Sustainable Sewing is Where it’s At!

Have you ever thought about how you can use your creative side for the good of the planet? Today I want to talk a little about sustainable sewing. If you’re not familiar with the concept, it’s defined as sewing in a way that leaves a minimal impact on the planet. A few examples include using eco friendly materials, reusing old textiles, and doing projects designed to be scrappy, thus using up extra scraps and reducing the amount of fabric wasted. Basically, reuse, recycle, and use what you’ve already got in your stash instead of buying more.

Personally, I like to flex my sustainable sewing skills with projects for reusable items, designed to replace things we would normally use once and then throw away. Recently, I discovered a fabulous article in a back issue of my favorite Better Homes & Gardens publication, American Patchwork & Quilting MagazineApril 2022 – Issue 175 that had some great ideas on this exact topic. The article features several different project ideas for products that you can make at home rather than having to buy them from the store. For example – makeup removers! I don’t know about you but I go through sometimes two and three a day depending on what’s going on. You can easily replace the store bought version of these by using soft flannel and minky to create washable, reusable pads. Not only do they help reduce waste but they also save you money. I love win-win situations!

Another handy project designed to replace a common household throw-away item is reusable “paper” towels. Most of us are guilty of overusing paper towels in our homes – especially considering that according to, over 3,000 tons of paper towel waste is produced in the U.S. alone every day… And when you really stop and think about how much goes into making a product like that (natural resources, habitat, man hours, etc.), only for us to use it for literally seconds before throwing it to the landfill, sustainable sewing becomes all that much more appealing. Just like the makeup removers, these stylish towels are super easy to make and convenient to use. Soft and absorbent, simply throw them in the washing machine to use them over and over again!

You can find FREE patterns for both the makeup remover pads and reusable towels, PLUS items like cloth napkins, utensil rolls, totes, sandwich and snack bags, reusable gift bags, t-shirt quilts, and more on the American Patchwork & Quilting website by clicking the link below! If you’re planning to dive into these sustainable sewing projects you’re probably going to need some super nice flannel to get the job done. For mine I’m using my latest flannel collection, Lakeside Gatherings.” This line of super soft flannels is a refreshing collection of blues, tans, and creams that are sure to fit the bill for winter and summer projects alike.Love it? If the answer is yes you’ll be excited to know that Lakeside Gatheringspre-cuts, project kits, and project book are all available to pre-order now until March 19th, 2023! Not only will you be one of the first to get your hands on this coveted new collection when it arrives, but if you pre-order by March 19th, 2023 you’ll get 20% OFF pre-cuts (sorry, this offer does NOT include yardage)!!!

Our final order for Lakeside Gatherings inventory is due into Moda by the end of the day on March 19th, 2023 so if you’re thinking about stocking up, don’t wait! After that, the ship will have sailed and we will not be able to discount the line any longer.

For those of you who are interested in making these sustainable sewing projects but think you may need a little guidance when it comes to finishing the edges, heads up! My friend Bernina Barb and I put together a little tutorial video on how easy it is to complete the edges on both the makeup remover pads and the reusable towels using your serger. Or, if you don’t have your own serger but are thinking of purchasing one, she gives you a little sneak peek at the coveted Bernina L 890 – Bernina’s premier serging machine. Barb will show you just how easy it is to use this fantastic and magical machine to get the perfect edges we all want. Watch it by clicking HERE!

If you haven’t heard about the Bernina L 890, let me tell you just how great it is. First of all, the L 890 is the first Bernina overlocker to come with a color computerized touch screen navigation system, complete with a super slick feature that teaches you how to use it with helpful built-in tutorials and animations. This “Combo Machine” can create three unique stitch groups including all your standard serger stitches, combo stitches, and cover stitches. It includes 27 built-in pre-programmed stitches, and room for 100 custom stitch designs in the “Personal Memory” feature for you to create and save your own stitch settings. How cool!

The Bernina L 890 is perfectly suited for working with all types of fabrics, including knits as well as wovens. It comes with many features designed to make your sewing experience as easy and painless as possible, like the exclusive Bernina one-step Air Threader for instance. This feature helps you to thread your machine in one simple step by magically moving it through the machine using the foot control, allowing both hands to remain free. The L 890 automatically sets the loopers in the correct position for the air threader – no turning the hand wheel or searching for the right position needed. Simply press the foot control and you’re off! Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? I also love the way that by pressing the foot control with your heel, you can effortlessly raise or lower the needle by a half stitch. The Bernina Free Hand System lets you raise and lower the presser foot with your knee, leaving both your hands free to guide the fabric.

I really can’t say enough great things about the Bernina L 890. I mean, you can read all the articles and five star reviews you want, but in order to really get a feel for what this machine can do, you’re better off taking one for a “test drive” in person rather solely going off the opinions of others. In fact, if you’re seriously curious about the L 890 and close enough to pay us a visit, I invite you to stop by our new Bernina storefront here at Primitive Gatherings, where Luke and crew have many machines for you to try before you buy. Not to mention, now is a great time to be shopping for a new Bernina because now through March 31st, 2023 Bernina is offering 20% OFF all Bernina machines including sewing, embroidery, quilting, and sergers! As if that wasn’t a sweet enough deal, Bernina is also offering 0% interest for 60 months on in-store purchases of $3,000 or more March 10th – 14th, 2023 (terms and conditions apply – please call Luke at 920.778.8035 for more information)!

