I started by rolling out tubes of white fondant and using food color to brush on them to get them sticky, but now too wet. They need to be able to stick together without sliding around.
Cover the top with white rolls to keep the color on the inside.
Cut the long roll into pieces and put the smaller pieces together to form a thick block.
This is a messy process, as you can tell.
Wrap the block in plastic and let it sit for at least an hour and longer if possible, so that the moisture in the food coloring can meld with the fondant. I also put it in the refrigerator to make the block stiffer and easier to cut without distorting the pattern.
You can also make a block by rolling out a sheet and painting the whole thing, then layering strips of it. This will make a different pattern than the rolls will.
When the block is ready, you'll need to roll out a backing panel to put the pieces that you cut off of the block onto. Use a piece of parchment or waxed paper so that you can move it around without stretching it. Dampen the sheet so that it's sticky.
You need a very sharp blade to cut the pieces off of the block, since they need to be pretty thin. I got a razor that's used for polymer clay and it worked really well on a cold block of fondant.
When the sheet is full, cover it with waxed paper and roll it to adhere the top pieces to the backing.
Be aware the if you roll it too hard in any one direction you can change the pattern or distort the edges. See the left and right sides of this piece? The stretch in the pattern is where I rolled it against the stripe pattern and it stretched out.
You can use this to cover an entire cake if you make a piece that's large enough, or cut it into smaller pieces to make ruffles or whatever you want to make. This piece kind of looks like fringe, so you could layer the pieces as you apply them and leave the bottom row loose to give it some dimension and make a fringed skirt.
You can change the pattern when you layer the strips on the backing piece by turning the design when you place it to create a checkerboard effect.
You can also change the pattern depending on what side of the block you cut, so shave off an edge on a couple of sides to see what pattern you like best. These two were from the same block that was made with the rolls:
Here's a sheet of fondant with the pieces of the roll block on it:
Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, online cake supplies at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com