Monday, May 13, 2024

Poppies Blooming in the Flower bed!

I hope May is treating you well!

I have been enjoying looking at our Bread seed Poppies blooming in the flower bed each morning.

The weather is cool in the morning and gets hotter during the day, so the Poppies only last about one day, then new ones have been appearing!

I planted 4 varieties this year - the seeds were all originally from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I saved some, and planted some from the seeds I had saved and one new packet variety from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

(Be sure to scroll down after the text to see the photos!)

They are all Breadseed poppies - all edible seeds that can be used for baking. I planted extra so I'll have more to use and save.

The Hungarian Blue Breadseed poppies and the Florist Pepperbox poppies bloomed first. There was one surprise in the Florist Pepper box patches - some Red and white striped Poppies! I will be sure to save some seeds from them!

Now the Purple Peony and Giant Rattle poppies are blooming also. The bees are enjoying them early in the morning. Also, spotted some Hummingbirds tasting them!

They were all planted in the Autumn - late October.

Florist Pepperbox Poppy (frilly variation!)

Giant Rattle Poppy

Giant Rattle Poppies

Purple Peony Poppy

Hungarian Blue Bread seed Poppy

Hungarian Blue Bread seed Poppy

Florist Pepperbox Poppy

Florist Pepperbox Poppy

Hungarian Blue Bread Seed Poppies

Hungarian Blue Bread Seed Poppy

I hope you enjoy this little flower show!

Many Blessings to you,

Denise A. Buchwalter-Losczyk

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Practice quilting on the Little Rebel Quilting and Sewing machine


Hope you are well today! Today I'm sharing a little of what I have been doing in my studio. Last December I received my Little Rebel Quilting and Sewing machine, which I had pre-ordered in August from Sewing Machines Plus and Grace Quilting. It was a bit of a wait, but I was very happy when it arrived! 

The Little Rebel has a built in stitch regulator, which I wanted for a sit down machine, to make my sit down quilting a bit less stressful! It also has a larger M Bobbin case (like a long arm machine), and a 13 inch throat space. It has a separate bobbin winder motor, and winds bobbins beautifully! Also different stitch speeds for sewing, and a nice assortment of stitch lengths to choose from.

I have been exploring the sit down quilting function with the machine. 

I have a Grace Qnique 14+ machine on a frame that I am used to quilting with, so I had to get reacquainted with quilting while seated.

Grace Little Rebel Sewing and Quilting machine

It felt a little awkward at first, I was just moving the fabric, stitching and getting used to the machine. Then I decided to follow a pattern in the fabric and it became very meditative and relaxing. (It also helps to practice drawing a quilting design before going to the machine, this way you have a pattern in mind when you sit down - something I didn't do at first this time!)

One of my favorite things to do when practice quilting is to quilt fabric, then make some placemats. Here are the ones I created while practicing:

Practice quilting

Practice quilting

                          Practice quilting

After quilting, I trimmed each piece to placemat size, then finished the edges using my Brother Serger. (It is a basic Serger that I've had for a while, I get it out when sewing and doing little home decor projects, such as this.) The new placemats have been brightening up our table!

It is good to practice quilt, to get warmed up for a project and to check the tension in your top and bottom threads. I have taken to using a Towa Gauge to set my bobbin stitches, and this has been very helpful. Then you only have to adjust the top tension on your machine until the stitches look nice. I like to use an 80 weight or 50 weight bobbin thread, and balance it with the top thread.

Also, pay attention to the thickness of your batting. If you have a thicker bat, it may be easier to hide a thicker thread, if you have a thinner bat, you may want to use an 80 or 100 weight thread for quilting. This is good to keep in mind, in case your quilt is not cooperating when you are setting the tension. 

Towa Bobbin Case Tension Gauge

I have noticed that when the bobbin is about half full, I sometimes need to readjust the bobbin tension. Always take a peek every once in a while to see how it looks on the bottom of your quilt, even if the top looks perfect!

I have the Towa Gauge for M size bobbins, but it is available for L size bobbins, also (the size bobbin used on many straight stitch machines). I did look at some videos on line to see how to use the gauge, it is not too difficult.

I almost always save my practice pieces from quilting or working on a project - I have used them for placemats, notebook covers, mug mats and coasters and have even made a needlebook from them. They are a fun reminder of projects I have worked on, and also very useful!

Happy Quilting!

Many Blessings to you,

Denise A. Buchwalter-Losczyk

Saturday, March 2, 2024

I'm participating in IGQuiltFest this year! Here is a bit of Info about it!


I am participating in #IGQuiltFest2024 this month, March 2024! It is a 31 day Festival on Instagram, hosted by @amyscreativeside . 

You can take part too, there are prompts for daily posts - and weekly drawings for quilty prizes. It is a fun way to connect with other quilters on Instagram. 

I am a bit behind on my posts, I posted my Day 1 Introductions photo today, if you visit @amyscreativeside, you can see the list of posts for the festival, and more information about it.

I thought it would be fun to share this bit of information with you!

Many Blessings to you,

Denise A. Buchwalter-Losczyk (my instagram page is @dblosczyk)

Sunday, February 18, 2024

First project finish of the year! Secret Lives of Pets Panel Quilt!


