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Sherbet, Sundaes and Parfaits? And Cake...

Sherbet, Sundaes and Parfaits? And Cake...

Written by: 
Carrie Nelson

While many of us are trying to cut back on sugar, sweets and desserts, I don't think quilts named Wheat Thins, Cheez-Its or Triscuits have quite the same appeal as say Gingerbread.

This lovely quilt was made by Melissa Corry of Happy Quilting.  The fabric - Vintage Picnic by Bonnie & Camille.  The pattern - Gingerbread, made with Cake Mix Recipe No. 1 and the Cake Mix Quilt Book by It's Sew Emma. I was "cake-mixing" in Nebraska last week and as always seems to happen, they start popping up in my Instagram, Facebook and blog newsletters.  Or maybe I just notice them more.  What always catches my eye is the variations - how others make new things with them.  As in, one of the quilting beginners in a class at Quilted Moose put together a completely original block! Even when I kind of know the block, the quilt will be put together in a way that is new.  This is Marzipan by Amanda of Jedi Craft Girl.  It's made with Cake Mix Recipe 4, the Cake Mix Quilt Book and a Layer Cake of Little Miss Sunshine by Vanessa Goertzen of Lella Boutique. When the Cake Mixes came about, we talked about how we saw them being used, how would we explain what they were.  Here's what we came up with:

  • A Cake Mix Recipe is a simple pattern.  Here are block options.  This is how the blocks can be set.  Ready, set, sew.
  • Cake Mixes are a tool for making half-triangle squares.
  • They're great for beginners because learning to make half-triangle squares can be a challenge - and if they don't come out well, it gets frustrating.
  • Cake Mixes are perfect for retreats - those times when you want to sew and make something but you're also really distracted by friends, laughing, and all the fun.
  • One Cake Mix Recipe, a layer cake or two and... a design challenge!  Make these parts... now start playing with them to see what you can make.

Making the Recipes is a simple process.

  • With right sides together and the Lighter square on top, layer two 10" x 10" Layer Cake squares with edges aligned.
  • Place the paper on top of the lighter square and pin to secure - avoiding the dotted lines with the pins.  (Top image - left.)
  • With a shorter-than-usual stitch length - about 12 to 14 stitches per inch - stitch on the dotted lines.  (Middle - left.)
  • Before cutting, check the back of the stitched Recipe to make sure that there are two parallel stitching lines for each part.
  • Cutting on the solid line - cut the Recipe card apart.  (Bottom - left.)
  • With the paper still on, press the seams to the darker fabric.  (Top two - right.)
  • Remove the paper.  (Middle - right.)
  • Join parts as necessary - Recipe 5 has four-patch units. (Bottom - right.)

Each Cake Mix 5 Recipe card - I call them "grids" - will make four four-patches and four half-triangle-squares that measure 4-1/4" and finish at 3-3/4". Now that the parts are made, start arranging them to make different blocks.  Each recipe/grid will make two blocks that finish at 7-1/2".  Two matching blocks, two different blocks... you decide.  Except for the last two blocks on the right, I've only figured out how to get one of each from the grid. The Cake Mixes can also be combined - some from one Recipe and some from another. Feedsacks: True Blue by Linzee Kull McCrayCake Mix 3 and Cake Mix 4, some plain white squares and a random layout.  Birds In the Air.  Ish.  (More -ish than not.) What about designs made with half-triangle squares that don't really have a block? This is based on a tile pattern that looks like pointy cables.  It's made entirely with half-triangle squares from Cake Mix Recipe 4 - it's all in the way they're laid out.  The fabrics are Zen Chic's Modern Backgrounds Colorbox and Moda Chambray. I shared this a few weeks ago - this is a Basket quilt made with Cake Mix Recipe 7 and two of the coming-soon Color Cuts - Cake Cuts.  (Beach Glass and Road Trip.) One of my favorite quilts - instructions are coming - is made with Cake Mix Recipe 6 and Layer Cakes of Zen Chic's Fragile mixed with Jen Kingwell's Behind the Scenes Wovens.  And Bella Solid No. 200 for the sashing strips - spacers. If a quilt is made with half-triangle-squares, it can almost always be made with a Cake Mix. TheCake Mix Quilt Book by It's Sew Emma has eighteen different quilt patterns - two for each of the eight Cake Mix Recipes.  To see some of the variety of quilts that can be made, check out the first dozen links on the Cake Mix Quilt Book blog hop.

So what do you think?  Have you tried a Cake Mix yet? It was funny but quite a few of the ladies in the two workshops had already made Cake Mixes - a few had made several.  They just wanted to come for the fun, the sweets and the ideas. If you're still not sure... Moda Cake Mix. Happy Friday!  I hope you have a great weekend... and remember, a party without Cake is just a meeting. Julia Child said that. I always liked her.