As If You Needed Another Reason to Spoil Yourself with a New Juki…

Hey everyone! I’m sure you’ve heard about all the awesome daily flash sales going on right now here at Primitive Gatherings, and I really hope you’ve had a chance to take advantage! If you haven’t heard about it, I’m sad because you’re really missing out! I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that rather than having our usual 12 Days of Christmas event this year, we decided to take a different route due to the launch of our new website coming in January. It’s been a real challenge getting all our ducks in a row over the last year in an attempt to be ready for this exciting new chapter at PG, so the time that our 12 Days of Christmas event usually takes up is simply not available right now. To make up for it, this year we’re offering daily FLASH SALES during most of the month of December as a way to not only welcome the Christmas season, but also to say thank you to all of our great customers and fans!

So what does that mean for you? To take advantage of these generous daily deals all you have to do is check our Facebook store page and/or the STITCH Facebook group each day, where we will be posting the details and a link that will take you directly to the sale for that day! Each daily deal will only be valid for 24 hours only, so if you see something you GOTta have, don’t wait because it won’t last long! As I mentioned, we will be doing this for the duration of December – at least up until Christmas eve – so if you haven’t found that perfect deal yet, don’t worry. There’s more in store!

I have to say that it’s pretty weird to have December in full-swing without our 12 days event happening. At the same time, we’re so busy with everything else going on that the few minutes I bothered to notice its absence are already long gone into the past. On the same hand, it just wouldn’t feel like a proper December without my annual JUKI sale! If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that every year I get super excited when it’s time to put these awesome machines on sale. It’s not something that happens very often and I love this machine so much that I can’t help but to share the love with my fellow stitchers. Tis’ the season, am I right? Now through December 11th, 2022 get your new JUKI TL-2010Q for only $999.00 (regular price = $1,100) by clicking the link below!!! To sweeten the deal, I’m also taking an additional 20% off bobbins and feet. Seriously, how can you go wrong? You can’t!

If you’re not familiar with this epic machine, I’m more than happy to gush about it just for a minute… Most of you know that this gem of a machine is my most preferred sewing tool of all time. I’ve used the JUKI TL-2010Q for what feels like forever – it’s definitely what I consider my, “work-horse.” Without this awesome work of mechanical art I would not be half the quilter I am today. Reason being is that the JUKI TL-2010Q is by no means new to the market. They are well known in the garment industry and though they are mostly industrial machines, they are tried and true and something I have 100% faith in for my own personal use. 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 over 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 TL-2010Q 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 remember 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-2010Q can handle large quilt, sewing or home décor 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 juki.com!

Because the JUKI TL-2010Q is one of my MOST favorite things, I’m super excited to be able to offer it to you at the lowest price of the year! Now through December 11th, 2022 you can get a JUKI TL-2010Q for yourself for only $999.00! And as I mentioned above, to sweeten the pot I’m also taking an additional 20% off bobbins and feet. Click the link below to order before the sale is gone for another year!

Alright ya’ll. Just like that the sun is down again. I really do hate it that it gets so dark so early this time of year. I won’t complain too much though since I know that come December 21st (the shortest day of the year AND the official first day of winter!) we’ll be back on the upswing toward warmer, LONGER, sunnier days. I know it’s a long way off, but a positive attitude really does do wonders to fight those pesky seasonal blues. Just saying!

Be sure to visit the Primitive Gatherings Facebook store page, and the STITCH group on Facebook to see all the fantastic daily deals coming your way this December. Not a member of our STITCH Facebook group yet? We’d love to have you! Join us for friendship, camaraderie, advice, a place to show off your hard work, and overall good company by clicking HERE (please be sure to answer all the admin questions when requesting to join or you may be denied as we are diligently fighting against spam and scammers on a daily basis). I will see you all again this Thursday when I go LIVE on my YouTube channel at 1:00 p.m. CST. Click the STITCH button below to watch. Take care for now and I’ll see you soon! ~Lisa

Sewcialites 2 – Block 6 “Always Star”

Hey everyone! Back again with another exciting block release from the Sewcialites 2 Quilt-Along! This week Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms brings her creative contribution to the table with Block 6, “Aways Star.” Camille – formerly part of Bonnie & Camille, Moda’s first mother-daughter design team – is an accomplished author, quilt and fabric designer, and a fellow Moda sister of over 17 years. After working along side her mother for years she kicked off her solo career back in 2006 with her first-ever collection as a single designer, Nantucket Summer.” Then in 2007, she published her first pattern under the Thimble Blossoms name. The rest is history!

