With everything safely in the mail, I'd love to share with you guys my Circa50 quilt for Birch Fabrics Quilt Market Booth!

I love love love this quilt! It was definitely a labor of love.

I received the whole line in February and slowly worked on it but nothing I was making really *caught* me, I felt like I wasn't doing the fabric justice. I'd been commissioned to make a quilt similar to this one and for some reason, I just couldn't get it to look right! Then I realized I was going about it the complete wrong way...that quilt is very winter-y, whereas Circa50 is very summer-y & Southern California.

So I kept at it, sketching, sewing, sketching, sewing. I looked a lot of websites, bought a few copies of Atomic Ranch, went to the library, etc. I made a *lot* of houses before I got it right. I'm really thankful for my friends Brenda Lou & Liz because at first, I was making the houses slowly and carefully measuring and sewing them together according to my sketches...they gave me the idea to foundation piece them instead. SO much better! You can see my first round of adobe illustrator sketches above, with Liz & my notes.

Once I figured out illustrator and how I wanted things to look, it was a lot of getting up, sitting down and sewing, tweaking something on the computer, reprinting it, resewing, back and forth. Foundation piecing is really precise and while I *love* that, it's not completely my style, I like a bit of organic feeling to my quilts, so in some spots I let the lines be a little bigger and a little "off". You can see the fabric I based the houses on here!

The quilting was insanely fun! I knew I wanted to really do something fresh and unique. So leading up to the homes are cobblestone walk ways, the palm trees have coconuts, there are little conversation bubbles with musical notes coming out of the birds mouths, some atomic starbursts, etc...it was just REALLY fun. By using white thread, the quilting is there, but not really "in your face", I think if I'd done a color thread it would have just been tacky, but with the white, it's faint and charming.

Because I normally quilt things to death, I had to really stop myself and walk away a few times. It's easy to get carried away & I kept telling myself simple was best! A huge thanks for Yahaira who provided me with much needed support via text message. I swear I was feeling VERY insecure at this point. I kept worrying & worrying! But once it was bound, I was glad I followed through with all my ideas.

I also made this 1950's style dress out of one of the prints for Cynthia's Blythe who will be attending Quilt Market. So cute! I've been making dresses for custom orders a lot the past few months and this one was SO fun! I loved finding the little belt buckle online & then making a little tote from the fabric, she's gotta have a tote to carry around all the fun stuff she finds at the booths! Please ignore Paprika's hair, she's very uncomfortable without her wig on ;)

I had purchased some handmade Blythe dress hangers from my friend Rebecca so the dress is shipped on a little hanger on a piece of cardstock with some vintage teeny tiny ric rac. The quilt & the Blythe goodies were then packed in organic cotton produce bags that are basted shut with bits of the scraps I had from the line! Super cute & reusable! I like shipping stuff in these bags because it stops stuff from getting dirty but it also is ecofriendly, plus it's fitting for a 100% organic fabric company!!! I make all my thank you cards from scraps as well :)

I hope you liked this little peek into the process of a commissioned quilt! If you are going to Quilt Market, check out Birch Fabrics! I'm really excited to see how their booth looks, they are number #3725!

They have some *fantastic* upcoming lines, Circa60 which I know is going to be fantastic, those campers! those polka dots! And the under the sea themed Marine is so great, those colors are phenom!

A huge thank you to Birch for this great opportunity and the chance to follow my ideas! You guys are the greatest! :)

Have a great Wednesday friends! My next post will be from Gridley, CA; we are leaving tomorrow morning! I can't wait to unpack! ;)