Zig Zagging & Tail Wagging with Michael Miller Fabrics

Fabrics featured in this post were provided by Michael Miller Fabrics as part of my being a Michael Miller Brand Ambassador

The November Michael Miller Brand Ambassador theme was Charity and Gratitude.  We were asked to consider projects that are quick to make for charity projects, or express our gratitude for something or someone.

While there were several new fabric collections available for us to use, I was immediately drawn to Living in the Wild collection for the cute critters, modern tone-on-tone prints, fun border prints, bold colorways, and gold metallic accents (as shared in a my video preview).
Fabric Palette Featuring Michael Miller's Living in the Wild Collection

My original quilt design was inspired by the tipis in the Happy Habitat print featuring the foxes, raccoons, and hedgehogs. Below is an Electric Quilt rendering featuring both the honey and black colorway.
Original Game Plan

But sometimes my plans takes a twist, a turn, or even a zig zag!!  On the last morning of Art Quilt Tahoe, I woke up dreaming of Zig Zag designs.  I reached for my notebook and a pen to sketch out a flurry of different zig zag designs.  Once back home in my studio, I found the stack of Living in the Wild prints laid out on my cutting table and was eager to create a zig zag design!

The first step was carefully cutting out 6.5" tall triangles from the Happy Habitat print, with each triangle showcasing an adorable fox or raccoon!! My fabric panel looked like swiss cheese once all 32 triangles (16 black and 16 honey) and 8 partial triangles for the end units were cut.
Carefully Cutting Out Critters

Auditions were conducted on the orientation of the geometric triangle print (Teal, Brick, and Clay) prior to piecing a carefully cut strip along the right edge of each triangle.
Trying Different Triangle Orientations

A skinnier strip of the Ebony Nature Stripe was then added to complete my triangle units.  The triangle units were trimmed prior to being sewn together to form 4 rows.  Each row was completed with a partial triangle unit at the ends.
Zig Zag Progression

Three strips (each measuring 6.5" tall) were cut from the Living in the Wild border print (starlight colorway) to alternate with the zig zag rows.  More definition was needed in between the rows.  I tried placing a skinny strip of the Ebony Stripe and immediately loved the transformation!!  The piecing was finished in just a few short sessions, making for a super quick and easy quilt top!
Yikes!  More Stripes!

The quilting was also kept fairly simple, in order to allow the fun prints to take center stage.  Large Kite Tails were stitched across each of the border print rows.
Kite Tails and Critter Tails

When it came time to quilt the zig zag rows, I auditoned a variety of designs.  Enlarged variations of the geometric triangles print along with some spiral designs were all considered, but each motif seemed to distract from the adorable critters.
Trying Hard Not to Disturb the Wildlife

In the end, I simplified further with a simple echo inside each triangle and zig zag stitching in the geometric triangle strips giving them extra definition.
Keeping It Simple

Stitching in the Wild

This was a super quick and fun project to design and make!!  I love how the pieced zig zags add add wonderful movement and dimension to this crib sized quilt.
Zig Zagging & Tail Wagging, Finishes 40" x 53"

My gratitude goes out to my mother, who oftentimes helps me brainstorm names for my quilts.  As soon as she suggested Zig Zagging & Tail Wagging, I was delighted by how it captures the zig zag design, as well as all the happy tails on the critters (and yes, I checked to confirm that sloths do have tails).

Any leftover Living in the Wild yardage was packaged up for my friend Sharon T, an incredibly gifted wildlife photographer, who also shares her time and talents making beautiful charity quilts for Quilts for Kids!
Wishing You Happy Tails!


  1. An adorable crib quilt. You are such a clever designer. Thanks for sharing details of your entire process.

    1. Thanks Ann...I am really pleased with how this quilt evolved and how the finished design showcases the critters!! Happy to share my process as I often refer back to my posts for my own reference as well!!


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