Over the next month, I made about 100 variations of sample pins. I still didn't know at that point if they'd go with my design or not, but I kept on working. The evolution of the pins was very interesting to me. We worked with different fabrics, different insides, different sizes, different threads, different stitches, all the while slowly feeling like we were getting there. It wasn't until I put binding on a pin and finished it off like a quilt, that I knew I had done it. I was literally jumping around and singing! Ha! I don't know why I didn't think of that sooner! But it was all part of the journey. It made so much sense. When I initially started working with Philbrook, we started talking about how my quilts were too big for the shop. They were shrunk down into potholders and now, they were being shrunk down into pins. Mini, miniature quilts. I finally submitted my final design and sat back for a few weeks until I heard back. Longest two weeks ever!
While my dad and I were off on a weekend junking trip, I got the email! My design had been chosen! It was a little hard to be away from home because I wanted to start sewing immediately! But really, it was good for me to be able to process it all and think out my game plan. Also, while we were in a junk shop in Kansas somewhere, I picked up an old (seventies?) cosmetics travel case for seven bucks as a gift to myself for the new gig. It has housed all of the trees through their development and has been absolutely perfect for mobile sewing! And it's green. :)
So, the gig. I started production on 500 trees (read: 500 miniature quilts with pins!!) in mid-September. I have completed 350 which are already on sale! If sales are good, they anticipate 200-300 more being ordered. My goal is to make 800 total. Insane? Maybe a little. BUT I'm loving every single bit of it! I really enjoy large-scale projects and through assembly-line sewing, I don't tend to get overwhelmed. My family and friends are wonderfully supportive and encouraging, which is really priceless.
If you're interested, here's a breakdown (taken from a recent instagram post of mine) about my process.
1. Pour out my scraps and start piecing like a mad woman! Fun!
5. Cut out newly quilted trees again.
7. Now the project can go mobile! I hand sew the binding to every single tree. This is the longest step by far but also my favorite. I do lots of hand stretches during this step.
So there you have it! I've been lost in the forest! ;) Did I mention I made a hashtag for these? #biffmakesaforest There have been so many other things happening lately as well that I hope to share with you soon. I promise I won't wait three months to do so. Until later!