Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Making another tea cosy and etiquette...

 I'm rather partial to tea cosies, are you? 

Today I started on a new one. In my stash was some lovely green linen which I'd originally purchased to make an apron, but then decided it was too dark for my style so popped it away until another idea came to mind. Which it did this week. 

Recently I received an advance gift bundle of the new Tilda line 'Gardenlife' from the Australian distributor to design with. Now, all the prints in this range are large so I've had a real brain freeze how to use them. As a stitchery designer I tend to choose small prints otherwise the fabric takes over and the stitchery is how do I feature these larger print fabrics, I asked myself? And then I was tidying up the sewing room and picked up the green linen I'd purchased a while back...yep, it would match perfectly with some of Gardenlife. Yay!

I made a template for the tea cosy after measuring the pot I'd use it on, fused Parlan behind the front and back pieces for insulation, then sewed that pretty teal and green floral print along the bottom.

Next I made some paper pieced hexagons to create flowers which I'd applique to both sides of the tea cosy.

Then I needed leaves so instead of my usual blanket stitch applique I chose to make these ones. After drawing the outline of a leaf onto a doubled piece of the green linen I machined over the drawn line before cutting out the leaf, leaving a tiny seam outside the sewing line. 

Then I cut a hole on one side of the leaf, pulled the leaf right side out and pressed the leaf flat.

Next, I stitched the leaves in position beside the hexie flowers using a blind stitch.

Can you see that I positioned the flowers and leaves differently on each side of the tea cosy?

That's as far as I got today, after all, there's more to my days than sewing - but I did thoroughly enjoy taking a few hours out for myself to make something new.

I'll complete it tomorrow, though how it will finally look I'm still not sure. There's a few ideas competing in my imagination! In Friday's post you'll see which idea came to pass.

A trip to the op shop after doing groceries on Monday yielded a bargain! The Ashdene tea pot, tea cup and saucer above are gorgeous and when Blossom and the children were over for the day on Tuesday we enjoyed numerous cups of Vanilla Tea from that pot.

This pink tea cup and saucer were also an op-shop find; in fact I deliberately drop in to op-shops when I'm out and about to look for pretty tea things.

Notice the tea cosy behind the pink cup? I shared a tutorial for this one in 2015 when I did my first Tea Week series, and it's still my favourite cosy. I used just one pretty Tilda print to make this one, adding vintage lace and ric rac as embellishments. 

To be honest, I miss the old style of Tilda fabric - they were unique and sublime. The fabrics of the past few years just haven't won my heart the way those beautiful older ones did. Have you found that too? Perhaps that's why I love this tea cosy so much. 

If you'd like to make this tea cosy just pop over HERE to the tutorial blog post from 2015 and it's all there for you. 


Blossom, Rosie, Rosie's daughter Barb, and I, enjoyed a sumptuous High Tea together at a cafe in town a number of years ago, and sometimes Blossom and I would go there for High Tea alone. The beautiful little shop who hosted these teas closed due to an illness in the family and never re-opened again, so we've never attended one since. One of the things I loved about that shop was choosing your own vintage tea cup as they had many to choose from and all of them so pretty, old and dainty. And of course there were the tiered displays of various cakes, desserts and sandwiches! Oh my, how incredibly delicious.  and I cherish the memories we all made.

So what exactly is a High Tea?

I found this information on the website of my local tea centre the other day and thought you might like to know the history of High Tea. Here's what I discovered...

Have you ever wondered why high tea is never referred to as high tea in cities like London and Dublin? That’s because Australia is one of the few countries in the world that refer to afternoon tea in this way!

One of the biggest misconceptions is that the ‘high’ in high tea is a reference to the upper classes, and in extension, fancier tea affairs. However, it’s actually a historical reference to the height of the table that afternoon tea was originally served from. 

Back in eighteenth-century Britain when afternoon tea was synonymous with dinnertime, the term ‘high tea’ was used to describe formal meals served on high tables (think a dinner table) as opposed to more casual morning tea served on low tables (like coffee tables). 

While contemporary afternoon tea is now understood as a light repast enjoyed around 4:00 pm (coming from a twentieth-century shift in cultural norms), this historical connotation plays a lot into why Australia and other former British colonies like New Zealand and South Africa still call this meal ‘high tea’.

Perhaps I need to make one of those tiered cake stands and host my own High Tea? I surely miss attending them...but that's what was so lovely too. I was being served the tea and treats, not making them. You know, it's nice at times to be the one at the table rather than the baker and hostess. So maybe it would be wiser to find another cafe which hosts High Tea in my area...hmm...??

Now on to something new I learned this week!

How to hold a tea cup correctly (etiquette lesson)...

All these years I have been holding my tea cup incorrectly, so after I watched Myka Meier demonstrate correct etiquette for drinking tea from a tea cup on Monday, I taught Blossom, and together we sat and laughed as we drank our tea like Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge. We felt so posh, and rather proud of ourselves too. 
Here's Myka's video on the correct etiquette for taking tea. She's such a fun lady and knows her stuff so I hope you enjoy learning along with me. 

