Pretty Bird by Pillow & Maxfield for Michael Miller Fabrics - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

Pretty Bird by Pillow & Maxfield for Michael Miller Fabrics

Anne Maxfield and Valerie Pillow are a talented, vivacious duo designing fabric for Michael Miller. Both times we’ve met at Market, the first thing I always notice about them are their lovely, winning smiles. Then, you drink in their booth. It’s always just the right amount of “wow” and “I want that!”, where you’ll want to sit and chat and pore over their little details. We saw their first line, Whimsy, last year, and it’s been so popular, it continues to be re-printed in new colorways! Not just for quilts, it is especially delicious for apparel and home dec, and the newest colorway of blue and yellow has just arrived.

Right on its tail is their second line Pretty Bird, dunked in tropical colors and festive prints. Imagine lounging in a Pretty Bird tunic, shaded by the roof of a cabana, sand between your Banana Boat-coated toes. While that dream tropical vacation may have to wait, but you can definitely wrap yourself in Pretty Bird by Pillow & Maxfield all summer long! We have it in three different colorway bundles and all the yardage for your sizzling summer. Also, check out the fantastic project tutorial series Sew4Home is doing right now with Pretty Bird!

Whimsy is proving to be a well-loved staple at Michael Miller. How does this work for you guys; how do you pick the new colorations, and what are your inspirations?

We are thrilled with the fact that Whimsy is becoming a staple for MMF. We continue to love the designs so adding new color combinations just seems to be a natural. It’s just too hard to put them away right now, so we like the idea of keeping a good thing going. The blue and yellow combination seemed to fall right into place. It’s such a classic color combination, always looking so fresh and clean and happy. The lead design, Whimsy Doozie, is now also offered in black and white.

Do you feel like your style has evolved since starting with Michael Miller?

Not really, our style has been quite well defined for some time now. However, we will continue to evolve in terms of our favorite subject matters and of course the color palettes that we are craving at the moment.

What have you learned and changed about your design process?

We have learned so much about the fabric design process from Kathy Miller at MMF. Our designing before was more applicable to paper products. We’re actually quite fascinated by this design process, notably the color grids for each collection and our anxious waiting time between strike offs. When we receive the strike offs, it’s kind of like opening a gift.

One of the greatest pleasures is watching our designs jump from our computer screens to yards and yards of fabrics. It’s kind of like watching something come to life, the designs become touchable, scrunch-able, soft and tactile.

This is when the fun really begins, they turn into a beautiful quilt, an adorable dress, the list can go on and on. Love it!

The Michael Miller quilt (for Whimsy) was shown at the May market in their booth. It’s a free downloadable pattern on the Michael Miller website, or you can download it here!

What was the thought and feel for Pretty Bird?

The Pretty Bird collection is offered in three distinct and eye catching color palettes, an aqua and pink, a blue and olive, and an orange and brown. Each collection has 16 uniquely styled and easily coordinated designs that focus on a flock of charming birds, flowers and the garden where they live. The collection has a notably happy feel and is a true festival of color.

It just felt right for us to create this collection. Birds are such a natural and calming part of nature. It’s easy to become inspired by their shapes, colors and free spirits.

What’s up next for Pillow & Maxfield? What is currently in the works?

We launched our new website in mid-May,, and would love for people to stop by and visit. Be sure to see our inspiration page. We will be updating the website shortly with even more new inspiration that will include the blue and yellow Whimsy collection plus new inspiration for the Pretty Bird collection.

Also, we have a new collection in the works that will be released this fall, it incorporates some really great features. We are anxiously awaiting to see the first set of strike-offs any day now. We’re very excited about this new collection!

Anne Maxfield &
Valerie Pillow

Pillow & Maxfield


  1. Hi Kimberly

    I love getting parcels from you – always so beautifully packaged. The last arrival was no exception – gorgeous rural jardin and park avenue fabrics.

  2. Oh my goodness those birds in the nest are adorable! My MIL would just love that! Beautiful fabrics!

    I'm glad VandCo sent me to you!

  3. I love the yellow and blue fabrics and the little birdies 🙂 How fun! I hope I win your giveaway on V & Co!

  4. The birds in the nest and the quilt just above that photo are to die for. I'm glad to find out P&M have a website. I didn't know that.

  5. SO gorgeous! I love the pink, aqua and olive quilt from The Pretty Bird…I'm planning a quilt for my daughter's new bed, she just moved from a toddler to a twin bed, I would love to make her something like that!