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?
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?
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, www.pillowandmaxfield.com, 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.
Anne Maxfield &
Pillow & Maxfield