Camille designed the Always Star block to feature traditional half-square triangles and flying geese. She said, “I’ve done several variations of this block over the years and never get tired of it! It looks great in every fabric I’ve tried and is so fun to put together.” I couldn’t agree more! This block isn’t terribly difficult but may pose some challenges for a new quilter – which is why it earned a block skill level of intermediate. Just remember, if you’re someone who has trouble with half-square triangles, you can always use my custom designed Primitive Gatherings Triangle Paper to help you along (which you can easily purchase by clicking HERE)! Aways Star Block is basically a combination of squares and rectangles on the corners, flying geese, and a larger square in the center. I especially like the center square because it provides a nice opportunity for you to fussy-cut and feature your favorite fabrics or theme as the center of attention. Ready to rock this block? Get the pattern and full instructions by clicking the button below!If you’ve been following along from the beginning you most likely already know that for my blocks I’ve decided to use my Garden Gatherings fabric line, leaving out the five tans. For the background I am using a selection from the Garden Gatherings Shirtings Collection, #49176 15 – a cream fabric with an adorable tiny mustard/orange floral print. Do you think these are good choices? So far I am absolutely loving it. If you are head over heels for this fabric line and want to use it for your Sewcialites 2 quilt, simply follow the link below to shop Garden Gatherings for all the fabric you need! If you’ve already decided, let me know in the comments what fabric you chose for this quilt-along. I love seeing all the different perspective on one project. It’s so neat to see everyone’s different tastes and ideas. AND who knows, you might even win a prize for your comment!

Still trying to decide whether or not to participate in the Sewcialites 2 Quilt Along? Even though we’ve already started, don’t let that stop you from joining us! One of the best things about this quilt-along is that you can start at any time! Previously released blocks will always be posted on the Sewcialites 2 Landing Page. To make it even easier you can also find them here on my blog in the Sewcialites 2 Block Archive, which is listed in the main menu of links at the top of the page.

I will be posting each new block release here on my blog every Friday for your convenience. Fabric requirements and all block patterns are posted on the Sewcialites 2 Landing Page, which you can access by clicking the link below. If you’d like to get automatic updates on Sewcialites 2 you can subscribe to the blog by signing up in the Email subscription box by visiting the Landing Page, or by subscribing to the YouTube channel by clicking HERE.

Well, I’ve just been told that it’s officially the weekend, and now that it’s after five I’m allowed to go home! I will see you all Monday here on the blog, and then LIVE on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. CST on my YouTube channel for Shop Talk. Set your reminder now and click the link below to watch. See you there! Have a GREAT weekend everyone. ~Lisa

Red & White Gatherings Has Arrived!

Yes, this fantastic news is indeed true… My highly anticipated Red & White Gatherings line has officially arrived to Primitive Gatherings – just in time for Christmas! I am super excited about this considering we have all been (im)patiently waiting for it to get here since last spring, and we weren’t quite sure when exactly we’d actually have it in our hands. If you haven’t seen it yet, just wait until you do. The Red & White Gatherings line is nothing short of marvelous if I do say so myself. The collection is made up of cream-based whites and a stunning mix of reds ranging from middle-of-the-road, to dark and deep. Print patterns include floral, linear, and geometrical designs that span from tiny to large giving you a wide spectrum of visual variety.

If you’re anything at all like me, these exciting new fabrics have your mind going in a million directions! I can imagine this versatile line being implemented into several different projects I’ve been thinking about starting. You know how I love the traditional red and white color combination (if my Red & White Quilt Challenge doesn’t prove that, I don’t know what does)! Of course, I also have a project book to go along with these yummy fabrics that contains nine unique designs (12 total quilts – some with more than one version) – all based on Red & White Gatherings. If you’re looking for a bit of red and white inspiration, this book is the perfect solution!

