Coffee freak, nut, obsessed, addicted, bonkers – these are all words that have been used to describe me.
This is a long story, so get yourself a cup of coffee and relax – it’s going to take a while to get through this post!
Wherever I go I’ve got a cup of coffee in my hand. I drive with a cup in my right hand, left hand on the wheel. I carry cups around the house and re-warm them repeatedly. Every time I go to a friend’s or family member’s house they always say, “Wait, is this your cup? I think you left it here last time.” Sometimes it’s two or three cups. It’s a bit nutty.
Some of you may remember when I went to Salt Lake City for quilt market and will recall my panic over the possibility that there wouldn’t be any good coffee. Mavis Quinn was worried for me and she got a 5-gallon container from Peet’s and tried to smuggle it on the plane for me.
My place is Peet’s. It’s my coffee place. I like the Garuda blend and I make it at home every day in an Italian espresso stove top boiler called a Bialetti. (For those of you who read Donna Leon’s mysteries set in Venice, you’ll understand that we’ve named the coffee pot the Brunetti.)
I used to cut the Peet’s coffee with water, but not anymore – it’s straight coffee for me – with milk or cream.
At the Peet’s stores I love the slightly dirty ambiance, the smell of the coffee, and I especially love all of the international textile art they display at each store. I’ve spent many hours staring at this mudcloth piece at the Lafayette store. I’ve sat and sketched it more than once. I think it is from Mali and is made from raffia, flax or linen.
So, then I had to make a quilt like it. (Of course I did!)
Well, this story actually starts back in -Aught Six. I was thinking about the Peet’s quilt and I found this really yummy fabric that evoked the feeling of the arches in the mudcloth wall hanging. Using the fabric as a model, I made paper patterns of the different shapes and sizes of the arches. I bought solid fabric in the colors from the inspiration fabric and a dark blue background for the blocks. Working on one section at a time, I made combinations of arches in different sizes and colors. The piece developed quickly and I soon had the blocks ready and connector pieces on the way.
I played with different borders and added in little funny touches like gnomes and dogs in the connector piece’s circles.
After this quilt I was determined to render the same idea using the plastic-lined paper bags that the coffee beans came in from the store. I stopped bringing my bags in to be reused and asked for a new bag each time. I also collected tote bags and soon I had little bag stashes all over the house and sewing room.
Fast forward to December 2011, and there I was cutting out arches from the bags I had collected.
I painted Warm and Natural batting with my Garuda espresso and then rinsed it out. I stitched the batting to a backing piece and then glued (using my trusty UHU glue stick) the arches in place. I tucked them under the cutting mat to “set,” and then each arch was machine stitched using the triple zig zag stitch.
I ended up using just about every paper product that Peet’s has made: one pound bags, two pound bags, red coffee bags, gold coffee bags, regular tote bags, holiday gift bags, coffee sleeves, and even a Peet’s-issued gift card holder I received as a thank you from a sweet middle school student. There were a few times when I asked for my “regular” coffee to be put in a red or gold bag so I’d have enough color! The Barista’s looked at me funny, but when I told them it was for a quilt I was making they were usually intrigued enough to comply with my odd request.
The mudcloth was made with the seams turned under on the front and I did the same. Here’s how:
All of the backing fabrics were versions of browns and gold.
Are you ready to see it all finished? Here it is!
Or if you prefer:
I’m delighted with it!
I even made a label!
On my most recent visit to Peet’s I saw that they’ve come out with blue and pink bags! It’s enough to make one NUTS! …..