Boy, there are always so many great things going on here at PG it’s hard to keep it all straight sometimes. That’s why I really enjoy it when my crew joins me LIVE during STITCH with Lisa Bongean It’s just so much easier to let them do the talking when it comes to the things they specialize in. Tune in tomorrow to hear Luke talk more about all the exciting things happening in our Bernina department, along with our weekly chat with Vickie from the shop, upcoming events at The Gathering from Gloria, and an update on the latest from Shelley. Set your reminder now for 1:00 p.m. CST so you don’t miss it. Have a wonderful evening everyone. See you tomorrow at 1:00! ~Lisa

P.S. Have any questions for Luke about Bernina or the L 890? Hop on early and post them in the LIVE chat before the show. We will do our best to answer them on air!

It’s Great WI Quilt Show Madness!

As you all know, it’s been an important week for us here at PG as we celebrate our big come-back to The Great WI Quilt Show after almost three years away! Really, all I can say to sum up how it’s been going is WOW – what an absolutely fantastic show! If you’ve never had a chance to attend, try to imagine a sea of creativity including hundreds of quilts and other fiber art pieces hung on display, along with a huge variety of vendor booths from one end of the facility to the other. Whether you’re looking to buy fabric, notions, unique apparel, a new machine, or you just want to see what’s out there, you can find all of it at this event!

I’m super happy to say that our booth has been nothing short of packed since the show opened yesterday. THANK YOU to everyone who has stopped by to make a purchase! The whole place is buzzing and full of energy – you really should see it for yourself if you haven’t already! This fantastic show is being presented by PBS of Wisconsin and Nancy Zieman Productions, and is something I look forward to every year. In addition to some serious shopping opportunities, there’s also a huge variety of educational opportunities including short lectures, hands-on workshops, and stage presentations – all led by top educators! There’s also a 10-category juried and judged quilt contest exhibit featuring hundreds of quilts to keep you entertained long after you’ve emptied your pocket book – at the PG booth, of course. LOL!

Speaking of our booth, it’s an impressive one if I do say so myself. To give you an idea of how big it really is, the Primitive Gatherings section is taking up three regular sized booth spaces, along with two additional spaces next to us dedicated to our Bernina team. We have several machines on display for people to come and try, including brand new Bernina longarms! In fact, if you’ve been waiting to get your hands on any one of the coveted Q Series machines, this is your chance to try one before you buy! We have one of each up for display on premises so potential owners can really get a feel for what these rock star machines have to offer. I invite you to take the most of this opportunity and stop by our booth to give these exciting, state of the art machines a spin! Of course not everyone has the means – or the space for that matter – to own their own longarm. That’s why in addition to machine sales we also offer longarm services for your convenience! If you are interested in getting on the schedule for longarm services at Primitive Gatherings, we have forms at the booth for you to fill out. You can also call Luke, Ruby, or Jake at 920.778.8035 for more information!

One of the best things about doing these shows is getting to meet so many of you who support Primitive Gatherings from all over the country. I love it! If you are in the Madison, WI area and are able to make it to the show, I really encourage you to come visit us at this exclusive traveling “pop-up store” booth where you can stock up on fabrics, patterns, pre-cuts, kits, notions, home décor, seasonal items, and more! Take take the opportunity to see everything we have to offer, and meet our crew in person as an added bonus. Don’t be shy, we can’t wait to meet you!

If you’d like to get a better view of what the show is like we’ve got you covered! Yesterday we were able to broadcast STITCH with Lisa Bongean LIVE right from the show! I even did an impromptu trunk show of my newest line release, Red & White Gatherings where I showed you all 12+ quilts featured in the correlating Red & White Gatherings project book! Didn’t get a chance to watch? No problem! You can catch the replay by hitting the STITCH link below!

For those of you who were able to watch, out of all the quilts from the Red & White collection spoke to you the most? Let me know in the comments! I’m curious to see which one is most popular. How do you even choose? I love them all! If you love the look of Red & White Gatherings and can’t wait to get your hands on the project book, come see us at the booth! We still have a few copies for you to purchase that are not yet available anywhere else (sorry, the fabric is still not here yet, but is available to pre-order on our website by clicking the button below – and don’t forget! Pre-cuts are 20% OFF for a limited time so stock up now)!