People keep saying that it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… Now that Red & White Gatherings is here, I can’t agree more! When my warehouse guru Amy told me that it had officially arrived to PG, it may as well have been Christmas morning! Speaking of Amy, I am so lucky to have her holding the reins down in the warehouse. Thanks to her, just about everything is ready to rock and out for sale in the shop and online. The only thing we’re not quite finished with at this point is our kits, but those are coming along nicely and should be fully available soon. Please bear with us! Amy asks that if you are coming out to the shop for a specific Red & White Gatherings kit, please call us first at 920-722-7233 to be sure that we have it available. Ready to shop Red & White Gatherings? Click the button below to see what all the fuss is about!Want to know more? Tune in and watch me LIVE tomorrow during STITCH with Lisa Bongean at 1:00 p.m. CST on YouTube. I’ll be talking more about Red & White Gatherings along with another one of my recent fabric lines, Rustic Gatherings – which is still on sale for a limited time! Get 20% OFF pre-cuts and 15% OFF kits if you pre-order before December 5th! Click the button below to shop Rustic Gatherings!

You know, I just realized that with all the craziness going on last week I was kind of slacking in the prize department, so to make up for it I think double prizes are in order! We’ve had a lot of wonderful comments here on the blog lately and those of you leaving them deserve some credit! This week I’d like to say thanks and congratulations to Teresa E., Ganene B., Mary H., and Cheryl M.! You are this week’s lucky winners! 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! Want to be considered for a prize? All you have to do is leave me a comment. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

Ok, I think that’s enough excitement for one post so I’m going to stop here. I sure hope to see you all tomorrow for STITCH with Lisa Bongean at 1:00 CST. All you need to do to tune in is hit the STITCH button below! Hope to see you there – I have lots to talk about! ~Lisa

Cure Your Holiday Hangover with 25% OFF Store-Wide at Primitive Gatherings!

Hey everyone, and welcome back! As usual, there is a lot going on around here today after taking some much-needed time off to celebrate the holiday. Isn’t it amazing how fast a few days can go by? It really is crazy how time flies. As most of you know, I was happy to be home at Anchor Point with Nick and my family this Thanksgiving where we spent time together relaxing and eating entirely too much – it was perfect. Good company, an abundance of delicious home-cooked food, and being able to crawl into my own bed when it’s all said and done are just about all I need to feel like I’ve celebrated appropriately. Then, just when I think I can’t stand to look at another piece of turkey, mashed potatoes, or pumpkin pie for one more second, “Project Leftovers” ensues immediately the next day… Gluttons for punishment we are. Ahh, and how glorious it is.

Anyway, I hope you had a great celebration with your friends and family as well. It’s always kind of tough to get back into the swing of work related things after a big holiday like that (believe me I know), but for whatever reason I was up early chomping at the bit this morning, ready to get back at it. We just have SO much going on that I get anxious in the gate if I sit around for too long. Because of the crazy amount of activity happening last week, I was pretty busy all the days leading up to Thanksgiving. I didn’t really have much time to think about Black Friday or Cyber Monday so I thought heck, let’s do something fun on Tuesday to help cure everyone’s holiday hangover. That’s why tomorrow, Tuesday November 29th we are having what I’m calling my Cyber Tuesday Hangover Sale at Primitive Gatherings! Let me give you the details… Starting at midnight, you will receive 25% OFF everything in stock – both in-store and online (offer includes regularly priced items only – offer does not include pre-ordered items, the Red & White Gatherings fabric line, Bernina products, or any other sewing machines)!

This is my way of celebrating Thanksgiving and showing how much I am thankful for all of YOU! That pretty much means that now is the perfect time for you to put a dent in your holiday shopping list and stock up on last-minute Christmas projects, stocking stuffers, and other gifts! The best news is, this sale is both in-store and online, so if you can’t make it into the shop, simply shop online!

Sometimes shopping for my fellow stitching friends can be a bit challenging, considering it seems like most of them already have everything they need. When this happens, I usually turn to our apparel and home décor items. We offer things like t-shirts and other unique tops, jewelry, home décor, festive socks, stoneware mugs, tumblers, paper goods, soaps, caramels, Christmas items, and more to choose from! You can find a great selection on our website under the GIFTS/HOME tab! You can also click the button below to check it out. And remember, if you shop tomorrow you get %25 OFF. Can’t lose!

