Almost to the End…

Hello stitchers… Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! I hope you’re in a “sewcial” mood this holiday because it’s time once again for another Sewcialites 2 block release! This week we’re featuring Block #20 – “Fascinate by my friend Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life. You’ve probably heard of Sherri and her blog sometime along the way in your quilting journey but if not, I definitely recommend that you check out her work. She is part of a mother-daughter quilting design team based in southern Nevada along with her daughter Chelsi Stratton. Fitting, considering Sherri has always found inspiration in her rich family heritage, passed down through generations of women who loved sewing and creating. Keeping the familial tradition alive, her life-long stitching career led her to start her highly successful quilting blog, A Quilting Life in 2008, and eventually to publishing her designs in magazines and books as well. On top of all of that, she’s also a talented Moda sister who has designed over 16 fabric lines under the Sherri & Chelsi name since 2015. Busy lady!

Sherri describes her favorite designs as typically involving scrappy squares or star blocks of some sort. Fascinate is an intricate mix of four-patches, half-square triangles, and squares that creates an advanced skill level look within a beginner level block.

To make things easier for you while working on Fascinate,” Sherri recommends used strip piecing for the four patch units instead of cutting small squares. This makes the block not only easier to piece, but also more accurate (especially when working with very small pieces). Color wise, if you follow the pattern as it’s written, be sure to pay attention to the direction of the darks and of your half-square triangles. Speaking of half-square triangles, as always I highly recommend using triangle paper where you can when doing this block to make sure your half-square triangles are accurately sized. If you need to stock up, you can get my custom Primitive Gatherings Triangle Paper by clicking HERE

If you’ve been following along you know that for my blocks I’m using my Garden Gatherings fabric line, leaving out the five tans. For this block I chose to go with dark navy for the outer half-square triangles, and green, yellow and pinks for the four patch units. 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. It’s looking pretty sharp, if I do say so myself!I keep saying that one of the things I love most about this quilt-along is that you can do it on your time, however your schedule allows. In fact, please don’t let the fact that we’re closer to the end of this QAL than we are to the beginning scare you off. Many of the blocks are fairly simple to make and can be done in an afternoon, so catching up is a snap once you find the time. You can always grab patterns for previously posted blocks on the Sewcialites 2 Landing Page by clicking the button below. You can also visit the Sewcialites 2 Block Archive on my blog which is listed in the main menu of links at the top of the page.

Newly released blocks are posted on Kim’s blog The Jolly Jabber, along with a video tutorial on her YouTube Livestream the same day. Each designer will also post their own block to either their blog or their website on that day as well. I will also be posting each block release here on MY blog every Friday for your convenience. Fabric requirements and all block patterns are 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.

It seems like only yesterday that we were starting this QAL so it feels a bit on the unbelievable side that we’re getting ready to wrap it up in just four short weeks – truly just in time for spring. The timing really couldn’t be better if you ask me. I think it’s a pretty quilt, who’s cheerful palette fits the bill for spring and summer décor nicely – I have several thoughts on how I might display mine…

Well gang, that’s about all I have for you today. I’ll admit I’m ready to relax after starting out the week dealing with a nasty kidney stone that my doctor reports was about the size of a pea (no pun intended – ha ha). It didn’t help matters that there was a ton of activity going on here at PG that I really didn’t want to miss out on. Sometimes though, it can’t be about what our brains want because our bodies simply object – and this was just one of those cases. 🙁 If you’ve ever had a kidney stone before you know they are no joke. The pain is some of the worst I’ve ever felt! I tried to power through but even I need a break sometimes. Needless to say, I’m super grateful to finally be feeling better after all that, and looking forward to resting up as much as I can over the weekend with my sweetheart.

Before I head out I want to say Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to all my friends and supporters out there. It’s been a great year so far and I have you to thank for much of it! Today in honor of the holiday and to say thanks for all your great comments here on the blog, I thought it would be a great day for double prizes… So let’s do it! Congratulations to Mary Lou D., Sylvia M.,Catherine D., and Alice V., it’s your lucky day! Please check your email for a message from Heidi (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 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 everyone, that’s a wrap! I hope you have a wonderful weekend and that you’re able to spend some time doing whatever it is that makes you happy. Maybe that’s getting outside for some fresh air and sunshine. Or maybe you enjoy going for a drive to see the sights, shopping til you drop, or staying INside to stitch while you watch the replays of all my past STITCH with Lisa Bongean episodes all weekend… Whatever it is, enjoy yourself, be safe, and I will see you next week! ~Lisa

Will You Be My Valentine?

Hey stitchers, happy Hump Day! I’m thrilled to report that I seem to be on the mend after being stuck under the weather for a bit there. I admit that I’m still pretty low energy, but I’ve been forcing myself to take it easy after what seems like a heck of a lot of strict nagging coming from not only Nick, but my right-hand staff as well. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but it seems like they really know how to take care of me around here… As I always say, thank God for my family and top-notch employees. I don’t know what I’d do without them – especially in times like these!