Well everyone, it’s time to wrap it up and start thinking about the weekend. There’s only one more show day left but we’re still nowhere near the end of this little quilt show adventure we’re on. As much fun as this has been, I will admit that the hardest part is yet to come – packing all this stuff up for the trip home, and then having to UNLOAD it all when we get there…and according to the weather man, we’re probably going to be doing all that in the rain too. Good grief! Something tells me I’m going to be putting a dent in my coffee supply in the next 48 hours. Thank God I have such an awesome crew to help… I really couldn’t do it without them! I will see you all here on the blog next week Monday for the next Meet Me in the Garden Stitch-Along Round 3 Release, and then again on my YouTube channel Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. CST for Shop Talk with Shelley! Until then, take care everyone! ~Lisa

12 Days of Christmas-Day 1

Well everyone, it’s finally here! Day one – the last of 12 days celebrating my most favorite things! Today we’re giving some much deserved attention to one of the most important aspects of what we do – sewing machines!

I want to start off by talking a little bit about Bernina. As much as I love my Juki, if I had to pick a machine that encompasses everything we need, I would have to go with a Bernina. Smooth and effortless, these efficient machines come with a wide range of world-class features designed to help you be creative, all while saving time. I really have come to appreciate these beautiful machines, and I’m proud to say we are a brand new Bernina dealership here at Primitive gatherings! To celebrate, now through January 2nd, 2022, if you purchase a Bernina Machine from Primitive Gatherings, we will throw in FREE *lifetime machine inspections, cleanings, and oil changes (*up to 4 times per year)!

Please come in, email or call us at 920-841-1066 to set up an appointment. Come experience our full line of what Bernina has to offer! I am excited to say that I am going to be getting another new Bernina for myself after seeing how wonderful these new machines have become! I will be sure to show you my new set up on future videos as soon as I can.

Most of you know that my most preferred machine is the Juki TL2010. Iv’e used the TL2010 machine for what feels like forever – it’s definitely what I consider my, “work-horse”. Without this awesome machine I would not be half the quilter I am today. Here’s why!  

Juki is by no means new to the market. They are well known in the garment industry and are mostly industrial machines. Juki made their debut in the quilting world with a semi-industrial machine for designed just for quilters. I think I’ve had a Juki for about 10 years now. I also own two Berninas – The 1260 and 1530, and a couple of Featherweights (I only admit this to you so that you know what I’m basing my opinions on). Not only that, I teach all across the country and have stitched on many different kinds of machines.

I bought the Juki with the intention to use it as a second machine, specifically for machine quilting my little quilts. Having it also meant I didn’t have to change the walking foot from my regular foot on my Bernina – which is a huge time saver. They come with a few different feet, including two free motion feet and a walking foot. I like using the regular foot to stitch up against a bumper so I can get a scant quarter inch.

I especially love that Juki machines are all metal including the bobbins and feet. The TL2010 features a larger 9″ opening between the body and the arm, so machine quilting is easier to handle. It also has an extension table, which is especially nice for retreats. I usually have mine embedded in my table.

This machine ONLY stitches straight. Now, this might be an issue for some, but my only intention for this machine was machine quilting. The fact that it only stitches straight is actually a plus…nice tension at all times and a single hole throat plate. It holds large cones as well as regular thread. It also has an automatic thread cutter, automatic needle threader, knee lift, and stitches 1500 stitches per minute (or something like that). In other words, it is FAST!!! 

It has some really great advanced features, such as an industrial sub-tension system, variable speed control slider, and bright white LED lighting. It’s definitely built for precision sewing. With a large work area of up to 23 inches (with auxiliary table attached), the TL-2010 can handle large quilt, sewing or home decor project with ease. It also allows you to trim top and bobbin threads using the exclusive foot controlled trimming system. Just rock your heel back on the foot control, and the thread is quickly and precisely cut. The machine is equipped with an automatic thread button that simultaneously trims the needle and bobbin threads at the sewing end by lightly pressing the push-button. It also keeps the thread from quivering when sewing at high speeds and provides accurate fine tuned thread tension. Pretty cool! For a full list of factory specs please visit!

Because the Juki is one of my VERY most favorite things, we’re offering it as our Day 1 – FINAL day of my 12 Days of Favorite things special. Now through January 2nd you can get a Juki TL2010 for yourself for only $999.00!  Click link below to get yours now!

Want even better news? In the true spirit of Christmas, it’s time to GIVE AWAY another Juki! Buy purchasing your Juki between now and January 2nd, 2022 you’ll earn yourself a chance to WIN your Juki for FREE! You read that right, one lucky customer will have their Juki paid for by us as a way to say thank you for the purchase. 

Well everyone, I just want to say thank you for following along these last 12 days as I explored some of my most favorite things that I can’t do without! I hope you had fun and found a few things you’d like to try or add to your tool chest! Leave me a comment and let me know what YOUR favorite thing was out of everything we’ve talked about in the last 12 days. Do you already have everything? Did you make any new discoveries? Are you inspired to start a new project? Let me know by leaving a comment here on the blog, facebook or my YouTube Channel! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from everyone here at Primitive Gatherings! See you soon! – OH! And don’t forget to tune in to my YouTube Channel, “Stitch with Lisa Bongean.” See you there!

CLICK HERE for the Stitch with Lisa Bongean YouTube Channel