One of the things I missed most during hard lockdown was not being able to visit Red Café, my favourite coffee shop in High Street. The restaurant has reopened and I am overjoyed.
It is hard to imagine life without coffee and drinking it at a coffee shop is an indulgent pleasure. That’s not to say that home-brewed coffee is not also delicious, and my two favourite methods are using a coffee plunger (Bodum) or an old fashioned stove top espresso pot (Moka). The first gives a quicker result and the second a richer brew, heralded by a distinctive pop-pop-pop sound as the last of the water pushes its way up through the layer of ground coffee and into the top chamber of the pot.
I vaguely knew that there was an Italian history behind our espresso pot but now also know that this coffee brewing device, where pressurised steam passes through the ground coffee, was named after the Yemeni city of Mocha and was invented by Italian engineer Alfonso Bialetti in 1933 (thanks Wikipedia).
But I digress. What I really want to write about is another pleasurable activity, which is to spend a day sewing and socialising with my quilting group. Last week we met for an enjoyable day workshop, graciously given by one of my quilting friends, where we made coffee plunger cosies from strips of fabric. Karen invented these doofas (as she calls them) so that the coffee in the plunger can stay warm while it brews. I enjoyed the workshop so much that I forgot to take photographs of the various creations and can only show you mine.
First Karen showed us a clever way of joining those leftover strips from previous quilting projects to form interesting pieced fabric. This is then backed, sandwiched, quilted and bound to make a coffee plunger-sized cosy. The fastening tag is stitched into the binding and velcro is used to secure the two edges, with the tab crossing beneath the handle of the pot. It is a clever design, perfected by Karen after a few iterations.
Another generous textile designer, Diana Vandeyar, shared the pattern for a paper pieced Moka pot some weeks ago. We were in lockdown and I welcomed the diversion and challenge of making it. I am full of admiration for Diana for devising the design and also for sharing it on her blog, complete with a downloadable pattern.
I added a extra strips of sashing to make it big enough to use as a tray cloth. Do I get compliments from guests? Of course I do!