Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Tea Quilts


Happy Tuesday!

My Aunt Mamie read tea leaves.  When I was a child, this usually occurred at my Aunt Carol's home.  The women--and they were always women--would drink a cup of loose tea and hand the cup to Aunt Mamie.  Aunt Mamie would "read the tea leaves" left at the bottom of the cup.

Almost always, Aunt Mamie would look at the leaves and appear startled.  "Oh no,"  there was horror in her tone, "I can't.  I can't."  

Her reluctance only made the participants urge her to relay what she had seen.  It was ALWAYS at this point that my father would discover me spying on Aunt Mamie's performance.

"Beat it," Dad would tell me sternly, "this isn't for children."

My Dad was a man of science, intent on discouraging his children about what he considered Irish superstitions in his family.  His mottos for his children were simple and repeated throughout our childhood:  "You can do anything you like.  You can be anything you want."  

Tea leaves clearly had nothing to do with our choices.

Still one day when I was doing an inventory of the quilts I made, I realized that I had made a lot of quilts that focused on tea.  I have only a few here at home but there were a lot I gave to tea drinking family members.

Kathy's tea quilt

Cup of Cheer Christmas Quilt

Ironically, I can't stand the taste of tea and am an avid coffee drinker.  So why did I make so many of them?  

The answer is simple:  I'm still wondering what Aunt Mamie saw in those tea leaves.

Seamus, our boy who worked hard as a therapy dog, posing in front of Tea Time wall hanging.  He passed in 2016.

Are there any quilt themes you find yourself gravitating towards--whether you like it or not?

I would love to tell you what the older women later told me about Aunt Mamie's predictions but the truth is that none of could remember her prophecies---but they all remembered her performance.  😂

Have a safe and happy day!


  1. Love that Cup of Cheer Christmas quilt!

  2. Love to see these quilts...I love cup quilts and want to make one. It is an interesting topic and one I enjoy reading about. Thanks for this.