Spring Has Spru… Nevermind.

Hey everyone! Lisa here, coming to you from my cozy spot at The Gathering on yet another snowy day here in WI. Just as soon as we got used to temps in the 40’s, we’re now in the middle of receiving an additional 6″- 8″ of the white stuff. The storm made its debut last evening, making the commute home an interesting (and fun?) journey for anyone traveling more than a couple of miles. It came in fast and hard with whiteout conditions at times, and hasn’t really stopped since. Needless to say, it’s caused a bit of grumbling around here but personally, I’m happy to see it – fresh, clean, and ready to ski on… I’ve been super busy over the last couple weeks and my ski time has suffered because of it. I welcome the chance to get out there at least one more time before it’s over for good. Not to mention, it’s nice to see it fluffy and white again after unseasonably warm temps turned it all to a sloppy mess last week – my least favorite part about all four of our seasons combined. No thanks!

We’ve had a busy week here at Primitive Gatherings and The Gathering, and I couldn’t be happier about it. The famous and wonderful Sue Spargo has been here since Sunday, gracing us with her presence for not one, but TWO weeks of glorious retreat. If you don’t recall seeing this one advertised that’s because we never got much of a chance! Sue is so popular that as soon as people heard that she was coming to The Gathering, word of mouth did its magic and both sessions were full before we even had time to put it out there – and I can’t say I’m surprised either! Sue is an extremely talented fiber artist known for quilting, layering, and embroidering. She uses market wools saturated in bright colors along with multi-medium layering and embroidery to create textural depth and dimension that is truly unique. Sue also offers a variety of quality notions, tools, fabrics, speciality wools, a vast collection of embroidery threads, technique and pattern books, and kits at her online shop, suespargo.com. Check it out by clicking HERE! I’ll warn you now… This site may be hazardous to your pocket book!

Well stitchers, we can’t have Friday without a Sewcialites 2 block release, so let’s get to it. This week we celebrate Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree & Company with her block contribution, Invigorate. Joanna has had an interest in the creative arts all her life. She and her sister grew up working in the family business until adulthood when she eventually moved on to start her own business, Fig Tree & Co. Highly inspired by color, her designs for fabric and quilting always start with the color palette, which is typically inspired by everyday things like fabric swatches, her flower garden, antique quilts, and flea market finds.

Invigorateis a traditional Weathervane block, which just so happens to be one of Joanna’s favorite block types of all time. She describes it as, “the perfect blend of interesting and simple.” This block showcases fabric of any style nicely, which makes it a great opportunity to finally do something with that perfect collection you’ve been hoarding away for just the right project. Despite its simplicity, Invigorate is still considered intermediate on the Fat Quarter Shop’s skill level scale (unless you are working on the three inch version – then it is considered advanced). It consists of one background, one fabric for the outer pieces, one fabric for the inner pieces, and another fabric for the middle square (in other words, one background and three fabrics total). Units include half-square triangles, corner squares, rectangles with corner squares, and a solid square.

For my blocks I’m sticking with my Garden Gatherings fabric line, leaving out the five tans. For this block I chose to go with yellow, green, and orange. For the background I used a selection from the Garden Gathering Shirtings Collection, #49176 15 – a cream fabric with an adorable tiny mustard/orange floral print. I love how it turned out!

You can find the full pattern and instructions to get started on Invigorate by clicking the button above. You can also visit Joanna’s blog Fresh Figs by clicking HERE. She not only gives her two cents on the block, but also offers two alternative option ideas for what to do with it, including a pin cushion, table topper, and runner. All three are super cute and FREE!

Well everyone, it’s getting to be about that time – prize time I mean! As always, thanks a ton to everyone who continues to comment on my blog and LIVE shows. I have so much fun reading through them, and do any chance I get. It’s one of the ways I get to hear about what’s going on in everyone else’s life and what you’re thinking about. It’s also a great way to let me know what you’d like to see more of. Spring is right around the corner and I’m going to start talking about spring projects more and more, so leaving a comment is a perfect way to tell me what your favorites are. Plus, you might even win a prize for it – just like Lora C., Dolores R., and “Grammy” H. did for commenting last week… Congratulations to the three of you! Note: I do not post last names or email addresses for your privacy, so if you think you’re one of the lucky winners this week please be sure to check your email. You can also contact Heidi at heidin@primitivegatherings.us if you have not already received a prize confirmation letter from her. If you think you are a winner but have not received a prize confirmation email, be sure to check your spam folder – it’s not often but our emails will sometimes end up there)!

Alright friends, time to get back to my stitching before my teacher notices me not giving her my undivided attention. Just a quick reminder before I go that if you’d like to send a card or gift to wish Shelley well during her fight to beat Leukemia you can do so by sending it to: Shelley – C/O Heidi Niesl at Primitive Gatherings – 8567 South Loop Rd – Larsen, WI 54947. Special thanks to those of you who already have sent things. You have no idea how much she – and I – appreciate you! Positivity really does go a long way and she can use as much as she can get right now, so from the bottom of my heart – thank you.