Are you ready to shop all night? I don’t know about you, but I do some of my best gift selecting in the wee hours of the morning when nobody else is awake to bother me. That also helps to keep my purchases a secret as well – LOL! Alright everybody, I’m going to head home but we’ll be back tomorrow LIVE with Shop Talk at 9:30 a.m. Jess is going to steal the show and talk all about some more super exciting news: Red & White Gatherings has finally arrived! We’re also going to be discussing another one of my recent lines, Rustic Gatherings so you don’t want to miss that. Set your reminders now and I will there in the comment section! Simply click the button below to tune in. Have a great night and see you soon! ~Lisa

Meet Me in the Garden – Round 5: Log Cabin and Half-Square Triangles

Hey stitchers! …and just like that, there goes another weekend. It sure was a blustery one here, with temps in the single digits and windchills more typical of late January! It seemed like it snowed for about three days straight, resulting in what definitely looks – and feels –  like full-on winter out there. A bit premature, but I say bring it on – I figure it’s coming anyway. Plus, as someone who looks forward to winter sports I can say the more white stuff early on in the season, the better! Back in the good ol’ days outdoor enthusiasts could rely on huge snow dumps all season long, but these days we just don’t see the inches like we used to. Call me crazy, but I’m hoping it keeps up (at least until late February) so I can actually get out on my snowshoes this season. That is one sport you need some pretty significant fresh and fluffy snow for it to be enjoyable, so I’ll embrace it if that’s what crazy ol’ Mother Nature decides to do. Time will certainly tell!

I’m having a nice Monday and hope you are too. I’m usually at work bright and early on Mondays, but I really needed a day to work on things with no interruptions so I decided to do it from home this afternoon. My sewing room is usually the only place I can even come close to achieving real peace and quiet (even if it means locking the door) so it’s nice to work there once in a while. I wish I could take the day completely off but I’ve got plenty to do! Earlier today I stopped in at my studio to grab some things that I needed, and found a bunch of projects that I should probably give some love to instead. Along with a feeble attempt to relax a little, I’ve also been working on other random things today, including tying up some loose ends from our big weekend. As you know we just wrapped up our annual Primitive Christmas event which is always a lot of work from start to finish, with a ton of planning and organizing that goes into it. I have to hand it to my staff – now this is a group of people who know how to work together to get things done! Between the Red and White Quilt Show opening, people coming to do make-‘n-takes, the phones ringing constantly with orders coming in, and the shop being super busy with all the Primitive Christmas shoppers, everything came together like a well-oiled machine… I mean, for the most part anyway. LOL! Of course there were a few snafus here and there, but hey! They handled it like the champs they are. Never forget, I couldn’t do any of this without them. I love my staff!

During all the Primitive Christmas commotion I almost forgot that Val’s video tutorial for Round #5 of the Meet Me in the Garden Stitch-Along quietly released last week on my STITCH with Lisa Bongean YouTube Channel so I wanted to talk about that for a second today before I get back to stitching. This round is the Log Cabin/Half-Square Triangle round. First and foremost, I need to mention that this is another round where you will need one of the required rulers from the previously posted Meet Me in the Garden Stitch-Along Rulers and Tools list. If you haven’t had a chance to look at that list, here it is again for your convenience…

The ruler you will need for Round #5 is called the 6″ Log Cabin Trim Tool. If you’re not familiar with this handy ruler let me tell you, you’re really going to love it! The 6″ Log Cabin Trim Tool features exclusive markings to create perfect finished Log Cabin, Half Log Cabin, or Courthouse Step blocks. What makes this tool especially amazing is that the cutting instructions for strip widths and center squares are printed right on it! This 6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ tool slides easily over the fabric until pressure is applied. Then the exclusive gripper holds the fabric in place while cutting, eliminating slipping and miss-cuts! The 6″ Log Cabin Trim Tool comes with fully illustrated step by step instructions that are quickly accessible by QR code, which is also printed on the side of the tool. If you’re more of a visual learner, fear not! A video demonstration is also available. If you still need to get your 6″ Log Cabin Trim Tool, click the button above to order!

I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that for this round you will be making 6″ Log Cabin, and Half-Square Triangle blocks. We will also be making flying geese. As most of you know, the Log Cabin quilt block is one of the most loved and easily recognizable quilt pattern designs, which many feel is also one of the easiest structured quilt patterns you can make as a beginner. They’re even easier when using the 6″ Log Cabin Trim Tool, and since each round is squared up before the next set of logs are added, the end results are spectacular! You can also make quick and easy work of the half-square triangles in this round by using my custom triangle paper. Need to stock up? Click the link below to check out the many sizes and types we have to offer!

