Monday, October 14, 2013

The Mystery of the Coffee Cups Quilt


The client company my husband works with has quilts displayed as art around the building. He sent me a photo recently of one he saw hanging near an elevator lobby. He knew I'd like it because I love coffee and have had coffee cups on my brain for more than a few weeks.

 
Sorry the photo is not very clear. The red and white theme is interesting, though, isn't it? Apparently, the quilt was made in 1988 by the Capitol City Quilt Guild. I don't know much about quilts made during this period. (I do know I was not a quilter yet and was pretty much off coffee that year because I was pregnant with my son.)
 
There is a slightly intriguing side note to this little story. My husband did not know this when he sent me the photo of the quilt but, as it happens, I am visiting the Capitol City Quilt Guild later this week. How coincidental, don't you think? Of course, he knows that I am travelling to Michigan for a presentation and workshop, but I know for sure I did not mention the name of the guild.
Who actually made this quilt? Were the cups made by members of the guild or one person? Is it even the same guild?  And, if it is, tell me just how a quilt made and designed by the Capitol City Guild  in Michigan found its way to the wall of a company in Chicago where my husband was able to spot it? And why, when he saw it in the lobby where it was displayed, did he feel compelled to pull out his phone and take a photo of it for me, not knowing I was actually going to visit the place where the quilt was born?
 
 
Did the quilt wish to be discovered and recognized? Was it lonely for its original home and hoping to return to Michigan with me? Is the designer/maker alive and kicking? (I hope so.) When I visit the guild this week will they be able to finish the story for me? These and other questions may be answered after I do some sleuthing and get back from my trip . . . .
 
                                                                
 Here's what the description next to the quilt says:
"Coffee cups quilt. Designed by the Capitol City Quilt Guild, 1988.
"Quilting has long been associated with American handicraft and with the comfort and warmth of home. This pair of quilts applies this tradition in a witty fashion that makes reference to historical craft through the use of needlework. However, the repeated serial image has greater affinities with Andy Warhol's practice of repeating motifs than it does with traditional quilt design. Although it is reductive, the strong silhouette of a generously scaled coffee cup, resting solidly in its saucer, conveys the notion of heart and strength that a cup of coffee represents."
**      **      **
You'll notice that the description refers to a PAIR of quilts but my husband only sent me a photo of one. He said he didn't see another one. So, I made him promise that, one day this week while I am at home drinking my morning coffee, he will go on a hunt to find the other coffee cups quilt. It may be displayed on another floor or even in a different building, who knows? Surely he has nothing else to do at work that's more important than finding the second quilt . . . .

 
Now I wish I had a red cup . . . .
 
 
 
 

12 comments:

Donna said...

What a neat story! Now I wish I had a red coffee cup too!

Lynn Dykstra said...

What I am most impressed by is the detail provided on the label!
Well done, 1988 Quilter!
I look forward to what you learn about this delightful quilt.
(I was quilting in 1988 and we did work hard to make it known that this was an art form--that could explain the Warhol reference.)

mehitabel said...

Fascinating--read this as I was drinking my coffee out of a red mug! I remember that design very well; not sure if it was this quilt that was featured in a magazine, but I've seen the design before. In the pre-internet days it was mostly magazines that united us. (In 1988 I designed and organized local quilters to make a large quilt for our Sister City in Hawkesbury Shire, NSW, Australia.)

Ronnie said...

Very interesting story, can't wait to hear the rest of the story! Thanks for sharing!

Susan said...

So interesting. Looking forward to hearing the end of this story.

Karen said...

What a fun and interesting story. It does make for a good Nancy Drew mystery. I look forward to reading more about it when you get back from your trip.
The quilt is beautiful. I do love red and how cheery it would be to drink from a red coffee cup.

Ann in PA said...

It's a marvelous story...can't wait to read more. All those Nancy Drew books have served you well. :) It will be interesting to see how all this unfolds.

quiltgrannie said...

Kathy, I can just see your husband with a magnifying glass and a trench/cape coat lurking through the halls in search of (THE MISSING QUILT)!
Thanks for the great bedtime story, I'm looking forward to hear the end of this mystery. Karen S.

Synthia said...

I can hardly wait to hear the end of the story.......

Emily Breclaw said...

What a fun story!! I can't wait to hear the end of it!

annie said...

I loved the story!

marian said...

ooooooh i do love a good mystery (as well as a strong cup of coffee).. i can't wait for the next installment when all will be revealed, or will it??!!

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