Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Desire to Inspire - January Challenger Denise Losczyk works with My Back Porch by Janet Rae Nesbitt of One Sister Designs

My husband Ron and I live in Camp Verde, Arizona. It is a very friendly town officially located in the geographic center of the state. It is known for its many pecan trees, annual Pecan and Wine Festival, and for its annual Fort Verde Days celebration which is held at the Fort Verde State Park, located in Camp Verde.
We enjoy walking, gardening, observing nature, and tending to our new orchard and pecan tree. Ron is the main gardener, and I am his assistant. I loved gathering our pecans from our tree this past fall. They have become a staple in our diet! Our home is in a nice location, it is semirural, we have the benefits of walking in a small town, and having our own mini farm (no animals though!). We are enjoying our  life on our one acre lot that is irrigated, which is unusual in a high desert environment.

Quilting has become my main art form. I made my first quilt top at age sixteen, from lessons from my Grandma Hazel Bell, while visiting on her Iowa farm one summer. She taught my cousin Jean and me how to quilt. I made a nine-patch quilt using gingham and floral scraps left over from sewing clothes. We made cardboard templates for cutting out the squares, drawing around each template with a pencil. This was before rotary cutters were widely used. Some blocks were stitched by hand and some by machine. The quilt is unfinished, as I wasn’t sure about my color choices at the time. I may have to go back and complete it one day!

I’ve always had the need to be creating and making something. As a youth I took art classes, and later went on to study in college and received a BFA and MFA in Art.  I created in many different media, including photography, video, audio, drawing, and photo silkscreen, but I’ve always been drawn back to the textile arts. I believe it is because I’ve been surrounded by textile creations, quilts, crochet, embroidery and tatting all my life.  I love incorporating many of the skills I’ve learned in other media in fiber art. I consider myself an art quilter, though I believe all quilts are art, especially when we create our own designs and manifest them in fabric, utilizing the incredible art of fabric designers.

I love designing my own quilts using my imagination and incorporating traditional quilt blocks. One of my favorite design tools is the EQ7 Quilt program. My favorite techniques are using piecing and applique together and embellishing with embroidery, beading, needle-felting, and tatting.  There is always a new technique to learn and explore. I love entering quilt challenges and shows, fabric challenges are fun, because the fabric inspires the quilt design. Many of my quilting skills were acquired from reading books and watching quilt videos. Also, much can be learned just from experimenting with fabric. I learned quite a bit from watching videos on and I am a member of an online site: I also belong to AQS (American Quilter's Society)

This was my second time participating as a Desire to Inspire Challenger! It was a lot of fun, working with the fabric panel and fabrics from “My Back Porch” by Janet Rae Nesbitt of One Sister Designs. I haven’t created very many quilts using fabric panels, and it was a good experience, letting the fabric panel inspire the quilt design. I decided to make a table runner/ bed runner using the fabric panel. I designed the applique borders using my Accu-Quilt Go Fabric cutter and flower and star cutting dies.

The fabric panel has some small stars in the background, so I added star appliques to the front of the panel to repeat the motif. I created a floral border for the top and bottom of the runner. I often like to add embellishment when creating, and I had just the right color of Rick-Rack trim in my stash to add to the project.

 I recently acquired a new Q’nique quilting machine, and this was my first project completed on the machine. I decided to use a shiny gold polyester thread from Superior Threads for quilting. There are some gold accents in the lavender print fabric, which inspired this thread choice. The gold thread also is a good color compliment to the lavender and blue fabrics. I used mostly straight stitching, inspired by the plaid fabric pattern in the panel. I also stitched around my applique designs. I pieced together the lavender and light blue gingham fabrics for the back of the quilt, and used the blue gingham for my binding.

I plan to use the runner on our dining table, but it also works well as a bed runner in our guest bedroom. It was a busy, but fun experience! Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the Challenge.

*More of my creations can be viewed on the gallery page on my blog at: Also, please visit my Facebook page at Denise.Losczyk, and my Instagram page @dblosczyk, for art work, and views from our daily life.

You can find out more about Camp Verde by visiting

Denise Losczyk

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