How do I make the criss cross lines on a cake without using a plastic molded piece to indent the fondant? After the criss cross is done, then I think pearls are usually added at the points where they meet. It looks sorta like a quilt I guess...don't know how to explain it. I am doing a 10 round cake and would add it to the cake.
Quilting is usually done with a straight edge - ruler, back of a knife, etc. There is an imprinter you can get at most cake supply sites that looks like 3 diamond shapes - then you just add the dragees at the points.
It can be done 'freehand' but is *much* easier to use a imprinter/impression mat.
Will you be covering the cake with fondant? I know there are several mats that can be used to created the "quilted" look. Not sure how it is done on butter cream frosting...
You can also use diamond shape cutters to impress the pattern. You want to choose a size that will nicely fit the side of your cake. It looks best if you can fit it that the top of the diamond hits right at the top of the side of your cake. I also have the impression mat.
You can make spacing marks lightly at the top and the bottom of the tier, then take a wooden skewer and use that to make the imprinted lines in the icing if it's buttercream. The same thing will work if the cake is cold and you can press the skewer into the fondant hard enough to make the mark.