Cotton + Steel Collection: Mustang by Melody Miller - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

Cotton + Steel Collection: Mustang by Melody Miller

Hello happy quilters! Our Jolly Jabber special guest today is Melody Miller. She’s the creative director and founding designer of Cotton + Steel. With her pink locks and dazzling smile, Melody is not new to the design world. She previously designed the Ruby Star fabric lines for Kokka. We got a chance to talk to her about her new venture, Cotton + Steel and her Mustang Collection.


Q: Tell us about your collection. What were you inspired by?

A: My collection Mustang was inspired by a wide variety of things. 2014 is the year of the horse, and the horse prints are the first time I’ve ever put animals in my fabric designs. I was very inspired by the look of vintage 3D photographs, and wanted to borrow a little of double-image overlapping color for the horses.  Many of the other motifs were nods to my previous collections, although re-scaled and re-imagined for my first collection on quilting cotton. 

Q: What is your background in design?

A: My background is in Fine Arts. Through a long and winding road, I had an idea to manufacture a line of baby bedding at one point, and hoped to use some of my favorite Japanese fabrics in those designs. However, I wasn’t sure of the rules about using other designer’s fabric in small-scale manufacturing, so I decided to play it safe and make up my own fabric designs. After a few months, I had an entire fabric portfolio, and decided to shop it around Quilt Market in Fall of 2009. My work was picked up by a Japanese company, and my first collection came out in Fall of 2010. (I quickly dropped the manufacturing idea once I realized how much I loved designing fabric.)

Q: What projects do hope to see made with your collection?

A: When we designed our collections for Cotton+Steel, we knew people would be quilting with them, but we also wanted to create fabric for people who make garments, handbags, home accessories, and other projects.  I hope Mustang is used for all of those things! 

Q:  How do you describe your style?

A: My style is vintage-inspired, sometimes nostalgic, with an occasional nod to artists in the pop art movement like Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol.

Q: What does Cotton + Steel mean to you?

A: Cotton+Steel is a culmination of all of the things I’ve been working toward for many, many years. I work in a collaborative environment with wonderful people who are my dear friends, I have positive and inspiring relationships, I am creatively challenged, and I’m able to work harder than I’ve ever worked for a project that means the world to me.

SURPRISE! RJR and Cotton+Steel have graciously donated fat quarter bundles for us to give away! Today, we are giving away Melody Miller’s Mustang Fat Quarter Bundle to one lucky winner. Just enter the giveaway through Rafflecopter below! The more entries you complete, the more chances you have to win.


  1. I would make the Chameleon Quilt. I think it's a great way to show off all the beautiful fabric. Thanks for the chance to win.

  2. Would love the horses running across the quilt with the pink,aqua,and blue floral and the feathers are delightful. I love all quilt patterns so what ever worked would be the one.

  3. I would make laptop/tablet sleeves – this is my favourite Cotton+Steel collection, well done Melody you fabulously talented lady!!

  4. Definately a quilt. I would fussy cut the horses so they were a focal point πŸ™‚ love this fabric thanks for the chance

  5. I have hourglass blocks on the brain lately, so maybe a very traditional lap quilt, with the zing of Mustang πŸ™‚

  6. Thanks for an interesting interview! My niece has just moved into a 'big girl' (i.e. single!) bed and needs a quilt for it – I think she'd love the colours and prints in this bundle!

  7. Β΅I would make q quilt for my girl you loves horse riding and If I had yardage I would make a SUgar Pop Top!

  8. Pillows, bags, everything! Thanks for sharing! Sarah: crjandsbj(at)netzero(dot)com

  9. I would make a travel bag to carry my handwork stuff onto the plane. I need a distinctive bag to put in the overhead locker and I think pink mustangs would be perfect! Thanks for the offer.

  10. I think this fabric would be really cute for bags. I have a few horse loving family members that would just swoon over a bag with horse prints.

  11. I would probably make a quilt of some sort. Or maybe split a few of the fabrics up for different small projects (throw pillows, bags, placemats, or a couch cozy!)

  12. I just saw that I have to say what I'd make with it, not just leave a comment. So, I would make a quilt with the fat quarters and maybe a new patchwork tote bag for myself too.

  13. Just a note that I couldn't get it to pin the picture through rafflecopter but I did pin another image of the fabric from the post. I hope that counts.

  14. I would love to make a lap quilt and pillow for my little granddaughter, who loves horses. Thanks so much for the giveaway.

  15. My sweetie's first car was a Mustang, so he will be getting a new lap quilt!

  16. I really like this fabric. If I'm not the lucky winner of this Giveaway, I'm going to have to buy some! The colors are beautiful and I really like its whimsy.

  17. Why do you discriminate against people who do not do social media on all of your contests?

  18. This is my favorite collection from Cotton + Steel. I would make a duffel bag with those horses all over it (and beautiful coordinating fabric inside & elsewhere)!