Flying geese are also one of the most popular quilt building blocks out there, however, despite the fact that they seem like they should be straightforward and easy, many stitchers struggle ending up with wonky, lopsided, and undersized results. If this sounds like you, don’t worry! Despite the extra care and skill flying geese require the results are stunning, making a little extra work totally worth it. I know they might seem a little intimidating at first, but I’m confident that with the Creative Grids Ultimate Flying Geese Tool combined with Val’s top notch video tutorial, you’re going to get through this round like a pro. We believe in you! If anything, take the opportunity to sharpen your skills and maybe even learn something new. Ready to give it a shot? To get started, watch Val’s video tutorial on Round #5 at the link below!

Still thinking about joining us for Meet Me in the Garden but haven’t quite decided to take the plunge? You can find all the details in the initial introduction blog post, where I take you through all the fabric and tools that you will need to participate in this stitch-along. This is a six month long project, so I highly recommend having everything you need ready prior to starting. You can read more about the stitch-along and what’s required to participate by clicking HERE!

Video tutorials for each round are posted to my YouTube channel, “Stitch with Lisa Bongean” each month on the listed release dates. They are also posted to the blog shortly after. All previously released videos can be found in the “Meet Me in the Garden Video Tutorial Archive” listed in the main menu of links at the top of the blog. You can also watch the intro video to Meet Me in the Garden by clicking the button below. If you have any questions feel free to email the shop at store@primitivegatherings.us and we’ll be happy to help!

Of course, if you have any other questions regarding the Meet Me in the Garden SAL – or on anything else for that matter – feel free to post them in the comment section here on the blog and I will do my best to answer them!

That’s all for today everyone. Be sure to set your reminders for Shop Talk with Shelley tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. CST! As always we’ll be talking about any new and exciting news, and announcements along with some winter favorites we think you might be interested in seeing. You don’t want to miss it… Hit the button below to tune in! See you there! ~Lisa

Sewcialites 2 – Block 5 “Empower”

Whew – what a day! I can’t even say T.G.I.F. this week because our annual Primitive Christmas event isn’t over until Sunday night! As you can imagine it’s been a total zoo around here today with all the buzz being generated by this annual Primitive Gatherings holiday tradition. The day totally whizzed by and I can’t believe it’s almost 6:00 p.m. already. I’m actually glad for once that it’s getting darker so much earlier… The blue light of evening starting to glow through the windows was the only thing that alerted me to the fact that it’s getting to be so late in the day. Time really does fly when you’re having fun!

If you’re not quite sure what Primitive Christmas is all about, let me give you a quick rundown. Primitive Christmas is an open-house event we put on every year designed to welcome the holiday season with open arms. Guests are invited to join us here at Primitive Gatherings and The Gathering now through Sunday November 20th, 2022 for fresh cookies and hot cider, the 2022 Red & White Quilt Challenge Show, exclusive FREE newly released holiday patterns (with a minimum purchase of $40.00 – sorry, offer does not include pre-ordered items), and more! Yes, you read that right. Primitive Christmas is your chance to get four of my most recent holiday pattern releases FREE (including one kit!) along with our annual calendar of events just by doing something you were most likely going to do anyway – spending $40.00 at Primitive Gatherings (purchase must total $40.00 before tax and shipping – offer available both online or in-store)! Check these out!

Aren’t they adorable? And none of these projects are excessively difficult. With a little determination you could easily get at least one or two done by the time the 25th of December rolls around – just in time to hand them out as gifts to a lucky family member or friend. I love them all! And there’s no better time to grab them up considering you can get them FREE with your $40.00 minimum purchase! Remember, you can participate in this event – including purchase the make-n’-take projects – all from the comfort of you own home by shopping on our website! Ready to shop? Hit the button below to see what all the fuss is about!

Have you heard about our event make-n’-take projects? In addition to the holiday must-haves you’ll be getting with your minimum $40.00 purchase, we also have four quick, easy, and ADORable make-‘n’-take projects available to make on-site now through 17th through Saturday November 19th, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. CST (all make-n’-takes will be at The Gathering). Projects available will include a 2022 cross stitch ornament, painted Santa rocks, a fleece wine bottle hat and scarf set, and our brand new fresh-cut wool and homespun Christmas tree pillows (the make-n’-take project is the small size tree = appx 8″). Can’t make it here in person? No problem! You can also purchase our make-n’-take projects online!

