Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Fun online quilting challenges - Project Quilting

 I can't seem to resist entering quilt challenges. Lately I've been participating in online challenges. They are a great way to connect with others and help challenge you in your creative process.

Currently I'm participating in Season 13 of Project Quilting. Here is a link where you can read more about the challenge and join in if you like! Project QUILTING (kimlapacek.com)

About every 2 weeks they have a series of quilt challenges. For this season, I missed the first 2, but have managed to enter weeks 3-5. Here are my entries so far:

Week 3 - Kitchen Quilt Challenge, "Lemon Kitchen Quilt" (approximately 6 x 6 inches)












Week 3 was a last hour entry for me. I made this little "quilt as you go" quilt the morning of the last day to enter! I am using it as a mug mat in my studio. This little one inspired some Valentine's day potholders which I made for us to use in our kitchen. My husband had asked for new potholders, which I usually don't want to sew, but they did come out nice! I will share those in a later post with some easy instructions!

Week 4 Challenge - Diamond Composition #1 (approximately 8x8 inches)


Week 4 was a challenge to use diamond shapes. I chose diamond background fabric and played with diamond shaped embroidery stitches on my Bernette B79 Sewing machine. It was a fun way to try out my stitches. I folded the center square origami style, then found a button in my collection which matched the same shape. 


Week 5 Challenge - Rhythm and Repetition - "Winter" (approximately 8 x 8 inches)













Week 5's Challenge was to use Rhythm and Repetition. The requirement was to repeat an element at least 3 times. My mini quilt was inspired by my entry from Week 4. I used the same binding and background fabrics. I played with my metallic threads for quilting the triangle shapes. Triangles seem to turn into trees, and I added some scrap book embellishments I had purchased but not used yet.  I had a little trouble getting the greens to match in the photos, when processing in Photoshop. I've noticed I sometimes have trouble working with greens when designing, my eyes have difficulty matching the differences in the greens a bit.

It has been a fun challenge so far! I will try to keep up as much as I can.

There are random prizes given out each week of the challenge, which does help motivate you to enter. It is also fun to see the projects other quilters create.

Happy quilting and creating,

Blessings,

Denise A. Buchwalter-Losczyk 

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Part of a Quilt Mystery solved!

 Part of a mystery solved! I have always been curious about the main block in my mother's yellow quilt. I kept looking at flower names for blocks, but nothing matched it exactly. I have thought about recreating a version of the quilt, and even tried my hand at drafting it in the EQ8 quilt design program. 

Recently I purchased the updated BlockBase+ quilt program by Barbara Brackman. I searched for Basket quilts and found the block very quickly! Here is a bit of the information I found in the BlockBase+ program: The top name listed is Basket of Diamonds, published by Kansas City Star 11/11/1936 (it seems like an obvious name!). Other names are Flower Basket, 1935, Cactus Basket, 1930s and Rainbow Cactus from the Mary McElwain Quilt Shop in Walworth, Wisconsin in the 1930s. The Rainbow Cactus version was a mail order pattern that may have been included in batting. 

I printed out the pattern for the block from BlockBase+ and plan to try it out in the future. Perhaps I will make a small block before beginning a larger quilt. It was very close to the version I had drafted in EQ8 based on my mom's quilt.

Following are some detail photos from her quilt. 

Quilt detail
A detail from a quilt made by my mother - one of my
early quilt inspirations.











My mom's block used a solid fabric at the base of the basket, then added a matching solid underneath the block, which gives it a very different appearance, than when using a contrasting white at the bottom of the block. Perhaps it was the Cactus Basket version? Or something she created herself. Now I have more questions!

quilt detail
A section of my mother's quilt - the quilt includes fabrics
from the 30s and 40s, I believe











It was one of my first quilt inspirations. I believe this quilt was made out of 1930s and 40s fabrics. Yellow was my mother's favorite color. I remember sleeping under it when I was younger and being fascinated by the many small cotton prints on the quilt. I think they may be feedsack or dress prints. 

I now have a better idea where the pattern came from. I'm looking forward to trying my hand at sewing this block in the future.

Thank you to Barbara Brackman for her amazing research. You can find the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns and the BlockBase+ quilt program on the https://www.electricquilt.com website. They are fun resources! I haven't gotten the Encyclopedia yet, but I am enjoying the BlockBase+ program.

