french press cozy

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a bit of a coffee fiend. I’m one of those people who gets withdrawal headaches (truly unfortunate because the only time I go without is when I’m sick). So a french press was a perfect Christmas gift.

I love the french press coffee, and I love that it takes up about a quarter of the counter space that my 12-cup percolating coffee maker took up. But I usually make two cups of coffee in the morning and sip on them over the course of a few hours, so my coffee tends to get cold waiting for me to drink it.

french press cozy


Not anymore. With a charm pack of lovely hand-dyed prints I picked up from Malka‘s booth at the 2010 Austin Quilt Show (Yes, I’ve been sitting on it for almost a year and a half. I suck.), a bit of faux linen (for the back and the ties) and some Insulbrite, I have a brand spankin’ new french press cozy to keep my coffee warm and brighten my morning.


civil war diary quilt: 15, 35, 71

After much anticipation, my Civil War Diary Quilt book has arrived. Right now I’m staring at a block called “Abomination of Desolation.” The names are just fantastic, aren’t they? This block is just a 16-patch with a diagonal pattern.

Abomination of desolation

As I flip through this book, not only am I attacking the paper-piecing-puzzle of figuring out how to assemble the blocks, I’m also trying to identify the different color schemes. It’s like a test after reading Jeni’s posts. I’m hoping to use as many different color combinations as I can from the Robert Kaufmann Pure Organic collection. Another inspiration for the color schemes has been afghans like this. Lots of color and blocks of different color combinations, all against black.

15. draft threat

15. draft threat

These blocks come together pretty quickly, because they’re only 6″ square. Also, I haven’t tried any of the really intricate ones yet.

71. the longest morning

71. the longest morning

On a difficulty scale of 1-5, with 1 being easy and 5 being hard, I’d probably rank these somewhere around a 2. There are definitely easier blocks in the book — and there are most definitely some more difficult ones.

35. mail delivery

35. mail delivery

I knew that if I knocked all the easy ones out first I would lose momentum, so I’m trying to mix it up. I made each of these three different afternoons before going to work.

Christmas roundup part three: T-shirt throw

I started this blanket before Thanksgiving, but I let it sit for a while and would up finishing it on Dec. 22. It’s made out of 20-something of my brother’s college T-shirts.

trey's christmas gift


The front and backs of each T-shirt line up. I spent a lot of time measuring and arranging and rearranging to get an interesting shape and distribution of value, working with what I was given and trying not to cut into any T-shirt design.



This project taught me to stay away from jersey. I don’t know if I’ll ever make something like this again. I’m actually rather nervous about what will happen when it gets washed.

I am quite excited to get started on new things, though.

Christmas roundup part one: Moose’s coat

This is the time of year Central Texans curse cedar trees. I would be cursing them, too, but I haven’t been able to talk since 2011. So between sniffles, coughs and hoarse attempts at speaking, I’m going to do a series of posts about my hand-made Christmas gifts.

Last Christmas, my little brother asked me to make something for his dog, Moose. Moose is a rescue dog, thought to be a Catahoula/Bloodhound mix. He’s a pretty big dog — about 2½ feet tall and 60 pounds — but he gets cold a lot. So for Christmas this year, I finally got around to Moose’s coat:

Moose in his coat

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charity quilt blocks

The Austin Modern Quilt Guild is making a charity quilt for Artists Against Cancer, in honor of one of our amazingly talented members who is fighting it. Bobbi is organizing this endeavor and assembling the blocks, and one of our fearless leaders (read: officers), Jessica, is going to quilt it. The finished product will be auctioned next month at the Artists Against Cancer Art fundraiser.

Bobbi is a much more charitable crafter than I am, recently finishing her fourth such quilt. I have wanted for a long time to donate a quilt, but it keeps getting pushed down the to-do list. But a couple of blocks? That I can do.

12.5 inch SOLID blocks for a charity quilt

(photo by Bobbi)

Guild members have already made some pretty amazing contributions — I especially love the two on the bottom left. The only requirements are that the blocks measure 12½” square and be made with only solid fabrics. Bobbi is going to sash the blocks in white, so she suggested that we not use white in the blocks (or at least along the block’s edges) so they would “pop.”

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new project, new scraps


My plans for my day off yesterday got canceled, so I decided to dive into a new project. My little brother dropped all these shirts off with me, well, I don’t remember when, but I’m hoping less than a year ago. I spent a few hours sorting, measuring, arranging and rearranging, and then I spent something at least six hours starching, pressing and cutting. And here I thought I was embarking on a quick project… I should know better.

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Ideas for this quilt have been brewing for more than a year. When I took up quilting again in the spring of 2010, my mother asked that I make a king-size quilt for my parents’ 40th anniversary (August 2012). I decided it should be a Double Wedding Ring pattern, because how else best to mark an anniversary? But I wasn’t really pumped about the project until I came up with this. In the wee hours last night, way past my already late bedtime, I started to sketch it out. My “modern” take on a traditional pattern:

sharpie sketch.jpg

I like the idea of playing with borders, extending the motif and, in this case, subtracting it. For this to be a king-size quilt, each ring will measure a bit less than 30 inches. The whole quilt will be about 100″ square.

As far as colors, my mom’s favorite is purple, and my dad’s is blue. I’m toying with the idea of purple and blue patchwork in the “rings,” a red tone for the intersecting points (and binding or backing, most likely), and a beige or warm gray for the background. I’m trying to avoid any green tones, and I think I’ll use all solid fabrics. I spent way too much time on design seeds putting this together:

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secret option number three


Horizontal lines

I was thisclose to vertical lines in the center and this type of pattern in the border (per the suggestion of Bobbi). But then I thought that horizontal lines would look pretty cool on the back. Also, the baby shower is Sunday, and I knew this would be faster. So procrastination works out in the end.

cross-posted from