I hope you all have a great weekend and manage to stay out of trouble. …I will do my best. No promises though. You never can tell what kind of shenanigans you’ll find happening at a quilting retreat, and I’m not about to put a governor on the engine of Lisa Bongean. Just gonna let it run – that’s how you get things done! Take care and I will see you all soon! ~Lisa


…and That’s a Wrap!

Hey gang! I hope you’re all staying out of trouble while I’m away on my cruise. I’ve been super busy as I’m sure you can imagine, but I still have been able to hop online here and there to check email and social media. It being Wednesday, I obviously had to set aside some time to make a post considering it is the last of this year’s Moda Blockheads 4 Blockhead Wednesdays! I couldn’t let being on a luxury cruise in the middle of the ocean get in the way – I mean we’ve spent every Wednesday talking about this for the last 28! I wouldn’t have missed it. That being said, let’s get started – I’ve got a cruise to get back to!

Block release #28 “Blossom is brought to us by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree & Co. Influenced by her hard-working father, Joanna has had an interest in the creative arts and marketing alike from an early age. She and her sister grew up working in the family business until adulthood when she moved on to start one of her own. Through running that business and teaching in her local quilt shop, Joanna eventually recognized the need for “good patterns” which inspired her to start creating patterns and fabric designs, along with her current business, Fig Tree & Co. Joanna tells us thatBlossom was inspired by the summer flowers in her garden that she hasn’t managed to kill, including mums, dahlias, and peonies – basically all perennials that come back on their own every year and don’t require much help from her. LOL! I like this block because it gives you many different opportunities to showcase your favorite fabrics. You can choose to do it scrappy and make each “petal” a different fabric, or go a bit more simple with fewer fabrics if you prefer. You could also invert the colors for a completely different look – color combinations and piecing options really are endless! If you’re ready to let your creative side bloom, click the link below for the full pattern and instructions to get started!

As you can see, for my blocks I stuck with the on-going choice of a medium orange Bella Solid called “Ochre” for my background. I also continue to stick with what seems to work best for the surrounding elements, and once again went with fabric selections from my Urban Farmhouse Gatherings line. I just love this combination! If you’re looking for some dynamic grayscale fabrics for your next project I highly recommend Urban Farmhouse Gatherings. We don’t have a ton in stock so if you’re interested in grabbing some before it’s gone, hit the button below!

If you’re behind with MBH4 and have some catching up to do, don’t worry! You can visit the Moda Blockheads 4 Archive for more information, including all the previously released MBH4 blocks that I’ve done. The archive link is listed in the main menu of links at the top of my blog page.  You can also visit Moda’s Inspiration+Resources Center Page for additional resources and help, along with all released bonus blocks by clicking HERE! 

Alright! That’s basically a wrap on Moda Blockheads 4 – can you believe it!? Seems like just yesterday we were just getting started and now we’re talking finishing! Speaking of that, I mentioned in a previous post that I’m going to be using MBH4 Setting Option Number Three, Mixed Blocks by Moda for my final layout of this quilt. It looks like this:

You can find that setting option along with a few others if you scroll to the very bottom of Moda Blockheads 4 Archive page – found on Moda’s website mentioned above. I will be sure to do one more post once everything is all said and done to show you my final piece. I don’t know about you but I’m super excited that 28 weeks of hard work and discipline to stay on track with this QAL are finally coming to fruition! If you’re still working on your blocks, keep at it! I know you’ll get it done eventually.

Ok Blockheads, that’s it for now. I need to get back to my – you know…cruisin’ activities. It’s very important that I don’t “rock the boat” by staying away locked in my cabin working for too long (ha-ha, see what I did there?). I DO want to give away a quick little prize to a couple of lucky readers before I go, however… After all, just because I’m not home doesn’t mean we skimp on the prizes around here! So here we go – Ann P. and Sherri G. – you each have a prize coming your way to say thank you for your comment here on my blog! As usual, I don’t post last names or email addresses for your privacy, so if you think you’re a lucky winner this week please be sure to check your email! You can also contact Heidi at heidin@primitivegatherings.us if you have not already received a prize confirmation letter from her. She will use your email address to confirm that you are in fact the winner! See how easy that is folks? If you’d like to be considered for a prize each week all you have to do is leave a comment! Easy peasy, simple as that. Tell me what you’re working on, let me know how it’s going. Heck, tell me your best quilting joke! I love to hear from you.

Alright gang, time to go but I’ll be back here on the blog sooner than you think. I’ve been getting a lot of questions regarding what projects are included in my newest book, Red & White Gatherings, so to make it easy for you I’m going to be going through each project one by one in a two-part blog trunk show starting tomorrow! Excited yet? I know I am. Especially since kits for Red & White Gatherings projects are 15% OFF, and Pre-Cuts are 20% OFF now through October 2nd, 2022, making now the perfect opportunity to get your pre-orders IN! In the meantime why not get a head start on your shopping? You can check out the Red & White Gatherings collection by clicking the link below. BEWARE! I know you’re going to want everything you see – consider yourself warned! See you soon. ~Lisa