Blessings,

Denise A. Buchwalter-Losczyk


Monday, February 14, 2022

Disappearing Nine Patch AQS quilt

 Another of the projects I have been working on. I have completed the top and purchased wide fabric for the backing. I'm working on other projects in the meantime, but I will be quilting this one on my longarm frame with my Qnique 14+ machine.

The quilt top was pieced following instructions for a free "Disappearing Nine Patch" quilt pattern I found on the AQS website (American Quilter's Society). I usually use my own designs to create quilts, but I thought this one looked like it would be fun to make. I also like to have lots of tops on hand, so I can have projects to practice my long arm quilting on. I added a border on the sides of the pattern. I made the fabric choices for the quilt using fabrics in my supply stash. This will be a gift!

Here are some progress photos of the quilting:

Nine patch quilt
Nine patch quilt pattern before it disappears!











Progress photo #2 Starting to disappear!



















Progress photo #3



Progress photo #4 (rearranged a bit)



Final top with borders added!


Detail of fabrics and blocks

Another detail of fabrics and blocks



I had fun sewing and cutting and sewing this together! I'll post an update once the quilting is complete.

I tried to find a link the pattern on AmericanQuilter.com, in their blog section, but it looks like they took it down when their website was updated. Basically, it involves sewing nine patch blocks in dark and light color, then cutting the squares into 1/2 square triangles, sewing them together, then cutting again into 1/2 square triangles. 

It was a fun process and a great way to use up your fabric stash. A fairly easy quilt to sew, also. I used some fabrics from mask panels I had purchased on sale to add interest to the quilt. (The unicorn and typewriter print in photos above.) If you search Disappearing Nine Patch, you can find other variations on the idea, which starts with a simple Nine Patch quilt block.

Hope everyone is well, wishing you a fun time creating!

Many Blessings,

Denise A. Buchwalter-Losczyk




Monday, February 7, 2022

AQS free gift with subscription - and Square Deal Plus quilt made

I recently renewed my AQS (American Quilter's Society Membership). Their membership is a great value if you are a new, intermediate or advanced quilter. They always have a free gift with their membership and renewals and their membership is very reasonably priced. The current price of a membership at this time is $25.00 for 6 issues of their publication.

The current gift with membership, at the time of this blog, is a Konfeti 50 wt. Cotton thread pack from Wonderfil thread. Here is a photo of the gift I received:

AQS American Quilter magazine and free gift received


Back of package with description of thread





































Thread received in my box!













You get an excellent publication (digital and print), and member benefits, and they also have great quilt shows. I have had a quilt shown in at least one of their shows, I haven't attended in person yet, but perhaps I will one day! The shows look like lots of fun. 

I subscribe to their email newsletter, which you can do whether you are a member or not. There is always useful quilting information and projects and patterns you can explore.

Here is a bed quilt I finished earlier this year. It uses a "Square Deal" pattern found on the AQS site. I usually design my own quilts, but this just called out to be made! I named it "Square Deal Plus", since I added borders on the sides to make it fit our bed. It was my first very large quilt! I used Wonderfil Invisafil 100 weight thread in the top and bottom for quilting my quilt, and it worked very well.

"Square Deal Plus" made from the "Square Deal Quilt Pattern" from AQS (American Quilter's Society)



If you'd like to find out more about quilting, you can check out their website at www.americanquilter.com.

Happy Quilting and many Blessings!

Denise A. Buchwalter-Losczyk


Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Garden Hat - a fun and useful project!

Looking back at another project completed last year (2021). 

My husband and I always wear a large brim hat when working in the yard or gardening. I had been wearing the same hat for a few years now and wanted to have something different to wear. The prettiest hats can be very expensive when shopping! I had found a lavender Panama straw hat once while we were traveling in the Southwest, but it was too much for my pocketbook, but a beautiful hat!

While pattern shopping online I found McCall's pattern M6885. It has a sun dress, but also a very attractive and useful looking hat.















I looked over my fabric stash and found a Kaffe Fassett fabric I purchased a few years ago, not knowing what it would become at the time! It is a nice large Cabbage Rose print. I used the fabric for the outside and the lining, I had a yard of fabric. I will use any leftover scraps for quilting projects. It was my first time making a hat, it was a fun, confidence growing experience. It is good to make new things and feel a sense of accomplishment!