There are so many awesome things going on here and so many great people to talk to, it’s hard to say what my favorite thing about all of this is. On that same hand, I can tell you for sure what the best part of TODAY was – that’s a no-brainer. Puppies! As you all know, each Primitive Christmas we choose a charity to benefit from your generosity combined with a portion of the profits generated by this great event. This year I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that our charity of choice is Our Pack Animal Rescue – a WI based, non-profit organization looking to improve the lives of animals, share education, and give back to the community. Though they are located in New London, WI they service pets and shelters in need all over the Fox Valley in WI. Their mission is simple: Rescue. Rehab. Re-home. Repeat. The kind folks at the rescue were nice enough to bring over some VERY cute and adoptable special guests to visit us at The Gathering this afternoon!

I promised cuteness overload, and we certainly delivered – all thanks to the wonderful volunteers at Our Pack Animal Rescue. I can’t wait to present them with your generous donations! They certainly deserve it. They’re doing God’s work after all! And want to know the best part of the best part? Several, if not all the pups who visited us today were placed in forever homes! If that’s not reward enough, I don’t know what is. I’m absolutely over the moon for these sweet pups and their new families. We really couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome. Happy “gotcha day” to them all!!!

Alright, alright… I suppose I should quit gushing about Primitive Christmas, and puppies, and cider, and cookies, and all the things, and talk about this week’s Sewcialites 2 block release. That’s actually why I came up here to write – because it is Friday after all – but I couldn’t help myself from talking at least a little about such a phenomenal day! This week’s block is the fifth in the series for this QAL. Block #5, “Empower was designed by Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie’s Quilt Company. Be warned, Empower is the most difficult block in the entire QAL. The concept of this block is easy enough since it is basically a small basket made four times, but don’t let that fool you – it will definitely test your skills. Aesthetics wise, Kim Jolly from Fat Quarter Shop recommends choosing four different colored fabrics and four different prints, along with a background that isn’t busy to help your baskets to pop.

Kim also emphasizes the importance of pressing, and not stretching your fabric while making this block. Empower is tricky and is going to take some time to do it correctly. Have patience and give yourself enough time to go slow – don’t rush! If you’re doing the 3″ version it is going to be way more difficult that if you’re doing the 9″, but either way this block is a challenge. Don’t be scared, I have faith in you! If you’re feeling nervous remember you can always watch Kim’s video tutorial for step-by-step guidance. I know you’re ready to grab this bull of a block by the horns, so wait no longer! You can find the pattern and full instructions by clicking the link below! As I’ve mentioned in past posts, for my blocks I’ve decided to use my Garden Gatherings fabric line, leaving out the five tans. For the background I am using a selection from the Garden Gatherings Shirtings Collection, #49176 15 – a cream fabric with an adorable tiny mustard/orange floral print. With every week that passes by I’m more and more sure that I made the right decision for my fabric. It’s eye candy by definition! I love the fact that this quilt has three size options including 3”, 6”, and 9” – I am doing the 6″ version. I really can’t wait to see this beauty all finished… I think it’s really going to be something to look at – especially since Garden Gatherings is one of my favorite collections of all time! If you are head over heels for this fabric line like I am and want to use it for your Sewcialites 2 quilt, simply follow the link below to shop Garden Gatherings for all the fabric you need!

I know a lot of you are still trying to decide whether or not to participate in the Sewcialites 2 Quilt Along. Let me just say that one of the best things about Sewcialites 2 is that it’s never too late to start – you can join us at any time! Previously released blocks will always be posted on the Sewcialites 2 Landing Page. To make it even easier you can also find them here on my blog in the Sewcialites 2 Block Archive, which is listed in the main menu of links at the top of the page.

I will be posting each new block release here on my blog every Friday for your convenience. Fabric requirements and all block patterns are posted on the Sewcialites 2 Landing Page, which you can access by clicking the link below. If you’d like to get automatic updates on Sewcialites 2 you can subscribe to the blog by signing up in the Email subscription box by visiting the Landing Page, or by subscribing to the YouTube channel by clicking HERE.

Alright gang, I am officially exhausted! I still need to get home and figure out what’s on the menu for supper tonight, plus do some laundry and other organizing all before I come back tomorrow to do it all over again! I hope you’re having fun during our little Christmas shindig – it really is the best time of the year! I will see you all on Monday here on the blog, and again on Tuesday for Shop Talk with Shelley at 9:30 a.m. LIVE on YouTube. Tune in to watch by hitting the Shop Talk button below. See you there! Take care and have a GREAT weekend! ~Lisa