Until then, stay warm and happy stitching!