The hat came out nice and I have been enjoying using it in the garden or for walks in the neighborhood. It is also very pretty to look at when displayed on a kitchen chair. A hat with a large brim is essential when gardening in the bright sun.




I now plan to look over my fabric stash to see if I have the right fabric for another hat. Hope my hat will inspire you to make your own! 

Many Blessings,

Denise A. Buchwalter-Losczyk


Monday, January 24, 2022

Update on Tumbler Quilt in progress

Greetings!

One project I have been working on is my colorful Tumbler quilt. It is an improvised Tumbler Quilt (tumbler is the name of the one-patch quilt block). 

A little history of this quilt project: I cut out the tumbler shapes with Accuquilt Go Cutter and tumbler die. Then I played with an arrangement of cool and hot fabrics, which were cut from 5-inch square charm packs, including Tula Pink solids, Island Batiks, some batiks I've had for years (and don't know the manufacture name), Connecting threads batiks and dot patterns. I really enjoyed combining solids and some patterns with the batiks.

It is still in progress, I completed the inner quilting on my Qnique 14+ mid-arm machine. I'm very happy with the machine quilting. Before going to the machine, I practiced and created some small drawing/design ideas in a sketch book. 

Paisley Quilting Design
Quilt Design - Clouds
that run into each other


This was a great starting point, once I started quilting I was able to create variations of the initial designs, and even improvised some while quilting! I quilt with my right hand, and steady my left hand on my ruler base, and use it for holding my quilting ruler when needed. I find it is easier than quilting with two hands on the machine.

Quilting Detail 1



Quilting Detail 2

















Quilting Detail 3
















I plan to hand quilt on the border, using larger quilting stitches. I started some of this while it was on the frame, but I may re-do my initial hand quilting a bit. Decided to hand quilt the rest off the frame, so I can use the machine for another quilt. It is an improvised quilt, so I may add applique, or other embellishments after it is quilted too, we will see how it goes!

In process Tumbler quilt with center machine quilted.













I used Wonderfil Invisafil 100 weight, polyester thread on the top and in the bobbin. I may try Wonderfil DecoBob 80 weight polyester thread next time for the bobbin. I also used Hobbs 80/20 Wool/cotton batting. I was able to get good tension results, which can be challenging at times!

For the hand quilting I am using mostly my Sulky Blendables 100% cotton threads. Making good use of my thread collection!

Hope you enjoyed this update!

Blessings,

Denise A. Buchwalter-Losczyk



Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Happy New Year 2022, and First Sewing project finished in the New Year!

Happy 2022!

I didn't get much posting done last year, so will try to share some of what I'm working on this year and will be show and telling some projects from last year too!

I don't have any firm resolutions this year, I like to think of every day as a new beginning! Though, I do like seeing the seasons go by, and celebrating each year. It is important to focus on the good things in our life as the years go by.

First sewing project finished in the New Year!


Bag made using Sally Tomato Aurora Bag Pattern





















I participated in the Sulky and Sally Tomato New Year's Eve Sew-a-long on December 31, 2021. I was able to start the Aurora Tote Bag project during the Sew-a-long, and then finished it in the following week sewing with the recorded video from the event. You can find the sew-a-long on their website, www.Sulky.com, in their education section.

It was a fun project. You could either order the Aurora Bag kit or use your own materials. I chose to use some Cork fabric, lining fabric and mask filter batting I had on hand for the project. I ordered canvas fabric and purse hardware on-line. 

I Made This Patch on bag

Lining of Bag with pocket



Bag Zipper with tab
Other 2 patches included with the pattern

I ended up using a zipper from my supply stash, as the zipper tape I found online (not very expensive one) was not of great quality. I will use it for embellishing projects! The zipper in my stash was a little shorter than the one in the pattern, so I just added a bit longer tab on it, it matched the light blue in my fabric perfectly!

The project includes badges you can embroider on your machine. It was a good way to try out the process on my embroidery machine. I embroidered on cork fabric for the first time. I really enjoyed working with the cork. I had won a package of cork to sew with from www.SewingMachinesPlus.com a while ago, and this gave me the opportunity to try it out! 

I may have to order some more cork fabric in the future! I have read that it is very durable. This was my first sew-a-long with Sulky, and it was fun!

Wishing you all the best this year! Healthy, Happy, Creative and Safe New Year!

Many Blessings,

Denise A. Buchwalter-Losczyk