Thursday, July 3, 2008

Quilts and Tea

Perhaps this has only been my experience, or perhaps it is true for others as well. Quilters drink tea. In Jeff Brumbeau and Gail de Marcken’s marvelous book The Quiltmaker’s Gift the quiltmaker who lives an idyllic live on the top of the mountains drinks blackberry teas and settles in to quilt. She pours tea for a bear and her teapot billows with her skirts from a rope tied round her waist when she is stranded on the tiny island. (That is one of my favorite of all the beautiful pictures in the book.)

Basically, she drinks tea. I drink tea too. I never acquired a taste for coffee, that bitter drug, but tea…

Green teas, black teas, oolongs, “sky between branches,” “cup of poetry,” “dragon’s well.” Who can resist the alluring scents of “blackberry sage” and “Moroccan mint;” who doesn’t love the image conjured by “monkey-picked oolong,” it’s irresistible. Okay, I’m not a fan of the smoky Lapsang Souchong, but it’s so fun to say I wish I did like it.

Sure, I’ve met quilters who also drink coffee, but tea always seems the beverage of choice. Am I wrong? Have I misunderstood; are they merely playing along with a woman obviously obsessed over tea? I don’t know, but I don’t think so. There’s teapot and teacup fabric on the shelves of the local stores, bolts of it. I’ve never notices any coffee mug prints. There’s even a quilt block called tea leaf and…. well, no, I suppose the Temperance T quilt block isn’t really T for Tea, so much as it is T for Temperance. But it could be, don’t you think?

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