Windows to the Orient

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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... read more

Windows to the Orient: Finished Top!

Big giant drum roll please! After lots of hemming and hawing about layout (a quality that lots of us seem to share), I have a quilt top! Yay! I really do love this top. I didn’t take the world’s best picture, but in real life, the contrast between the black and white is stark and impressive. I think it compliments the busy Asian prints and gives them room to be themselves. While I was making design decisions about this quilt, I tried to keep in mind the simplicity of Asian architecture with clean simple lines and thoughtful details. For example, I didn’t want any seams that weren’t purposeful. The reason the 1″ white block appears on the left and right side of the quilt is to prevent having a seam in the black line. Since the picture is all blown out, you can see the seam on the bottom right outer white border. I actually pieced the right and left borders together with a 1″ strip that live diagonal from one another. Yeah, I realize they are little things that will be lost in the overall finish, but that’s what makes them interesting right? Don’t forget, this quilt is SewFreshQuilt’s Modern charm pattern modified for bed size. It’s really a fun pattern, pick one up!... read more

Windows to the Orient: A quilting funny

So – here’s a fun story for you… I love my Robert Kaufman Oriental Traditions squares from the charm packs I bought for Windows to the Orient. I also had a yard of another oriental print that I loved because it had a full image with pagodas, rivers, and lovely country side scenes. I fussy cut two three of my favorite 5×5 areas from the print and put them in the quilt. When I finished piecing the top, I proudly hung it on the design wall and insisted my roommate come look at it. I, of course, pointed out my added pagoda and row boat square. He asked me if I was being funny or serious. I was a bit confused and tried to figure out what he was getting at. When he realized we weren’t on the same page, he said he wasn’t going to tell me because once I saw it I would be mad. This went on for a bit and he was dead wrong, I didn’t hate it, I loved it! I nearly giggle out loud when I look at this block now and the quilt has become more personal. Want to know what he saw? Scroll on down for the big reveal…   Not yet….   In a second…   Don’t you love silly internet tricks?   …..   We’re scrolling, we’re scrolling…     Nearly there!   Are you ready?….   Bwhahahahaha! See it now? If you’re like me, you’ll never see a pagoda again.   I hope you all are doing well! I’m working on big things in the background and can’t... read more

Windows to the Orient: Getting Started

This quilt is the result of free shipping. No really, free shipping. Here’s how it happened – I wanted to order a fat quarter bundle from It was on sale, everything was great and I was nearly ready to check out. Low and behold – shipping was $9 unless I added $10 to my order to get free shipping. How could I possibly not trade shipping costs for fabric? I love Oriental fabrics, but rarely buy them or use them. As much as I love them, I never know what to do with them. I figured it couldn’t hurt to have a few in charm size so I spent my $10 on these two Charm packs from Robert Kaufmann. They showed up. As expected, I loved them but had no clue what to do with them. I sat them to the side and just let it brew a bit. Then came Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilt’s pattern, Modern Charm. When I saw her pattern, I instantly saw Asian and knew exactly what to do with my charm packs. I knew Modern Charm wasn’t perfect for what I wanted to accomplish and I wouldn’t be able to follow it step for step. It was close enough though that I went ahead and bought it for the basic layout, measurements, and to support a darn fine independent community designer. My first big change was extending the size of the quilt. I wanted a full size bed quilt rather than the throw size. On paper, I added a seventh row and borders to extend the finished size to 72” x 90”.... read more