Monday, November 21, 2011

Cups and Saucers

When I moved into my house eight years ago, my mother and my grandmother both gave me their sets of china.  Neither set matched and neither set had so much as a complete place setting. This was less of a gift and more of a "we don't want the obligation of keeping them any more so we are passing this on to you" issue.  The thing is, I'm not a china kind of gal.  I can appreciate the beauty of china, but I don't have the kind of life that requires china or that requires several random pieces of china.  I don't even have cups and saucers for myself, instead, I use mugs which if broken won't cause anyone any harm.  I remember eating off my mother's china as a child and being terrified that I would break something, and I remember both my mother and my grandmother completely stressed out anytime the china was brought out in case something got broke (and the incomplete sets would seem to prove that they were right to worry).  I want to forgo the additional stress around the holidays and will not play the china game.

This leaves me with a problem.  What do I do with the pieces that my mom and grandma gave me?  I have a cup and saucer set from each set on display in a bookshelf as a way to show appreciation for something that was important to them and a way to stay connected to them.  The rest of the sets are in a dresser drawer in my spare bedroom waiting for me to figure out what to do.

Here's what I'm working with:
Grandma's  set
Both sets are very pretty and very indicative of the woman who picked them.  I can completely understand why they were so protective of them and why they didn't want harm to come to them.  Grandma was completely old school and loved roses and flowers of all kinds, gold was her thing.  You really can't look at that cup without thinking of her.  

Mom's set
The same is true of my mom's set which is more modern than my grandmothers but which has a touch of gold and beautiful leaves which are reminiscent of the artwork she excels at.  

The question really becomes how to translate these cups and saucers into the Spinster Quilt.
Cups and Saucers
In the end, I decided not to mimic the cups directly but to go in a floral direction.  Both women loved Hawaii and I like the slight Hawaiian feel to the flowers in this fabric.  I also like the slightly old-fashioned feel to the colors in this fabric which I think picks up on the old-fashioned china.  And, the colors are more similar to the colors I would have chosen had I ever picked a china pattern.  This generation is making her china out of quilting cotton.  


  1. What a cool idea!! But, you are still left with what to do with the china? You might want to chec out this blog I found recently called "365 Less Things." She has a name for that kind of stuff. Stuff that other's have given you because they were "part of the family"--so you feel obligated to hold onto it...even though it's not "you". It helped me to get a new perspective on that kind of belongings.
    PS: I LOVE the idea of "recreating" the feeling of the people who gave you the china in a quilt block.

  2. Great block.
    I'm with you on the china. I'm more of a stoneware girl. But I did once think of getting china. It wasn't girly though. A simple blue-green band with platinum, on white. It's not made any more though, so I'm glad I didn't start buying the pieces

  3. Ah yes, I have my Great Aunt's tea set in my china cupboard but it is more display than use because I also use mugs for every day. I kind of wish I had the old quilts instead.....