Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Just My Cup of Tea

For Tea Drinkers Everywhere



If you are cold, tea will warm you; if you are too heated, it will cool you; if you are depressed, it will cheer you; if you are excited, it will calm you.
                                                                              --William Ewart Gladstone
                                                                                Prime Minister of Great Britain 1868-1894

Tea is quiet, and our thirst for tea is never far from our craving for beauty.
                                                                             --James Norwood Pratt

Bread and water can so easily become toast and tea.
                                                                            --Author Unknown

A daily delight for me is to settle in with a cup of tea. One of the nice things about being retired is the opportunity for a leisurely morning which includes that steaming cup of tea. This is in contrast to those early "just get ready and get out the door to work" mornings that I used to experience. And then at night, what is better than a relaxing cup of hot chamomile tea before bed?


Legend has it that tea was discovered accidentally. The story of tea begins with an ancient Chinese emperor as he boiled water in his garden, and a leaf fell into the water from a nearby tea tree. The emperor was delighted with the taste of the newly discovered tea, and since he was a scientist also, he was inspired to do further research. His investigations led him to believe that tea had medicinal value as well.

Over time, the popularity of tea spread worldwide. Cultures around the world began their own traditions regarding tea. On a very hot day in 1904 during the St. Louis World Fair, a tea vendor realized that no one really wanted hot tea on such a scorching day. He asked a nearby ice cream vendor for some ice. The ice was added to the tea, and the American tradition of iced tea began! A tall glass of well-brewed iced tea is still a welcome treat on a hot summer day.


Some continue to believe in positive impacts of drinking tea. Tea is thought to help lower blood pressure, provide mental relaxation, and reduce inflammation while boosting the immune system.

Making quilts is just my cup of tea, so I decided to celebrate our tea traditions by making a tea inspired quilt. I started with a tea themed fabric as my focus fabric, and I found coordinating fabrics in blue and yellow. Working with such bright and cheery colors in the middle of winter is especially nice.



In a previous post, I mentioned how much I enjoy a quilting technique called paper piecing. I used that technique to paper piece a tea cup and saucer for the center of the quilt.

Paper Piecing Pattern: Cup and Saucer from Needles and Notions by Jaynette Huff

Then I added borders around the center design to add pops of color. Here is the quilt top with just two of the four borders. At this point, I could have stopped and finished the very small quilt with two borders. 


However, I wanted to use my tea themed fabric so I added two more borders to make an 19" square quilt. A quilt this size could be used as a wall hanging or as a table topper. The quilt top was now finished, but there was still a bit of work to do before the entire quilt was complete. 


I added the batting and the backing to the quilt top and I machine quilted those layers together. For the finishing touch, I added a bright yellow binding around the edges. 



Having completed the quilt, I think it's time now to relax with a cup of hot tea!


Do you have a daily tradition that brings a small delight or treat to your life?  Please leave a comment and tell us about it.

Linking with
Marilyn's Treats 

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful quilt and I love how you tied the quilt to the history of tea drinking! Tea is my beverage of choice and I drink it hot and iced throughout the day year round. I share with you the joy of having more relaxed mornings in which I can enjoy my tea in comfort and quiet as I begin my day. Loved this post!!

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