Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year 2021, a few little plans for the upcoming year!

Happy New Year to everyone!

I don't have too many new aspirations this year, just continuations from the previous year. Here is a list of what I am working on and plan to work on in 2021:

Continue finishing quilt tops I have started (making them into quilts and practicing my quilting on my Qnique 14+ quilting machine). One example is below, though there are a few more:



Improvisational quilt top I made for an online challenge. 
The challenge was to make a quilt top using 5 fat quarters and 2 additional fabrics. 
I hope to quilt this one, as a way to practice my quilting on my Qnique 14+ quilting machine.
 It takes a lot of practice to become an accomplished quilter, kind of like playing a musical instrument!



I have some odd projects that I would like to complete so I can put them away, rather than having them in the uncompleted stack!


Little quilt I started in the 90s, it has hand quilting.
Began before I had met and married my husband!
Would like to finish this little one!



And the biggest commitment for this year is to work on creating a pattern for the Camp Verde Community Library quilt mural that I created designs for in 2020. I will be sharing little videos with the library as I work on it throughout the year. I plan to use EQ8 software to create the project. I will write a post(s) later with photos and more details about my process! 

Hope to continue healthy habits and lose a little weight ( I have been averaging a 5 lb weight loss each year for the last 2 years!). Seems like I lose in the Summer when there are more fresh fruits to eat, and also a little work in our yard and garden. I like the slow process better than trying to lose quickly.

Hope you all have a good year, no matter what comes our way.

Always look for the good things!

Best wishes,

Denise A. Buchwalter-Losczyk

(This is an updated post, with photos added!)


Monday, December 21, 2020

Happy Winter Solstice 2020!

 Hope you are having a good Holiday Season in spite of our times.

 Today is an interesting Winter Solstice because of the Saturn Jupiter conjunction viewable outside in the Southwest sky.  We were able to get a view of it outside one of our windows. Just listened to a bit about it on the Lowell Observatory website. The good news is you can still see it through the middle of January of 2021, today is the closest the 2 planets will be together when observed in the sky.

Happy Solstice! As the days get longer may times get better in our lives and in the world! We are all one and connected to each other!

Blessings,

Denise Buchwalter-Losczyk



Monday, December 14, 2020

Holiday Decorations

 Today I'm sharing photos of this year's Holiday decorations. My husband trimmed evergreen branches in our backyard and we used them to decorate.

I wasn't that enthused about it at first, but once I started I enjoyed the process. I created a small wreath using a wooden embroidery hoop wrapped with batting and fabric as the base. I then wired the branches onto the hoop, using medium weight wire we had on hand.

Handmade Holiday Wreath


My husband made a little tree out of 2 branches and even built a little wooden stand for it.

Handmade Holiday Evergreen Tree


I used some branches for decorating on our table. I recently finished a tree skirt, table runner and placemats for the holiday (all my own designs). 


Tablerunner and Decorations

Tree skirt

White Christmas Tree with Tree skirt


I still have Holiday fabrics left in my stash! I may have to make some more decor for next year! 

Hope you have enjoyed seeing my creations and have fun decorating and enjoy the Holiday Season.  

Blessings,

Denise Buchwalter-Losczyk

Monday, December 7, 2020

#31DayBlogChallenge2020 - What day is it? Also, project recently completed

I am having difficulty keeping up with the daily blog! I've decided to go weekly, instead of daily for my blog and commit to doing that throughout next year. 

I don't have a business to promote right now, but I do like to share my creations and enjoy writing - so I will continue the blog! 

On that note, here is a little machine embroidered quilt I created for a recent Quilting Arts Reader Challenge: Art as Inspiration Challenge. It wasn't chosen for publication this time, but it did give me an outlet for creating this little memory quilt.

The challenge was to create a Postage Stamp Quilt honoring or in the style of another artist. I chose to commemorate my Video Art Teacher and friend, Shigeko Kubota.

She was one of the first women video artists. I studied video art with her while she was a visiting artist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1984. She mainly resided in New York City, so I was very fortunate to be able to study with her in Chicago. We wrote to each other over the years, and I still miss her very much. She passed away in 2015. I remember she liked the way her name sounded like "Chicago". So, here is my little quilt, in memory of her and those Chicago days, it is titled: "Love to Shigeko". It is 4 inches by 4 inches in size, I imagined the design and then created the embroidery in my Embird Embroidery software. It was stitched out on my Bernette B79 machine. I also used some hand stitching on the top of the quilt.

Mini Quilt created in response to Quilting Arts Reader Challenge, title: "Love to Shigeko"



Hope you enjoy seeing my little quilt!

 - Denise Buchwalter-Losczyk

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Day 3 and 4 - 31 Day Blog Challenge 2020 - My Machine and Favorite Tools

 I've decided to combine Day 3 and 4 of the #31DayBlogChallenge2020. I have a new sewing machine to write about, which is currently my new favorite tool.