  19. My best friend has been a rider and horse mommy for as long as I've known her and now that we live in different countries I'd love to make her an awesome horse quilt.

  20. This fabric is so beautiful and retro. Would love to make something that really showcases the gorgeous stallion print.

  21. Mustang is my favorite in the Cotton+Steel collection! Looking forward to making a quilt with it πŸ™‚
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  22. My niece loves horses just like her mother, so I am thinking she would like a quilt or wall hanging made with this fun fabric.

  23. My niece loves horses just like her mother, so I am thinking she would like a quilt or wall hanging made with this fun fabric.

  24. I want to use the pink horses in a strippy baby quilt – I think they'd be an awesome focus fabric to start with.

  25. I love this line. I would definately make a mini quilt for my sewing space so I could look at it every day. I would probably use what was left to make some gifts to share with my quilty friends. Thanks for the chance to win.

  26. Rosemary B here:
    I would make a table runner for my sister in law. She is nuts bats crazy about horses and this would make her so happy!!
    Thank you so much for this giveaway and sharing about Melody Miller!

  27. I love the Rolling Stone block and think a quilt with this fabric line would be awesome. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

  28. Congratualtions! Your new line is a hit. I would pair some of these with a solid and make pillow cases. svonfumetti at yahoo dot com

  29. Wasn't sure what I was supposed to pin on Pinterest. Oh well. I pinned what will help me remember this fabulous set of fabrics. I love the horses, well the entire set but since I have horses that just shouts out buy me! Thanks for a fantastic give away.

  30. Wasn't sure what I was supposed to pin on Pinterest. Oh well. I pinned what will help me remember this fabulous set of fabrics. I love the horses, well the entire set but since I have horses that just shouts out buy me! Would have to make a quilt and maybe a tote bag. Thanks for a fantastic give away.

  31. I just love these fabrics! They are so fun, and I love the color combos. I've been wanting to make some kids pillowcases, and I think this fabric would be perfect!!

  32. My daughter has a serious love of horses, so I'm thinking a few bags or purses from this fabric would thrill her to no end!

  33. I have grand daughters who love horses. I can see adorable skirts, accessories, pillows, quilts and the list goes on!

  34. The fabric would work its way into a quilt eventually, but for a while it would probably just be eye candy in my stash πŸ™‚

  35. My grand daughter loves horses..She takes riding lessons and that is all we hear about..Now I see what I am going to make her quilt of….Love this new line…

  36. I have a friend who loves horses so I would probably share this bundle with her or else I might make her a bag with them.
    Thanks for the chance to win such a nice prize.
    Regards from Alberta,

  37. My granddaughter loves horses. She would also love anything made with the fabric, pillow, skirt, quilt. Thank you for a great giveaway.

  38. I just left a comment about the fabric being used for a modern quilt for a granddaughter, but it got saved before I left my ID.

  39. Horses on a pink background, that just screams little girl to me, I think a pillow case and purse would be just the ticket. I also love that bee print…I don't know why but I see table runner.

    just in case I get real lucky: m3reyna at gmail dot com

  40. Oh, this has to be a quilt. I'm going through a Kaleidoscope obsession at the moment, I think Cotton & Steel would be a great Kaleidoscope quilt collection.

  41. I would definitely make a quilt, but I'd also include a pillow case. With this fabric, I think more makes it merrier!

  42. I love this fabric! I really want to get some of the bee fabrics and make a bunch of throw pillows for my couch. Bees are my favorite!

  43. I really love the little dress they made up with the cat print at the bottom and the crosses at the top. I'd love to do something like that but with horses.

  44. I think a sampler quilt. First block would be a pieced feather. Each block would have different dimensions and it would have lots negative space for nice fmqing.
    contentncm at yahoo dot com

  45. I love the Mustang print. So hard to find horse prints that aren't cowboyish until now! So cute. I think a dress for a little girl would be cute & a quilt of course. Thanks for the chance!

  46. I would love to make a few bags for Christmas gifts with the Mustang fabric! Very cool and beautiful!

  47. I have a horse-obsessed girl so this is one of my favorite collections. It would be fun to pull in a few of the other animal prints from the other collections

  48. oooh I'd make a quilt for my bed – love all of these but love the horses best – thanks so much for the chance to win !

  49. I would definitely make a quilt with this fabric. Something modern with large pieces to take advantage of the prints in the collection.

  50. I live in Nevada and I LOVE MUSTANGS! I get to see them all the time; but it always takes my breath away to see horses in the wild πŸ™‚

    I think I would make a cool bag/tote out of this material..

    deanne AT deannedelvecchio DOT COM

  51. What an amazing designer, lovely person and huge inspiration Melody Miller is!! I really love everything about this collection. I applaud what she has so far acheived with Cotton and Steel and am so excited to see what they have in store for us! I also wonder if they will be expanding and taking on other designers at any point? that would be a dream job!!

  52. I can think of lots of things I would like to make with this material. Throw pillows, quilts, tote bags, curtains,etc! πŸ™‚