That's it for today my lovelies. It's taken me hours on and off to finally finish this post and we had dinner half way through, but now there's apricot pies cooling on the kitchen bench for dessert and I might just make a pot of Vanilla tea so I can show hubby how to hold the cup. Oh wait, that won't work. He only drinks tea from a coffee mug! Sigh.  

Have a blessed day or evening, wherever you heart resides around the globe. May the Lord bless you and keep you close to His heart and be all the assurance you'll ever need...



Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer,

Love the green linen and the new Tilda combination plus the flowery and leafy details :)
There is a website here that sells a few of the, what I call," vintage" or older Tilda fabrics. It is fun to combine those with the newer Tilda fabrics that I can get at the Quilt store. Ordering on line can be a challenge when it comes to the size of the print/pattern. Google comes in handy to compare.
I tested out Myka's way of holding a fine china tea cup. That's how I have been doing in a mug is totally different :)
A collection of teacups and teapots is so cool ! Especially when you find such treasures at the second hand store :)
Looking forward to an afternoon tea when we are vacinated. Should be by the Summer.
Enjoy your apricot pie !
hugs, take care,

Águeda said...

I did not know the protocol for having tea. Now, thanks to you, I have seen how it is done. That's good to know, although I'm afraid it won't work for me: My teacups are usually tea mugs, really big, too. I am not very delicate with tea, I swallow it rather.
I am sure that your new lino-tilda creation will be precious like everything you do. A hug. Thanks for your blessings.

Dots said...

Hi Jennifer, I always learn so much from you about so many things! High tea, something I have heard of, but know very little about. Interesting. I am not a tea drinker, though. Coffee is my choice, steaming hot. I do love your dainty little tea pot. It's pretty.
I do not care for big prints. Maybe if I lived in a big house with space where it wouldn't feel as if I am overtaken by the size of them. That may make a difference with them. But, I like working with the small prints, mostly.
The Duchess of Cambridge is a beautiful woman. She wears some lovely dresses.

Susan said...

Apricot pies! Oh that brings back my own Nana, whom we called Mamo. I think it's a southern thing, though it's spelled differently in different states, Mammaw, Meemaw, and probably other variations, too. She made folded apricot pies that were so good! I enjoyed reading about High Tea. In Phoenix, Arizona, where I lived many years, there were two tea rooms, modeled after both Southern (American) graciousness and English teas. I loved taking little girls for an outing there for tea. Often there would be birthday parties going on, too. I also went with my friends. To my knowledge, there is nothing like that here, and I miss it. How delightful to read of your experiences half a world away that somewhat parallel my own! Thank you for sharing. The tea cozies, new and older, are lovely, and that green is perfect with the Tilda line. Yes, there was something so soft and feminine about the older Tilda lines. They haven't lost it completely - it's a bit like the difference in fabrics from the 1930s and the 1950s here. They may both be florals and feminine, but there's a definite softness to the 30s that the 50s are missing. What you are doing with the new ones is going to be so lovely, everyone will rush out to get the new ones, though. =) I don't find Tilda in my dozen shops near here. I don't know why they aren't popular in this area.

wendy said...

I enjoyed the tea ettiquette video, very interesting. I always enjoyed going to my grandmothers house with my sisters to have tea. She had a special tea cup for each of us to use. I agree with you whole heartedly on the older Tilda fabrics. They were so much more my style than those that are available today. Unfortunately, when the older fabrics came out they were not sold anywhere in the USA so I wasn't able to purchase them. {sigh} I can now search online for the "vintage" Tilda but have not been successfull.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I have 2 different types of those stands. I found them both at thrift shops.

Lin said...

I do agree with you about Tilda Jennifer. I have a few scraps of older Tilda fabrics left and they are far nicer than the ones I have seen advertised recently. In fact I find that in general - many of the beautiful floral fabrics seem to have disapeared in favour of 'novelty' fabrics which I dont like at all. Your new teacosy is going to be very pretty though. xx

Beth said...

Teapots and tea cosies - 2 of my favourite things! I have a collection of teapots, most of which have been used, although some are merely decorative, like one that is 2cm high and shaped like a house.
I've wanted to go somewhere for a High Tea, but have never had the opportunity. Something to dream about, I guess.

Winifred said...

Hi Jennifer You must have had a great time with Blossom tea drinking like Catherine! She is so elegant isn't she. Seems to be nice with it too.

Even though I don't drink tea I have two nice teasets complete with teapots. I've never needed a tea cosy but I love the patterns and yours are really sweet.

Not being a tea drinker sadly although my daughter & son love it, I choose the cafes that serve high tea with really great coffee & plenty of savouries! Hotels seem to be expensive & rarely serve decent coffee!

BJ said...

Your new tea set is beautiful! How many tea pots do you have? I just found a new one at the local Restore shop. It's only black but it's larger than the others I own. Tea pots are not easy to find where I live whether new or used. I may go back and get another that caught my eye. It is nice to have a selection to choose from isn't it? I'll be following your old post and making a new cozy for the pot. Thank you for sharing :)

Jenny of Elefantz said...

I only have five teapots now. Used to have many more, but I think five is plenty. :-)