Heartfelt is Up for Bids!

Hey everyone! Happy Friday to you! I am very much looking forward to this weekend after another busy week on the books here at Primitive Gatherings. I’m super excited because my dear friend Val flew in from Las Vegas last evening for a visit – just in time to join me for my All Things Pumpkin workshop at The Gathering tomorrow! If you haven’t heard about this highly anticipated fall time gathering, you’re really missing out! After we get things going in the morning with pumpkin spice lattes and Erica’s made-from-scratch scones, I’m spending the day instructing as we work on an exclusive pumpkin-themed wool project. Students will get hands-on, individual help with anything they might be having trouble with or need advice on. Plus, a pumpkin-infused lunch and dessert are also included in the fun! This is one of my favorite events of the season because for me it officially kicks off the autumn decorating season – and you all know how I love to decorate! According to the calendar, the first day of autumn is September 22nd, so this event is just in time to celebrate and welcome it properly. I hope you’ll be there!

If you weren’t able to get in on the September session of All Things Pumpkin, no worries! I felt this popular event deserved at least two days to play, so we decided to go with a second session on October 17th, 2022! We still have spots available in the October session but they are going fast! If you’d like to reserve your seat call Judy at 920.778.8031!

It’s been so satisfying wrapping up summer projects after months of working on them. I’m sure you recall that I ambitiously involved myself in a handful of quilt and sew-alongs this summer… you know, just a few… and I’m happy to say that most of them are starting to come to fruition. One project of mine in particular that I’m especially proud of is the Heartfelt quilt I did for the Fat Quarter Shop’s benefit quilt-along this year. The pattern for this lovable quilt was designed by Corey Yoder based on her new Moda fabric line Beautiful Day,” but for my version I decided to stick with the heart theme and do my quilt with all Valentine’s Day fabrics that I had left over from earlier this winter. If you follow the pattern, Heartfelt” measures 76.5″ x 84.5″ when finished, but I’m kind of a rebel so I decided to do my blocks half size (in other words I did 6″ blocks rather than the 12″ version that the pattern shows).This adorable heart-themed quilt-along was designed to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, an awesome organization that makes dreams come true for children with life-threatening conditions. This charity driven project is a heart-themed quilt made up of six stunning sampler blocks, each featuring pieced hearts – it’s super adorable! If you’d like to make your own and contribute to this great cause, follow the link below for more information!

There’s something extra special about giving back using your own hard work and talents. I love having the opportunity to use mine to help kids facing adversity in their lives. I’ve been blessed and I feel it’s the least I can do! Now that all the hard work is done, the real fun starts – the fund raising part! If you would like this quilt for your very own, bidding is officially open now through 2:00 a.m. on September 25th, 2022 on ebay. Click the button below to place your bid today!Good luck!!!If you’re the lucky winner of the auction for this quilt, let me know in the comments. I would absolutely LOVE to know where destiny takes it! Remember, 100% of all money raised from the sale of this quilt will go to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America! If you’d rather make a donation directly to Make-A-Wish, that’s easy too! All you have to do is follow the link below!

That’s all for today folks! I’ll be spending the rest of the afternoon wrapping up The Witches retreat over at The Gathering and then preparing for a long – and FUN – day tomorrow at All Things Pumpkin. I feel a few late nights coming on – especially since Val is here!!! Lots of fun to have and not a lot of time to have it – LOL! I sure hope you have a great weekend. Try to get outside if you can – we don’t have a lot of nice days left! Happy stitching everyone. I’ll see you back here on the Blog Monday! ~Lisa

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

Heartfelt Quilt-Along – Block Release #5 “Lovebug”

Heartfelt Logo HeaderHey gang! TGIF! I’m officially on my way to California for another one of my cross-country solo adventures. I’ll be heading to San Diego this next week to talk with the USO (United Service Organizations) about some of my ideas to help benefit veterans. The USO has been the nation’s leading charitable organization in serving active-duty service members and military families since 1941, so I’m hoping they can help me find some inspiration for my next big event. My goal this time around is to involve soldiers who are currently on active duty, so I’m really looking forward to talking with them to get some insight on how to go about doing that!

While I’m visiting CA I’ll also be teaching for Dru at the Sew Treasured Retreat in Temecula on Monday. I have to say that being on the road is kind of hard when I’ve just been home for what feels like soooo long… Taking week-long trips to three out-of-state places, all within a month’s time isn’t as easy as you might think! I’m going to need to take the entire summer off from traveling after this – which I’ll be glad to do since it’s hard to ride my toys if I’m not at home. My family and I love to boat, bike, jet ski, hike, fish… and of course, Nick and I LOVE to ride our Harley’s! We only have so many warm weather-days a year in Wisconsin, so I have to take advantage while I can!