Hope your year is going well! I have just finished quilting and binding the Secret Lives of Pets Panel quilt (cat themed) and I just need to finish stitching on the label before I send it off to it's recipient.

Here is the project and some close ups of the quilting. It is quilted with my Qnique 14+ (15 inch arm) Quilting machine on a frame. I used my own quilting designs, it is all free motion quilting.

Full view Gidget and Chloe Panel quilt
Full view Gidget and Chloe Panel Quilt
Corner view of quilt
Corner View of quilt

View of quilt - detail of Sulky Cat Yarn Ball embroidery design
Sulky Cat Yarn Ball embroidery design

Chloe detail - quilting
Chloe Detail

I used a Towa Gage to set the tension in my bobbin and that was a great help. It is quilted with 50 weight Superior Thread and 80 weight Wonderfil DecoBob thread in the bobbin (it is my go to bobbin thread!). I wanted to use up a bit of my thread stash when working on the quilt.

The yo-yo embellishments were left over yo-yos with inserts from the Spot-on Pillow project I made for Love of Quilting magazine. (You can read about it in one of my previous blog entries! You can make one too!) 

This quilt has been a joy to work on, and I loved playing with color and fabrics in my stash.

You can read more about the process in my previous blog entries!

What are you working on? Leave a comment if you like!

I hope this little quilt brings some inspiration to you!


Denise A. Buchwalter-Losczyk

Friday, January 12, 2024

Welcome to a New Year 2024!


I hope you are doing well and having a good start to the New Year. 

I have pretty much stopped making a list of New Year's Resolutions, but I do have an ongoing list of projects I am working towards finishing or hope to start.

Sometimes this list gets interrupted by opportunities that come along. I think it is good to remain open to new possibilities, especially when it comes to creativity.

That way, life always remains interesting! I do have a few things I want to continue doing: keep taking at least 4,000 steps a day, and perhaps a few more! I don't want to put myself under a lot of pressure, but I do want to continue to be healthy and improve my health a bit too.

I think life is an ongoing process, aside from the calendar!

Wishing you all a great New Year 2024. May every day be a start to a new beginning for you too!

Here are some photos of projects in process in my studio:

Fun panel gift quilt - I'm almost done quilting it!

Improvisational Tumbler quilt - I have a bit of hand quilting to finish on it,
and some applique to add!

Check out my previous blog entries for more information on these 2 projects. I'm looking forward to getting them completed this year (soon)!

Blessings to you, wishes for a healthy, creative New Year!

Denise A. Buchwalter-Losczyk

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Gidget and Chloe, Secret Life of Pets Panel Quilt - a bit about my process in making this quilt!


Thought I would write a bit about the most recent gift quilt I have been working on. It is a Panel quilt, the center panel is "Gidget and Chloe" from "The Secret Life of Pets" Movie. I purchased the panel a while back, with the thought of practicing my free motion quilting on it, and it just makes sense to make it into a quilt too!

Finished Gidget and Chloe quilt top on my design wall.

I'm making this quilt for a young cat lover, so I added some cat embroidery on purple fabrics which coordinate with the center panel. I chose various shades of purple for variety. The embroidery was completed using my Brother SE2000 machine and my Bernette B79 machine. I added the Brother machine to my studio this past June, so I have been trying out its features. I used designs from Bernina and Brother for the embroideries. I also used a Sulky Yarn Ball Cat embroidery on the quilt - it is in the top left and lower right borders. I added text to some of the embroideries and combined flowers and butterfly designs with the cats. The pink border has a small butterfly print on it. 

Sulky Yarn Ball embroidery design on quilt

Quilt detail, rose embroidery

Quilt detail, Cat Face embroideries

Detail on Quilt, Kitty-Cat embroidered block

I purchased a light blue cat print to add to the quilt - I wanted to keep the quilt from becoming a pink and purple only quilt! The light blue print helped me extend the color story of the quilt. I then was able to add fabrics in complimentary colors that go with pink, blue and purple. 

I watched a fabric presentation recently where a quilt designer mentioned that you shouldn't pre-wash your fabric panels, because they can stretch out of shape. I discovered this is true, when I went to work with my panel. I had to trim the panel down, then I added purple strips around the edges to restore the borders.

Tip: I actually used a tip I heard about many years ago - for fabrics, there are always 2 sides. The dark purple fabric I used for the border had a print on one side - I liked the solid reverse side better, so I used it that way! I think this is the first time I have used this tip!

I picked out a lot of my fabrics intuitively - I thought why am I choosing polka-dots from my stash? Then I realized the center panel had a polka-dot pattern in the background - so it made sense! The polka-dot prints are Benartex fabrics I have had in my stash for a while, so I am glad they are finding a new home on this quilt.

This was a fun quilt top to piece together - I started with 6 x7 inch rectangles for the embroidery, and added 6x6 inch squares. When it didn't fit together, I just cut some of the squares to fit and let it go together. A fun, no stress process!

There was a bit of puckering around the embroideries, but when I began to quilt around them, it is disappearing. The quilt is on the frame, and gradually getting finished. It is a fun process!

I hope you enjoy hearing a bit about this quilt! I will share some photos when it is quilted and completed too.

Many Blessings to you!

Denise A. Buchwalter-Losczyk