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


…in With the New!

Hey everyone, I hope you had a nice weekend! Most of you know that I was feeling less than adequate by the middle of last week, so I was pretty relieved once Friday evening came rolling in. I’m not usually one to spend my weekends laying around, but I’ll be the first to admit that is exactly what I did for the last couple of days. I am notorious for not allowing myself enough time to recuperate after an illness so I’ve been trying super hard to take it as easy as I can so that I don’t end up making myself sick again. Despite the logic in that, you know it hasn’t necessarily been easy for me to relent to what my body needs versus what my brain wants. Tale as old as time…

Thanks again for bearing with the time change last week for my LIVE show on Friday. If you didn’t get a chance to watch it, no worries. You can always catch the replay by hitting the STITCH button at the end of my post. I went over a bunch of new projects that I’ve been impatiently waiting to release to you for a while now. If you’re unable to watch, no worries. I’ll go through them here for you, one by one.

Let’s start with one of the latest additions to my clipboard banner series called, It’s a Good Day.” I love this banner! I’m a firm believer that a huge factor in finding true happiness in your life is simply choosing it on a daily basis. It’s a Good Dayreminds us that every day is a good day to be happy…

This banner is great if you need a gift in between holidays for a birthday or other occasion, or – just because! It’s easy to cheer someone up. It’s a Good Daymakes it easier than ever! At 12″ x 12″ this banner fits perfectly on one of Scotty’s custom built clipboards, which makes displaying it fast and convenient – especially if you already have the board for other projects. If not, you can easily order it along with the pattern and kit for by selecting “add clipboard” when making your order selections.

If you’re a fan of my seasonal clipboard series and want to keep adding to it, check out All Things Pumpkin.” This seasonal banner features all things…gourd really. LOL! Basically any kind of “pumpkin-like” fruit that we see here in WI around the harvest time.

I had a lot of fun making each and every one of the little cuties adorning this autumn-themed banner, and you will too! Plus, at the manageable size of 12″ x 12″ if you’re new to wool appliqué, this is a great project to get some good practice in without making a huge commitment. Ready to get started? Click above to add All Things Pumpkin to your hanging banner collection!

Next up we have a cute little project that I came up with simply called, Wool Bucket and Rotary Cutter Case.” I’ll admit that it took me a try or two to get this one figured out just right so that the sides were stiff enough but I’m really happy with the final product. The outside of the basket is wool, and the inside is soft flannel.

I designed this project so that when you order the kit you end up with enough for two projects in the end, rather than a bunch of waste. After you’re done with the basket you should have plenty left over from the kit to also get an adorable wool appliquéd rotary cutter holder out of it. I really love the idea of projects that yield more than one thing in the end to show for all your hard work and this one certainly doesn’t disappoint! It makes a great gift or the perfect functional project to keep for yourself.

Looking for a mini-charm friendly project? Try Mini Scrappy Pouch.” This project is pretty much exactly as the title reads – a mini pouch made using a mini charm (plus your binding and lining) perfect for keeping all sorts of things safe and sound all in the same place. There’s no such thing as too many zipper pouches in my humble opinion – I have them everywhere! I keep thread, needles, other notions, bobbins… anything I need to keep contained really – all safe and sound in these little babies. They’re super fast to put together and make perfect gifts for your stitcher friends. Plus, they’re PERFECT for traveling! Grab one for you and a few more to give away. Each comes with a zipper charm to make it extra personal. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned quilter, you can’t go wrong with Mini Scrappy Pouch!

Moving on to some larger scale projects, we have Nantucket Summer,” a quilt originally from our quilt box subscription that is now finally available to the rest of the world. It offers a simple yet eye-pleasing design derived from everyone’s favorite – half-square triangles!

This quilt can conveniently be done using just a charm pack. It’s not a difficult quilt to do but if you’re one of those people who’s not a huge fan of half-square triangles, I highly recommend using my 1 1/4″ half-square triangle paper, which you can find by clicking HERE. To order Nantucket Summer click the link above!

On With 2022 is one of my favorite projects from last year’s wool box, and it just so happened to be the on-going project. This wool appliqué runner features hexis, wool pennies, stars, fancy stitches, and a rainbow of color to dazzle your mind’s eye.

There was a ton of interest in this runner so it makes me happy to finally be able to share it with you. If you do decide to tackle this beauty please be aware that the background wool color and texture included in the kit is subject to change. Also, the Homespun backing is not provided in the kit for this one so if you would like the backing fabric, please make sure to select and put that in your cart. You will need 1/3 yard.

Many of you have heard me talking about my 1883 project from our exclusive Special Edition gift box earlier this winter and after hearing all the rave reviews it’s gotten, I’m sure you’re anxious to get your hands on it. Well, wait no longer! 1883 is now available for purchase as an individual project!

Featured on one of Scotty’s custom designed display boards, 1883 was lovingly designed around the spin-off of one of my favorite shows of all time, Yellowstone! It features a pretty floral motif with a handsome spring robin and is done with wool appliqué. As a little bonus, you’ll also be able to squeeze out the matching pin cushion with any excess wool left over from your kit. As you can see I used the 1883 date on the main project, and this year’s date on the pincushion. How will you date yours?