I do have more than one machine - some have their own purpose, so they are not used all of the time: Elna Needle felting machine, Brother Serger, Brother PQ1500 Straight Stitch machine, Qnique 14+ Mid Arm Quilting Machine, and Pfaff 2134 Sewing and Embroidery machine.

Late last year my Pfaff machine had trouble with its top tension. It is an electronic machine, so I needed to take it to an authorized dealer to repair the top tension. 

It is a bit of a drive to the nearest authorized dealer(s), and you have to drive over the mountains. We planned to go in February, but the weather was rainy, and we decided to wait. Then the pandemic came, and we are waiting longer.  In the meantime, I realized my embroidery machine software needed to transfer designs to the machine doesn't work with Windows 10. So...I decided to look for a sewing/embroidery machine that I can use now.

I decided on the Bernette B79, after looking at all the great features of the machine. It has all the features of my older Pfaff machine and my Brother PQ1500 straight stitch machine combined! Also, I found you could open the machine and clean and oil it yourself, following instructions in the manual. No need for frequent trips to maintain the machine! It also came with many added accessories, some that I had to pay extra for years ago with my older machine. 

Here are the features that are like my other machines (combined):

More space under the needle for sewing - about 9 inches
Knee lift
Built in IDT (Integrated Dual Feed Technology) - like having a built in walking foot
Included table for expanding the sewing space.

The machine also has features that are like the more expensive Bernina machines.

Different features that I noticed from the expensive machine was a top loading bobbin, rather than a bottom loading bobbin. I actually like that feature! My other machines have the bottom bobbin, which would be nice for bobbin embroidery, but the top one is nice, easy to adjust just the top tension, and I now use an 80 weight thread (Wonderfil DecoBob thread) in the bobbin, which works very nicely. It takes Class 15 bobbins, and I was able to order some pre-wound bobbins that are excellent.

A nice assortment of feet are included - I did purchase an extra set of feet, it was very economically priced compared to my older Pfaff machine. The feet are a very high quality also and work with the Dual Feed Technology (IDT).

Instead of going on about the great features - here is a link to the Sewing Machines Plus store where I bought my machine. I was able to order it on line, they also have excellent customer service. Also, a link to the Bernette site where you can read about the machine.

Bernette B79 Sewing and Embroidery Machine (sewingmachinesplus.com)

bernette 79

So that is it! My new machine, and current favorite tool!

Denise A. Buchwalter-Losczyk

Day 5 - 31 Day Blog Challenge 2020 - First Projects

Today's subject is first project. I've decided to share some of my first creative projects.

I'm going way back for these! 


The first one is from 1964. I guess I have always liked this little pinch pot. It is unfired clay, painted with tempera paint and shellac. Does anyone remember making these? I don't have too many early projects, but this is one I've held onto! It is even signed!


















2nd project I'm sharing is my hand stitched pin cushion. I made it in Brownies. My mom was the Brownie leader, and later our Girl Scout leader. I was a shy kid, so having your mom for a leader was comforting.




The last project is an embroidered pillow case. I believe I was about 9 or 10 when I made this. My stitching skills had improved and I was careful to follow the lines! 












We all start somewhere when we create. I know my skills have improved quite a bit since these projects! Though the embroidery may have been more carefully executed than what I create now! It is fun to look back at creations from the past, they always seem to provide comfort to me in my life.

Hope you appreciate your past creations!

Denise A. Buchwalter-Losczyk













Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Day 2 - 31 Day Blog Challenge 2020 - Sewing Space

Hi!

Today's Blog subject in the #31DayBlogChallenge2020 is Sewing Space. I am very happy to have a wonderful Studio space, which I use for sewing, quilting, and also designing and other creative endeavors. I also spend time designing on the computer a bit in our home office. (Then there is knitting in front of the TV at night!)

I haven't always had a big space to create in. Though, I've always made room for creating. As a teenager I would sew on my mom's older machine, and draw and paint in our basement space (putting away materials between creating). 

When I lived alone I would create anywhere in my living space. Usually a small table in the living room, and one time in my kitchen. After marrying, my husband made sure I always had a room to create in. 

Any space will do to create in, and if you have to you can always have a portable space. It is wonderful to have a room or space to call your own, but don't let limitations of space limit your creativity! Find a portable project you can work on - perhaps a small hand sewing project, a drawing journal, a lap desk to set your project on while working. A small basket for holding supplies is nice when your space is portable. I often hand sew at night in the living room, keeping my supplies in a small container or basket.

Enjoy your space (however big or small) and create!

Happy Creating!

- Denise Buchwalter-Losczyk

You can visit my Instagram page at @dblosczyk, to see additional photos of my creations, and some of my studio space, if you like!