May Bee Block for Velda

The May Queen of Bee Inspired was Velda. I got her block mostly  done a while ago, but it languished as I figured out how to finish it. More on that in a moment.

First, I belong to an online bee called Bee Inspired. Every month, someone gets to be Queen, and they get to choose a block for the rest of us to make for her. Here are the blocks I've made so far this year for my bee mates. Click on the photos to learn more about each block and where you can get the pattern.

 January's block for Sharon

January's block for Sharon

 February's block for Ann

February's block for Ann

 March blocks for me (small shamrock blocks) to go with last year's block for me, Irish Eyes (my design)

March blocks for me (small shamrock blocks) to go with last year's block for me, Irish Eyes (my design)

 March blocks for Paige

March blocks for Paige

 April's block for Emily

April's block for Emily

Anyway, for May, Velda @ Freckled Fox Quiltery wanted a cake block. The pattern is called Sweet Cakes by Patty Sloniger for Michael Miller Fabrics. Here are Velda's samples.

The pattern includes a lot of variations, and Velda gave us the freedom to create something meaningful to us. For continuity, Velda wanted the background to be a tone-on-tone or solid gray, and the cake stand to be turquoise or teal (solid or tone-on-tone).

Here's my block--Italian Cream Cake.

Italian Cream Cake was the cake we served at my wedding, so I wanted to share that with Velda.

Italian Cream Cake is rich, filled with coconut flakes and chopped nuts and lots of lots of flavor (and fat). Our cake was so delicious, it was gone in a second! Scott and I were lucky to have gotten a single piece to share. <grin>

Anyway, Italian Cream Cake is light colored with creamy frosting between the layers.

So the first thing I did to make the block was to find the perfect fabrics. I wanted not only to capture the right colors, but also to somehow show the elegance of a wedding cake. So the white fabric I chose had a sort of elegant embossing, and the teal fabric for the cake stand had gold touches. Even the grey background fabric had a shimmer.

After making the cake block, I immediately knew that something was missing. You see, our wedding cake was covered in fresh flowers. So I wanted to do that on my cake block too.

I set the cake block aside for a while and thought about it. Then I got an idea--to applique some flowers on top of the cake a la trompe l'oeil--but did I have some fabric with flowers the right size and colors to simulate my wedding cake?

I set the block aside again until I could find the right fabric. Finally I found this fabric, and cut it up to create the flowers with which to adorn my cake block for Velda.

I used raw edge fusible applique to add the flowers. But I had to set the block aside again when I sewing machine got sick and had to go to the sewing machine hospital. It's still not back, but the other day I got brave and did the edge-stitching using my tiny portable machine that can only do straight stitching and a small zig-zag. The result isn't as nice as I would have liked, but it's finally done and on its way to Velda!

Wanna try Italian Cream Cake? Here's a light version by Cooking Light that I've made. It's incredibly good. Here's a full-fat version if you want to try that instead.

Well, it's on to the June Bee Inspired block!

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