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

A Bit of Recovery Time

Hey Gang, welcome back! I hope 2023 is going well for you so far after making it through the hustle and bustle of another holiday season. As you know, I spent a big portion of last week laying low and trying to stay away from work so I could recharge a little before the new year took over. Aside from stopping into the studio for a few things here and there, I managed to give myself a little bit of a much-needed break from the grind by spending a few days hanging out with my favorite grandsons, Jace and Owen. We had all the usual traditional holiday fun decorating, making candy, baking cookies, wrapping presents, and just being together, but we also got out and about to see some of the local attractions put on by the community. One event in particular that we really loved was visiting the Green Bay Botanical Gardens for their annual showing of the Wisconsin Public Service Garden of Lights display. The show includes 37 botanically-themed light displays featuring more than 325,000 twinkling lights – it’s really something to see!

While you’re there you can enjoy a fresh cookie or hot beverage, shop for gifts in the WPS Trellis Gift Shop, enjoy the Green Bay Area Model Railroaders Club display, and even send a letter to Santa! It was super beautiful and really a lot of fun. If you’re from the area or anywhere close, I highly recommend making the trip to Green Bay to see it. Even Papa had fun!

Spending time with these guys is the absolute best and I wouldn’t trade it for the world! It’s so very important that we take a minute to slow down from our busy lives once in a while – just to smell the flowers. But of course, even when I’m not physically AT work and totally immersed in doing what I love the most, my mind often defies me by wandering back to it when I least expect it. Yesterday, after seeing some heart-shaped candies on display in a gas station, it was the sudden thought of Valentine’s day that nudged my brain back into work mode this time – because it sort of slipped my mind… Not the fact that it exists, but more like that it’s coming up so fast. It’s crazy to think that there is only just over a month to finish up any Valentine décor you might be working on, or even more importantly – hand-made Valentine’s gifts that you plan to give to your sweetheart.

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this to you, but Valentine’s Day happens to be one of my favorite holidays to celebrate. Each year I look forward to it just as much as I did when I was a little kid. One of my most cherished memories from childhood is that my dad always gave me a small, heart-shaped box of chocolates every year for Valentine’s day. He started this tradition when I was a young girl, and kept it going long after I was grown. Now, because of him there will always be a special place in my heart for Valentine’s Day. 

These days I still find a lot of joy in celebrating Valentine’s Day because I love creating things by hand for the special people in my life. I don’t know about you but I always feel honored when someone gives me something they made especially for me with their own hands. I mean think about that – they took the time and energy to create something uniquely for me rather than taking the easy route and just buying something. On the same hand, I think it’s great to GIVE gifts I’ve made myself as well. Something about it just FEELS good. I think you probably know what I mean.

That being said, if  you happen to be in need of ideas for Valentine’s day hand-made gifts this year, you’re in luck! Over the years I have designed and collected a ton of cute things that make perfect hand-made Valentines. Let’s take a look at some of my favorites! First up are these adorable bowl fillers that I call Valentine Sweethearts. These little cuties are fun, easy, and a quick weekend project! To make things even easier for you, in addition to the pattern, we also have kits for these ready to go!These charming stuffed conversation hearts are also offered in more neutral, earth-tone colors that work great if you want to keep them out a little bit longer after the holiday. Display them in the center of your dining room table in a bowl, or individually around the house. Whatever you decide to do with them will be adorable!

Another great idea for those of you looking for a smaller project that can be done without a huge time commitment is hanging décor. Not only are they typically smaller projects, but they also make swapping seasonal and holiday themes out lighting fast. Love Each Other is made using our hand-dyed wools and beautiful flannels. It features wool appliqué and some fancy stitching, sure to win the heart of whoever you decide to give it to. Finished, “Love Each Other” measures 11 1/4″ x 11 1/4″ making it perfect to display on one of Scotty’s custom clipboards, or simply hanging on the wall.Like the idea of hanging décor but need something a bit smaller? Another fun project that I really enjoy is my, Love is All You Need Valentine Hangers. These can also be hung on a clipboard, wooden stand, or bulletin board to add a little love to any room of the house! This pattern offers both a light or dark version, so if you have two Valentines in your life this dual color option is the perfect solution!

No table space for standing décor but still want to give your pad a little bit of Valentine flare? This sounds like a job for – pillows! Everyone knows that I think pillows are just about as slick as it gets when it comes to switching out themed décor because unless you still need to MAKE them, they’re about as quick of a change-up as anyone could hope for! And even if you do have some work to do before the big day, no worries! I have a few pillow projects ready for you that will go lighting quick. First up we have my Candy Hearts Pillow.” Everyone loves candy conversation hearts around this time of year – they’ve definitely been a nostalgic staple of the holiday for as long as I can remember! For this reason I thought they deserved a tribute all their own, so I came up with this cool embroidered design to pay homage to the Valentine’s Candy everyone remembers.I love how the brightly colored wool really pops off the black background on this “lovely” festive pillow. It will go together quickly so you can have it ready to show off long before Valentine’s day on the 14th. Finished, Candy Hearts Pillow measures 16″ x 16″.

Looking for something a little bit larger to snuggle up with? My Linked with Love pattern is the perfect solution for someone who could use a few extra cuddles in their life without the commitment – LOL! It’s a longer body length pillow with a finished size of 13 1/2″ x 40″, which makes it a great fit for your bed, couch, or day bed.

I did my Linked with Love pillow with five different wool colors but you could easily do it with just one by using the pattern for my next project, which is a table runner I call Love Chain.  As you can see, this one is simply done with just red. Finished, “Love Chain” is 9 1/2″ x 37 1/2″. Another easy, fun, and most importantly, FAST project!Feeling inspired? If not, don’t panic quite yet – we still have some time. I will be doing another post or two in the next couple of weeks with some more pillow ideas and some larger Valentine projects including another table runner and some full sized quilts I really think you’re going to enjoy, so stay tuned for that.

Speaking of seasonal project ideas, don’t forget that tomorrow we return to our regular LIVE schedule with STITCH with Lisa Bongean at 1:00 p.m. CST on YouTube! I’ll be covering any news that surfaced over the Christmas break, upcoming events and classes, a few things I’ve been working on, some new releases, and more! Have your Valentine’s day decorating under control and looking for something a bit more neutral for the season? You’re in luck! I’ll also be talking about some of my past and current winter projects that are great for displaying all season long. Tune it by hitting the STITCH icon below and I will see you there! Have a great night everyone. ~Lisa