Circa 52 from Birch Fabrics
Gifted by Birch Fabrics
Reviewed by Jessica Nichols, Editor of FaveQuilts.com
Circa 52 is a playful collection of 10 organic cotton fabrics in shades of yellow, blue, orange, gray, and a few touches of red. The line ranges from folksy woodland scenes to futuristic outer space motifs, maintaining a retro feel throughout.
Circa 52 draws on graphic midcentury style, combining a variety of prints that can be incorporated in either kid's quilts or more adult patterns. The backbone of the collection is made up of 6 medium-scale prints against solid color backgrounds. Though each of these fabrics incorporates a touch of whimsy, they are all sophisticated enough to be included in any quilt. The most sober prints of the collection feature stripes of irregular dots in several colors, reminiscent of the bead curtains popular in earlier decades. This print comes in both orange and light blue. Circa 52's interpretation of a polka dot print sets lumpy spots against yellow and blue backgrounds and accents the print with randomly spaced asterisks that practically shout retro (you can see these scattered elsewhere in the bolder prints of the collection). The largest of the medium-scale prints are gray and yellow fabrics printed with woodsy white tree trunks. Branches and hollows provide perches for bright flowers and birds that add interest to the design.
The standout, large-scale prints of Circa 52 bring together an unusual combination of themes, all set against natural white backgrounds. Two forest prints replete with flora and fauna create a counterpoint to an urban traffic scene and a space age print. The first of the woodland prints is plainer, with regularly spaced trees playing home to brightly colored owls, squirrels, and birds, while the second forest print adds foxes, butterflies, and rainbow buntings strung between the trees, giving this fabric a more festive feel. These folksy prints stand in sharp contrast to the modern motifs in the other two prints, both of which would be adorable fabrics to use in a little boy's room. The traffic scene shows rushing retro buses, cars, bicycles and mopeds, while the space print includes vintage rocket ships, robots, moons, and UFOs. Quilters and their kids are sure to be delighted by these fun prints! The 100% organic cotton poplin makes the Circa 52 collection a safe bet for baby quilts, children's quilts, and even clothing and bedding.