With so much going on right now sometimes I have to wonder how I’ll get it all done – even though I know I always do! As you saw last week during Stitch with Lisa Bongean my works-in-progress pile is stacked high with ongoing projects and quilt-alongs. In fact, speaking of quilt-alongs today marks the release of block number five of the Fat Quarter Shops’s charity Quilt-Along, Heartfelt.” Haven’t heard of it? Heartfelt is a darling heart-themed project designed to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America. I decided to participate in this fundraiser because I love kids and wanted to do something to help those who really need it. Make-A-Wish Foundation is an awesome organization that has been making wishes come true for children with life-threatening conditions and their families for over 40 years. To date, they have collectively granted more than 520,000 wishes around the world since it was founded way back in 1980. How awesome is that!?!?

Everyone loves a good quilt-along, am I right? For me they’re especially hard to resist when it’s  backed by such a great cause. Interested in joining me for this one? Let me tell you the details on this little dandy. “Heartfeltis a heart-themed quilt made up of six stunning sampler blocks, each featuring pieced hearts. It was designed by Corey Yoder based on her new Moda fabric line, Beautiful Day.” For mine, I decided to stick with the heart theme and used all Valentine’s Day fabrics leftover from last winter. I also decided to do my blocks half the size of what’s featured on the pattern (in other words, I did 6″ blocks rather than the 12″ version that the pattern shows). If you follow the pattern, Heartfelt” measures 76.5″ x 84.5″ when finished.

I’m happy to say that I’m right on track with this project and have blocks one through five complete! I really love the way the Valentine’s Day fabric looks collaged together within the blocks. Being the recipient of a thoughtful valentine is one of the best feelings ever – especially one made by-hand with love! Wouldn’t this make a perfect gift for your special someone next year? If you’re ready to get started on your own version of Heartfelt,” hit the link below for the full pattern and instructions (please remember to donate $5.00 for each download!).

I’m glad this quilt is turning out to be so darn cute. The plan is, once I get done with my version of this little gem I will be auctioning it off to help raise even more money for Make-A-Wish Foundation! It will be sad to give it up, but it really warms my heart knowing it is going toward helping someone. I guess I will just have to make another one to keep for myself! Do you “love” this quilt motif as much as I do? If you’d like to make my version of Heartfelt,” you can find the Valentine’s Day fabric you’ll need for it on our website!

Heartfelt is currently a free Quilt-Along and download on the Fat Quarter Shop website. Blocks are released one at a time, and will be posted to Fat Quarter Shop’s blog, The Jolly Jabber on the first Friday of each month through September, 2022. They do not require it, but highly encourage that a $5.00 donation be made for the pattern if you’re able to do so. Proceeds go to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America. If you’d rather make a donation directly to Make-A-Wish, follow the link below!

Don’t forget to set your alarm for Shop Talk with Shelley on Tuesday, LIVE at 9:00AM CST. She’ll be talking about our “Junk in Your Trunk” event along with the big Primitive Gatherings warehouse sale coming up next week! Then on Thursday I’ll be back in WI just in time to host Stitch with Lisa Bongean at 1:00PMCST. I’m going to be LIVE here at PG showing you what we have to offer during our Warehouse Sale and “Junk in Your Trunk” events. We’ll be featuring sale items like fabric, kits, books, patterns, notions, and MORE!

If you’re lucky enough to be local you should really stop on out! There will be vendor booths featuring crafts, baked goods, home décor, antiques, and other unique items. I’ll even be selling some things – so come get my JUNK (it’s good junk, I promise)!!! Are you a big garage sale fan? If you said yes have great news for you! This is all happening at the same time as the Winchester Town Wide Garage Sale event, so you will have plenty of shopping options to choose from – after you come see us of course! If you love “treasure hunting” the way I do, these are your lucky days! Not to mention, lunch is available! On Thursday, Erica is planning to have Sloppy Joes, Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad, home-made potato chips and dip with a delicious cookie for dessert! Then Friday through Sunday our soup and salad bar will be available! Yes please…

Alright everyone, it’s time to put this computer down and focus on my day and week ahead! I hope you all have a couple of nice days off along with some beautiful weather! Will you be doing any garage saling this weekend? Do you go a lot or just every once in a while? Let me know in the comments! Be sure to take some time to rest, get caught up on projects, and as always, do your best to stitch every day! I will see you all after I get back from CA. Until then, try to stay out of trouble! LOL ~Lisa