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


Let the Ghoul Times Roll!

Hey gang. I hope you’re having a great day! I would usually say T.G.I.F., but this is one week I wish would last just a little bit longer! Life is good as I am definitely living proof that time flies when you’re having fun. As most of you know I’m still on my Hawaii cruise, but sadly the end is also fast approaching. Crazy to think that by this time next week, it will be a thing of the past and only in my memories. I know you’re thinking – if I’m busy living my best life on a cruise, what on earth am I doing wasting the last waning moments working? I know, I know – guilty as charged. I can’t help myself! You know how this brain of mine never seems to shut off. Always thinking…

A couple of days ago I made a post about some of my most favorite Halloween projects, which I’m sure you read and took meticulous notes on. 😀  The problem with picking my favorite of anything is that there is usually far more than one. I soon realized that narrowing it down to one post really didn’t cut it, so I decided to do round two of my favorite Halloween projects – just in case you’re still looking for just the right décor to spooky up your house with for the big night.

As I’ve mentioned so many times in the past, I find that one of the easiest ways to decorate for the holidays in a fast and easy way is pillows! It literally takes minutes to swap them out for the current season/holiday, and they’re super easy to store. Plus, you can mix and match and interchange them from room to room! If all of these factors appeal to you, perhaps my customizable Jack o’lantern pillows are just what you’re looking for this Halloween! Shown below, this pattern comes with a complete alphabet set so you’re able to customize the lettering however you please! Finished size can vary – choose either 15″ x 15″ or 15″ x 19″ – either way the sky is the limit on how many different things you can say with this pillow.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, nor does the…gourd? If you like my Customizable Jack o’Lantern Pillows but are looking for something a bit longer, try Happy Halloween Pillow! Basically a bigger version of the customizable Jack o’lantern pillows, Happy Halloween Pillow measures just a big larger at 15″ x 28″. Sounds like a set is in order! Longer yet at 16″ x 32″, “Boo Pumpkin fits the theme perfectly featuring the word BOO adorned by two mischievous jack o’lanterns. Even if he is only sporting a couple of random teeth, if you need a cuddle buddy this Halloween Boo Pumpkinis your guy! I mean hey, a genuine smile should count for something in this crazy world. I don’t know about you, but a happy and cheerful attitude goes a long way with this girl. LOL!

Sticking with the pillow theme, let’s talk about I Put a Spell On You! This charming little beauty flies hand in hand with the spirit of Hallows Eve. Featuring a wickity witch making her way through the chilly night sky, I Put a Spell On Youis sure to bewitch your heart! Fall in love, but not off your broom stick with this adorable pillow! I Put a Spell On Youtakes an 18″ – 20″ pillow form and measures either 16″ x 16″ or 18″ x 18″  when finished.

Table mats are another super fast and easy way to switch out holiday décor in a matter of no time. I talked about a bunch of super cute ones on Wednesday’s post, so if you’re a fan of table mats you may want to go back and take a look if you missed it. You can reread that post by clicking HERE! As my mind was chewing holes in itself Wednesday night I realized I forgot to mention a similar décor solution – table mats! Fitting right in with our other ghostly options, Old Crow & Company Table Mat doesn’t disappoint. Featuring jack o’lanterns and, you guessed it – old crows, this table mat has an eerie way of fitting right into any room of the nest!

Love panel projects? Last on my list is a splendid panel called Kitty Corn Panel by Urban Chiks for Moda Fabrics. This pretty kitty has a retro feel with a color palette reminiscent of one of the best decades known to man – the 70’s! Enjoy seasonal favorites like pumpkins, candy corn, a few funky florals, gingham, polka dots, and of course a big black cat. The possibilities are endless! Order one for you and one for a gift. Panel size is 54″ x 90″. Get yours now by clicking the link below!

Alright my little witches and warlocks! That’s your dose of spooktacular for the day! I hope you were able to find some Halloween décor inspiration in these last couple posts of mine. If you’re still banking on getting projects done before the 31st, the time is definitely now! I will see you all again sooner than later. Remember, Shop Talk with Shelley will be back in full swing starting this coming week on Tuesday at 9:30 AM CST on my STITCH with Lisa Bongean YouTube channel! Shelley will be covering any new PG news, announcements and even more Halloween fun! Tune in by hitting the Shop Talk button below. See you soon! ~Lisa