Today has been pleasant enough – not too cold with light snow falling most of the day – it’s very pretty outside. The forecast is saying that frigid Arctic air will be back in WI by early next week, so I’ll take a little bit of cloud cover to keep things on the warmer side while I can get it. After the unseasonably warm temps we’ve been seeing lately, it’s far too easy to forget that we still have a long way to go before the end of winter is even close to being a reality. In fact, we still have one more winter holiday to celebrate before moving on to leprechauns and spring flowers… Valentine’s Day! If you recall, a couple weeks ago I made a post highlighting some Valentine’s Day projects that I thought would be a great way to get your creative juices flowing in the holiday décor department. If you missed it, you can check it out by clicking HERE. Don’t worry if you didn’t find quite the right pattern for your decorating needs in that last post. As promised, I have a second batch of options for you ready to rock. Let’s check em’ out!

First in line on the project taxiway is my Love You, Love You More table runner. I absolutely love this project! At 16 1/2″ x 39″ this runner is not too big and not too small, and works well for the beginner quilter and the seasoned old pro. I love how the hearts seem to pop off the white background with individual pizazz and style.

This runner could quite possible solve the age old argument of who loves who more… I would think making this for someone special proves that a whole lotta love is going on. After spending the time and energy on such a thoughtful and expressive gift, only to lovingly give it away, I’d say – you win!

Next in line we have a two-in-one project. I designed the You and Me pillow to go hand-in-hand with my “Antique Lady of the Lake” quilt. In other words, you’ll not only have some super cute pillows in the end, but you’ll also have a beautiful matching quilt to show for your hard work as well. Finished, the You and Me pillows measure 16″ x 24″ and 15″ x 15″, and the quilt will be 73″ x 90″. As you can see they go together like peanut butter and jelly – perfectly! Not to mention, this traditional red and white quilt looks great on display during Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and any time of year!

Love is All We Need is another sweet little quilt sure to warm the heart of whoever is lucky enough to receive it. At 54″ x 63″ it’s by no means a huge quilt nor is it overly complicated, so if you’re trying to find just the right weekend project to crank out for that special someone, this is an excellent choice. Have you seen the Sincerely Yours fabric line by Sherri and Chelsi yet? For those of you looking for something that fits the Valentine bill, but also something that is a bit different than the traditional reds and pinks that we’re used to seeing around the holiday, look no further. Sincerely Yours brings back the simple days of cutting out construction paper hearts in different sizes for your Valentine box in grade school. With its delightful mix of pinks, coral, reds and purples, these prints are sure to inspire your quilting and sewing projects all throughout the year. You’ll fall in love with creating color-inspired quilts and accessories for your home with this mix of modern and traditional prints, and simple geometric designs with dainty florals. If you love this fabric like I do, check out Cross My Heart,” a quilt designed by Sherri and Chelsi with this pretty fabric line especially in mind. This fat-eighth friendly project is light and cheerful, all the while screaming LOVE!!! at the top of its lungs. Plus, because it avoids the traditional red, white, and pink hearts that we usually see this time of year, Cross My Heartis a great quilt to display all year long. Finished, Cross My Heart” is 61 1/2″ x 69 1/2″.Is time a factor this Valentine’s Day? On the smaller and less time consuming side of things I have a couple of ideas that make great gifts for your sweetie without taking too much away from your precious free time. At 14″ x 14″, My Twisted Heart is a mini quilt with a big message – LOVE!Even smaller yet, my project simply titled Hearts is three fun projects all in one pattern. Heart number one is 5″ x 6 3/4″ while heart number two is 5 1/2″ x 8″, and heart number three is 5″ x 6″.  Make all three for the same person OR – if you have more than one sweetheart, split them up and give them out individually!

Display these little cuties on a clipboard or use them as an embellishment or gift tag on a larger Valentine. Ever hear of a holiday tree? These would make perfect ornaments too! The possibilities go on and on.

If you have a Valentine’s Day project picked out already but your fabric or wool stash is low, I have a few suggestions to remedy that as well. We have some super cute love-themed fabrics designed by my Moda sister, Stacy Iest Hsu from the Moda Holiday Essentials collection called – you guessed it. LOVE!

Moda Essentials are just that – small collections of prints that are especially suited four seasonal holidays. The LOVE collection includes small, sweet tossed prints that are SUPER cute and versatile, allowing you to create endless possibilities. Quantities are limited on this one so get em’ while you can by clicking the link above!

Of course, you can never have too much red and pink wool hoarded away – you just never know when you’re going to get that “ah-ha” project moment that calls for all pink! LOL We have shades of reds and pinks from super light to saturated and dark. Get it in a bundle, charm pack, pre-cut pennies, or individual pieces!

Last but certainly by no means least – CANDY! Everyone knows you can’t have Valentine’s Day without sweet treats – it just wouldn’t be right! That’s why Jess has put together these festive one pound bags of our famous Vande Walle’s caramels for you to give to your sweetie pie – proudly hand-made, right here in WI! You can’t go wrong with this gift idea. Even if the recipient is a crazy person who decides they don’t like caramels, trust me – they won’t go to waste. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s downright dangerous having an endless supply around me at all times… but we won’t talk about all that.

Anyway, I really hope that you found something you like in my menagerie of Valentine’s Day gift ideas. If not, you still have another shot at figuring this out! Tomorrow during my LIVE show I’ll be going over even more ideas for the big day – including a couple that haven’t been seen before by the public so DON’T MISS IT! We’ll be on at 1:00 p.m. CST so set your reminders now. As usual, you can easily tune in by hitting the STITCH button below. Until then have a great night! I thought for just a fleeting second that I might try and get a walk in tonight – just for some fresh air so I’m off to go continue to convince myself this is a good idea. I will see you all tomorrow on YouTube for the show! Sweet dreams everyone! ~Lisa