Windows to the Orient is going to AQS Chattanooga!

Windows to the Orient is going to AQS Chattanooga!

I’m very excited and thrilled to tell you that you can see Windows to the Orient at AQS Chattanooga Quilt Week as part of the Bad Ass Quilters Society display!


I have loads to tell you about the quilting process and the trouble with large white quilts in photographs, but for now we’ll just bask in the finish.

BAQS at AQS process and thoughts.

I sent in the application on a bit of whim. I’ve often thought of entering one of these professional shows, but always back down when it is time to send the application. There’s a few reasons why. First,  I’ve been to these shows – I know how amazing the talent is. It’s intimidating! Second, I don’t really like the idea of art as a competition. While I enjoy and learn from judge’s feedback, I find that choosing a winners is somewhat arbitrary. Either that or I have no taste, my favorites are rarely the winners. I just want to see the quilts, love the quilts for the individual strengths, and learn from other artists. Finally, I get nervous because I feel like my work is often different in its simplicity. I don’t want to make a quilt that takes 200 hours and 33 yards of fabric to piece. I love them, dont wanna. When I read Maddie’s description of what they were looking for, I thought AH HA! She gets it! What a great way to dip my toes into putting things out there. So I sent the email and waited with bated breath until the quilt was accepted! Who knows maybe it I’ll catch the fever and just have to enter all the time now!

Quilt Description

You guys know how I love total transparency and to tell you everything. Here’s the email I sent along with the required photos of the quilt.

Windows to the Orient, 74”x90”, Susan Owenby

Windows to the Orient is made from Robert Kaufman’s Oriental Traditions fabric line. I love oriental fabrics, but do find them to be busy and overwhelming. When I saw the design of Sew Fresh Quilt’s pattern, Modern Charm, I immediately recognized an opportunity to honor the beauty and simple lines of Asian architecture mixed with the interest of heavily patterned fabrics.

The black and white contrast of this quilt gives it an immediate visual impact. My favorite aspect is the details. Each and every corner is mitered. Significant thought and planning went into determining where to place individual fabrics. Each square is quilted to avoid any possibility of stray black threads showing though the light white fabric. Lines are quilted at irregular intervals to engage the brain when the human doesn’t even know it.

You can read lots about me as an artist and a crafter on my blog. This is my first attempt to enter a juried show and while I’m a bit nervous and unsure, I’m also beyond excited about the possibility of sharing my work with other quilters.

I very much look forward to hearing from you!

Are you going?

I can’t say that I wont get so excited that I impulsively get myself there one way or another on Wednesday the 10th. Realistically, 7+ hours of hard lonely mountain driving between Dragon con and Spark con with a lot of work and real life in between ain’t happening. (unless you want to ride with me, do ya??? hahaha!)  I’d like to lean you a little my virtual blogger friends! If you’re going, send me a picture. I’m sure I’ll be quite inclined to do something fun and nice for anyone that does!


Final Thoughts, sort of

This quilt isn’t perfect. It was a learning quilt for miters – some of them of wonky. Good thing it is on black they hide nicely. Because of the miters and the crazy contrast between the black and white, I had a make a decision of evils. I pushed the all of the black seam allowances to the black side creating some really knotty corners in some places. At the end of the day, it was more important to me to have the white stay true white than to have the corners lay perfectly flat.  There are a few places where the seam lines are just a bit off. If it weren’t such high contrast black and white, you’d never know it. Here’s the thing though – I think it is ok. I made this on my small domestic machine with my hardwood floor and hopes. The truth of the matter is – if it were 100% technically perfect with zero flaws you would know I didn’t do it. I just hope I won’t change my mind when the flaws are hanging near someone who isnt as broken as I!

Big thank yous to Maddie for giving us a place to be a little broken and march to the beat of the slightly drunken drummer weaving her way down the path less traveled. It’s exciting and I can’t wait to see where she goes!


There’s more! See every blog post about this quilt on Windows to the Orient’s Index page!

Linking in with these lovely bloggers:
Connie @ FreeMotion by the River
Lorna @ Sew Fresh Quilts
Leanne @Devoted Quilter
Amanda Jean @CrazyMomQuilts



    • Thanks Diana! I’m really love it too. One of those “sneak attack” projects. I never really had any intention of making it. Just kind of happened. 🙂

  1. Congratulations! I have one going to Chattanooga and one to Des Moines! I will be at the Chattanooga show and will be glad to get a pic for you! Your quilt is beautiful!

    • woot! That’s awesome! congratulations! I get to go to Chattanooga after all. I’ll be there on Wednesday. If you’re around, I’d love to say hello!

  2. I entered the show also. I hope we will get photos of them hanging in the show at least. My quilt is a red/white bear paw called Red Paws. I had just gotten it back from VQF when I saw that we could enter in Chatanooga. I too have seen some of the other quilts out there. They are very intimidating. I took a second place in two color quilts at the festival which was a shock to me. I entered because I was born in Vermont and just wanted to show a quilt there once.

    • That is so cool! Turns out – I get to go! I’ll look for your quilt and if photos are allowed, I’ll send you one. 🙂


  3. So cool! That is so exciting. You go girl:) Can’t wait to hear how it goes!!!

  4. Awesome! Congrats on the entry!

  5. Gorgeous! And congratulations on your showing debut! I love the contrast. Seeing this, I may have to start putting aside squares to try a Modern Charm quilt of my own.

  6. It is gorgeous. Congratulations. So proud of you.

  7. Yippee! I am so happy for you, my friend, will be in a show that big show! No I won’t be there or anywhere but home but someone will be and they will get the photo with the ribbon! Fingers and toes crossed for you! It is beautiful and unique!

  8. Congratulations! This is a wonderful quilt 🙂

  9. Congratulations on the acceptance of this quilt into a big show! It is a lovely quilt!
    And, like you, I have the same feelings about entering, and I won’t enter unless it’s something really special. I just finished a scrappy wall hanging, Scraplicious Florabunda, that I think I’ll send to PIQF. It’s so pretty, it needs to be shared!


What say you?