Friday, March 12, 2010

m&m quilt

Here is my m&m quilt. I love how bright and colorful it is! Our quilt guild has a challenge every spring. The theme of this year's challenge is "I love chocolate!" I immediately thought of how I could depict m&m's, as that is just about my favorite chocolate (Dove darks rank right up there, too.)

So I took a while to think about how I would make this quilt. I started by photographing some

Then I enlarged the photo to see how that would look.

Here is where I started seeing all the 3-dimensionality (is that a word!?) of the candies. And I knew that I wanted this quilt to have some depth, to not just be two-dimensional.

But I had to figure out how.

I began by choosing some nice, bright, basic
colors of fabric. There were some prints-that-read-as-solids, as well as some solid fabrics.

One of the requirements of the challenge was that we had to use some of this particular chocolate-colored fabric in our design.

I traced around a plate onto freezer paper, and cut out many, many of those circles. I'd guess they were about 7" in diameter. After ironing the freezer paper to the back of my fabric, I cut them out, leaving a rough 1/4" to 1/2" border.

Next step was to use spray starch and a paintbrush to iron down the edges, so I had lots of nice, very round circles in various colors.

I needed some "m's" and a way to attach them to my candy circles. I searched all my fonts and, comparing them to a blown-up photo of an m&m, I chose a font that was the most similar to the actual "m."

I played around with the enlarger to get my "m" to the proper size. Then came a lot of sitting-in-front-of-the-tv work. I made a template for the "m," and traced around it (backwards, of course!) onto Wonder Under. I chose a gray fabric for the letters, because that's how it appeared to me on the actual candies.

So, I ironed the Wonder Under shapes onto my gray fabric. Then had to cut out all of those little m's, which are actually about 2 1/2" tall. And back to the ironing board to attach them to the colored circles.

I wish I had kept track of how many circles I used! Here they are all pinned up to a piece of fabric on my design wall! Some of them still have the freezer paper on, so they are curling and flapping around a bit.

After all the m's were fused on, I chose some (most) of my nice, round m&ms, and put a piece of old scrap batting underneath, behind it, to make it stand out a bit. This was a higher-loft, fluffy batting, so it gave the m&m's some dimensionality.

The above photo shows how the m&ms were all pinned down, kind of haphazardly, one of top of each other, overlapping. I then machine appliqued them down, using monofilament and a blind hem stitch that sewed outside the circles and just caught the circle itself every few stitches.


  1. Congratulations on a job well done! Looks good enough to eat! Did you use the challenge fabric for the brown candies? They look darker but it could just be my screen.

  2. Yes, the challenge fabric was a little lighter than the photographed m&m's, but I had to use it, so.....

  3. This is so fun, you did a great job! I love it! Now I have an m & m craving...

  4. Thanks so much! Go ahead and have some m&m's! BTW, the dark ones are even good for you--so I figure it's a health food.

  5. I have seen this show and this M & M quilt is my favorite!!!!! It is really a wonderful, creative, fun quilt Misses Stitches! Bravo! I LOVE the one that is jumping off the side. That was a great touch.

  6. Thanks, Harmony! Your praise means a lot to me. When I got done, I thought that maybe I should have made the border all round, m&m shapes. Would have made it harder, and taken longer, but that might have looked nice.

  7. Thanks, Michelle! I visited your blog and really like it!

  8. I think having just the one jumping off is perfect.

  9. Hi Misses Stitches,

    I love this quilt! I love M&Ms and it reminds me back in March when Gail S. sent some coconut M&Ms to me which I never tried before, they're wonderful since I love coconut so much!

    I like it how you came up with the idea. Congratulations on a lovely job!