Did you see anything that you’re extra excited about? Let me know in the comments what caught your eye and what you think your next project is going to be. Remember, if you’d like to see those projects a bit more in detail, don’t forget you can always go back and watch me go through them on last week’s episode of STITCH with Lisa by hitting the link below.

Ok folks, that’s it for today! This girl is exhausted. The good news is, Captain Crab Ass is actually Captain Sweetie Pie today, since he is at home as we speak preparing pork chops, green beans and mashed potatoes for dinner… And yes, without even being asked! We might pick on the poor guy a lot around here but trust me – it’s all good. He knows he’s loved. Have a great night everyone and I will see you all again soon! Until then, take care and have a lovely evening. ~Lisa



Gourd Big or Go Home!

Hey everyone! Land ho! I’m happy to report that I am finally safe and sound, back on dry ground and home in the good ol’ state of Wisconsin. Everything was so green when I left, but only a couple of short weeks later I returned to an ocean of vibrant autumn color. Such beauty this time of year – I can’t get enough! Everywhere I look the leaves are so bright, they almost seem electric against sprawling farm fields of gold. Just wow! So glad to be home. Though I had a total blast on my cruise, anyone would agree that being away from home for almost three weeks is almost a bit too long. And because I know in my head that my fantasy of sailing away into the sunset for the rest of eternity isn’t actually real, after a while my thoughts can’t help but start to wander back in the direction of work. It almost becomes stressful NOT to think about it, if that makes any sense…

While I was on the ship, the promise of access to a solid Wifi connection quickly became painfully empty within the first couple of hours of being on board. We only had a good signal here and there between islands, and limited access to the ship’s connection – certainly not enough to sustain any kind of long-term working conditions – making getting even an hour or two of desk work done at a time virtually impossible. I was able to hop on sporadically to check messages and blog a little so I wasn’t completely cut off, but it did feel different not having people be able to reach me 24/7. Accountability is definitely good, but sometimes it’s nice to set it aside for just a second.

Going through comments and messages from last week I noticed that many of you really enjoyed my quick and easy holiday décor suggestions for Halloween (if you missed it, you can read the two part post by clicking HERE for part I, and HERE for part II). Thanks to those of you who left me comments, you know I always appreciate that! Among the feedback I also got several requests for similar décor items for fall that are NOT Halloween themed, so I thought I would keep it going and cover a few of my favorite projects that would work for the entire fall season.

Let’s get started with Autumn’s Glory,” a stunning wool fall table mat perfect for all season long! This awesome fall-themed design features pumpkins, fall leaves, cattails, and cute little birds. Peep peep! Show off your appliqué skills using our awesome hand dyed wools to express your love for all things autumn. Measuring at 18 1/2″ x 27″, Autumn’s Gloryis the perfect addition to your family dining room table.

Are you a fan of turkey? Check out this cheeky Tom! All the coolest hens agree – Tom’s Pumpkin Patch is the place to be! This colorful mat and sweet pincushion include all the colors of fall here in Wisconsin. These autumnal patterns are the perfect projects to get you into the mood for cold air, falling leaves, and comfort food. Autumn is Here! Finished size is 24″ round.Like the look of Tom’s Pumpkin Patch but need something a bit smaller and less intricate? Try my “Pumpkin Table Mat! Featuring plump wool orange pumpkins all the way around, this project really utilizes the different shades and textures of wool that we have available here at PG. Adorable! Are you one of those people who leaves their candy dish out long after Halloween? Measuring at 18″ round, this nice round mat spices up the look of any candy or fruit bowl!

Need something smaller yet? Try this White Pumpkin Scalloped Table Mat! At a size of only 9″, this wooly little gem is perfect to enjoy from early fall to the last frost!Have ewe enough wool in your stash? Great news! We have the perfect shade of pumpkin wool for all your fall-time decor projects! It doesn’t stop there. We have colors from one end of the rainbow to the other! Not to mention the variety of textures, plaids, and tie-dyes available. Click the link below to shop!

I hope these suggestions at least got you thinking in the right direction toward fall décor. It really is only the scratch of the surface in my collection of fall-themed projects, but I figured I’d start you out slow with just a couple. Don’t worry, there’s more! I will be doing a part II All Things Autumn Post coming up soon, so watch for that! Let me know in the comments what kinds of fall projects you’d like to see and I’ll do my best to cover them!

Want to see even more? Remember, tomorrow we’re back LIVE on Shop Talk with Shelley at 9:30 a.m. CST on YouTube! Shelley will be covering any PG news, announcements, upcoming retreats, classes, and clubs, some new projects and notions… and of course more fall and Halloween items – including Halloween caramels! Ooo – now I know I have your attention! Ha, either way it’ll be a good time as usual, so tune in! I’ll be around either answering comments through the LIVE feed, or maybe I’ll even stop in if I’m passing through the shop at just the right time. We’ll see! Make sure to leave me a comment here on the blog and during the show for a chance to win a prize! I’m still in a great mood from my cruise so I’m feeling kind of generous right now… Take advantage! It probably won’t last forever. LOL! See you all tomorrow! ~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