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Get To Know - Lisa Bongean

Get To Know - Lisa Bongean

Written by: 
Samantha Beck

Primitive.  Reproduction.  Cotton.  Wool. Piecing.  Appliqué.  

CT GTK Lisa Bongean - Lisa

Known world-wide for her primitive style of quilting, Lisa Bongean calls Menasha, Wisconsin home. This is where it all begins for Primitive Gatherings - for Lisa, her family and staff, and for her customers. It is where Lisa designs most of the primitive and folk art style quilts, wool appliqué and stitching patterns published by Primitive Gatherings.  It is also where the hand-dyed wools, homespun and reproduction fabrics originate.

CT GTK Lisa Bongean - Urban Farmhouse Gatherings Wovens

Urban Homestead Gatherings Wovens

Her list of accomplishments is long - she is a designer, an acclaimed teacher, an award-winning quilter, a shop owner, and a business woman partnering with her husband, Nick. She is a proud mother of 3 sons - Lance, Luke and Jake, and a giddy grandma.

Lisa and Nick opened Primitive Gatherings in 2004 and their continued growth includes a thriving online shop, a wholesale business, and a quilting retreat house located less than a mile from the shop. In 2015, they opened Primitive Gatherings West in Murrieta, California. 

CT GTK Lisa Bongean - New Shop 

They also take the “Primitive Gatherings” retail experience to quilt shows around the country. Primitive Gatherings was selected by the Editors of American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine as one of the Ten Best quilt shops in North America for the 13th Annual Quilt Sampler – the Spring/Summer 2006 edition.

Lisa is honored to be working with Moda Fabrics - designing fabrics for her primitive and folkart style. She embraces the opportunity to reach out to quilters and to work with Moda to support independent quilt shops like her own.

CT GTK Lisa Bongean - Little Gatherings Projects

Winter Star and Cactus Baskets, two of the twelve small projects in Little Gatherings, Lisa's new book.

CT GTK Lisa Bongean - Little Gatherings Cover

Little Gatherings - Small Quilts with Spectacular Style.  This book is in shops now. 

What is your favorite color?

Right now, it's green.  But most of the time, it's grey.

CT GTK Lisa Bongean - Urban Farmhouse Gatherings II 

Urban Farmhouse Gatherings II

What is your favorite season and why?

Summer!  I love the lake, water sports, riding my bike, and playing in the garden.

CT GTK Lisa Bongean - Itty Bitty Celebrations

Four of the 2" itty-bitty wool appliqué stitcheries in Lisa's 101 Itty Bitty Celebrations.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

I can be both, but mostly I'm a morning person.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An athlete!

CT GTK Lisa Bongean - PG Needles

Primitive Gatherings Needles - Binding Needles and Big Stitch Quilting Needles.  There are also #22 and #24 Chenille needles for wool appliqué.

What is your favorite food?

Ice cream.

Where was your best vacation?

At home-staycation.

CT GTK Lisa Bongean - Starlight Gatherings

Starlight Gatherings - shipping soon.

What is your favorite movie? Actress or Actor?

I LOVE all movies, but if you make me pick, I'll have to go with Brad Pitt.

CT GTK Lisa Bongean - American Outlander

American Outlander - one of the quilts in American Gatherings, a book with eleven quilts from Primitive Gatherings.  (PRI1011) 

What are the words you live by?

Stay Positive. Work Hard. Make it Happen.

What are your top 5 must have notion items?

Top 5?  

CT GTK Lisa Bongean - Triangle Paper

A few of our favorite Primitive Gatherings Triangle Papers - 1½" Finished HTS (PRI 219) / 2" Finished HTS (PRI 221) / Small Variety Pack HTS (231)

With a grand vision for a place where creative people from around the world could visit, Lisa Bongean broke ground and opened a $5 million, two building facility in Larsen, Wi. There is a 23,000 square foot retail and manufacturing facility, and a second 10,000 square foot retreat house that can sleep 24 people. The retreat center will allow creative people to bond with each other while making quilts, wall hangings, and pillows.


For more with Lisa: