Monday, September 27, 2010

Delightful Delovely Desserts

In a statement that will come as a surprise to, um, no one...I'm a bit over-committed right now. There is a large pile of want tos and a large pile of need tos and I'm having a really hard time tackling either pile.

One of the things in my want to pile is my virtual quilt bee (see button on the right) (I love my bee girlies!). This bee has challenged me in ways I honestly did not concieve. I had NO CLUE what I was getting myself into! :o)  And, frankly, my other bee girls had no clue that I had no clue, and I'm sure they're dreading my presence in the bee! :o)  But, they allowed me to join, and each month I'm given a pile of fabric, and someone else's vision, and asked to contribute to their quilt.

It's fun. Really!  I want to do more!  But not right now. :o)

Now, way, way back in July, Queen Bee Lori gave us some lovely fabrics from Anna Maria Horner's Little Folks collection and asked us to make dessert blocks for her. Her only stipulations were that the blocks be finished to 14", and that the dessert be on a pedastal.

Well, I was stumped. STUMPED, I tell ya!  I went around and around and around and couldn't come up with anything that I thought I could do. I looked on Flickr, but there aren't any other dessert quilt blocks on there! Lori's a trend-setter, that's for sure. :o)  So, left to my own dessert-related experiences, I thought of an ice cream sundae. I thought of a lollipop (Oops! No pedastal!) I thought of a good, straight-out-of-the-south 6-layer cake. I was beginning to feel like I could do it.

And then?  All my other Bee Happy bees started putting their blocks on our little Flickr group site. And they were ri-DI-culously crazy/awesome. We had cupcakes, we had hand-embroidered mice nibbling on the crumbs, we had ric-rac. We had it all, and then some. And I instantly became a little quilting turtle and tucked my empty head inside my shell and tried to hide.

So, after a few tear-filled pity-parties, I decided to gracefully bow out. I went to Lori and told her that now was a really bad time for me emotionally, creatively, mentally, and physically (duh!), and I handed her fabric back to her and said that I was really sorry, but I wouldn't be able to complete the blocks on time, and it was probably better for her if I didn't do them at all.

In another statement that will come as a surprise to, um, no one...she looked at me like I was a looney bird, and pushed the fabrics back into my hands. She very gently and gracefully told me that whatever I decided to do for her blocks would be awesome and wonderful. She assured me that she wasn't going to compare my blocks to anyone else's, thus loving them any less. And then she told me to go away.

Really, she did. With a smile, of course. :o)

So I started brainstorming for ideas again. I wanted to create at least one block that said something about me. Somehow. This block had to be meaningful to me.  And since most desserts are meaningful (ahem), I had to rethink. What desserts were meaningful to me, but were executable? The British "sticky toffee pudding" would be a huge, beigey blob...not so pretty in a quilt. The ice cream sundae would require too many circles. I couldn't figure out how to depict a slice taken out of the 6-layer cake. Hmmm...then I remembered something. For our LA MQG Quiltini party at Lauren's house, I brought a strawberry and something-or-other trifle, and everyone seemed to enjoy it.

At that point, I knew I had "it". My block. The one that was meaningful to me. The trifle. It's symmetrical, it's colorful, it's meaningful, it's executable. It's decided.

So I got my pencil and graph paper, and started to design the quilt block. Next I got my scraps and got to work making a sample block. Boy, howdy, am I glad I did that!!  It's not that I made a ton of mistakes, it's just that I was able to realize where I had guestimated wrong, and how to correct for that. It also allowed me to figure out how to sew angles into a strip. Had I had some sort of instruction, that part might have been easier...but winging it? Wasn't easy! :o) Anyway, a month later, I completed my sample block.

Trifle, Anyone?

Then I decided to applique a couple of strawberries on top, but they didn't make it into the picture. :o)  Ain't it purty!?

I love the fact that I learned how to successfully create another one, because I was READY! I had been through so much to get to the point where I was ready to start on the actual block, you know? And here I was, fabric in one hand, measurements in the other, ready to...stop. I was tired. :o) Tired of the trifle, tired of the lines, tired of the piecing. Tired.

So I decided to make the other block, instead! :o)  I spent a little time, and figured out how to make the southern layer cake, but without all the angles and strips and stresses. I made it wonky, and I made it soft and squishy, and I made it with a rough-edge applique. I made it. Block #1 was done. D-U-N done, I tell ya!

Lori's (Bee) Dessert Block #2

And all from the fabrics she gave me. I love it! :o)

High on my success, I was ready to start the actual trifle for Lori. The fabrics were cut, the iron was hot, and I was ready to go. Strips in the middle, side walls, pedastal, side whites, dollop on top, done.  I honestly completed this block in about 1/10th the time it took me to create and complete the sampler!! :o)

And I love it! LOVE!! IT!!!

Lori's (bee) Dessert Block #1

My two dessert blocks strategically placed on the seats of a couple of old ice cream social chairs.
Lori's Dessert Quilt Blocks

Mmmm...I'm thinking I need to have a bowl of something sweet...


  1. STOP IT! Those are amazing! I adore the colors and creativity and that you were able to figure it all out!

  2. I meant to comment earlier, but I got side tracked -happens to me a lot:). I don't know what you were afraid of? These are terrific! I especially love the southern layer cake. And the Ice Cream social chairs are a nice touch.

  3. So awesome and thanks for sharing the story. That so sounds like Lori too! :-)

  4. You know, I HAD to have your sweet creativity in my quilt and I knew the results would be extraordinary - and I ADORE the blocks!!! Thanks for such delicious blocks xoxo Lori

  5. I think they turned out wonderful! Melissa - you are TOTALLY creative enough to do it - you proved it to yourself here - and I can guarantee you that most of us in the bee are freaked out that our square is going to be the one ugly one in the quilt. I get so paranoid every month!
    this month its my month, so at least i know i wont let myself down!
    you wont let me down either...


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