Drift – A Michael Miller Project

Drift – Featuring Jungle Vibes by Michael Miller

We are back with another Michael Miller Brand Ambassador project! Not sure what the heck I’m talking about? It simply means that all year Michael Miller is sending us some of their fantastic collections to play with. We get to pick and choose exactly what we do with each collection when it arrives.

This month we were sent this beautiful collection called Jungle Vibes. The deep rich colors immediately stood out to me!

After petting the fabric for awhile, it was time to figure out what we were going to do with it. We knew we wanted something that would allow us to show the prints and even allow for a little fussy cutting. We wanted to be able to showcase those amazing animals!

For this design, we started out flying geese, but after Awestruck and making tons of tiny ones, we knew we wanted these ones to be MUCH bigger.

If we are going to make big blocks in a quilt, we want them to really make a statement. So we opted to surround them with lots of negative space. Of course this didn’t hurt my feelings because then I had plenty of room to play with the quilting.

Drift is a simple design, consisting of rows of 6 flying geese going in alternating directions. The large size really allows you to pick and choose from lots of different prints. There is no need to stress over the scale and if it’s going to be too big. As I mentioned, it’s also great for fussy cutting. We were able to highlight each of the main animals in the cream print across the rows. I like the triangle shape as well, it’s dynamic and really seems to draw the attention to the prints and the animals really stand out!

We used 6 different prints from the Jungle Vibes collection for our quilt top. If you had more you wanted to feature, you could certainly do that as well. I would probably put the extras in the middle row of this design.

One last detail, to make sure that the main prints really stood out, is the small solid frame. It’s small, but gives a nice border between the background and the block. We used 4 different colors. We opted for two shades of gray for depth and contrast. Also, because we could! Depending on the fabric you chose, you could easily do a couple different colors or six different ones. It’s all about finding one that’s going to look great with the main print. This can either be through coordinating or using a contrasting fabric in your quilt top.

We didn’t use our regular no waste flying geese for this top, those triangles are all cut and sewn individually. While that method is still our favorite, we only needed 3 flying geese of each fabric, needed to add the border, and we wanted to be able to make sure that the print of the fabric was going in the right direction. It would not have worked as well to have our elephant standing on his head. Another thing we did differently is that we didn’t use white for the background! White is a go to color for many of our designs, but we decided to break it up and chose Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Banana. It’s the perfect soft yellow with just enough color to know it’s there, but not so much to be overly bright.

After the flying geese were cut out and sewn together, this quilt top was quick. The borders are cut and pieced from the length of the fabric, so each one is a whole piece with no distracting seams.

When the top was all put together, it was time to figure out how to quilt it. I went back and forth a little bit, but really liked the idea of ghosting the triangles into the negative space. What this means, is that I created those shapes with the quilting and quilted them as if they were sewn with fabric. The designs match the flying geese blocks perfectly, even though they aren’t actually there. This is a fun technique I use regularly and it’s a great way to break up the negative space on a quilt top.

After that, I opted to outline and really accent the angles of the flying geese and make zig zags across the rest of the quilt. A couple different fill choices and some large channels help them to stand out and differentiate between the different areas in the quilt.

This quilt did get quite a bit of marking and I used my favorite water soluble marker from Dritz. This marker works well because it won’t disappear on it’s own like an air erase marker so I was able to mark out a larger section without stressing over how fast it would be quilted. I also like this marker because if I do miss any spots when I’m removing my markings, a quick throw in the washing machine takes care of them. As a disclaimer though, I ALWAYS recommend spot testing your marking pen on each and every quilt top to make sure it’s going to come out. It’s worth the little bit of extra time to know you want have a surprise later.

For batting, we used 100% cotton from Hobbs. It’s a mid weight and has nice loft which helps define the quilting, but isn’t super heavy.

After binding our Flower Fairies quilt in stripes I knew I wanted to use stripes on this project too. The stripes that come with this collection are colorful and organic and fun and really match well with the rest of the prints. I think it adds a really fun pop to the finished version of the quilt.

When binding a quilt, we like to start with 2 1/4″ strips and fold them in half. Unless we are hand binding, we sew it on the back first, then fold around to the front and stitch as close to the edge as we are comfortable doing.

We really like how this project came out. This jungle fabric is perfect for teens or adults. It’s grown up and the colors are rich. It’s also a little funky and lots of fun!

If there are any details about this quilt I missed that you want to know, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Happy Quilting!

Kimie and Missy

Leave a Reply