rainbow gradient of fabrics with title "2020 Temperature Quilt".

2020 Temperature Quilt

This is the story of my 2020 Temperature Quilt.

If you’ve never seen one before, a temperature quilt is made with a range of colours. The colours are assigned to temperature ranges, and the blocks or pieces are made with the colours that correspond to the weather of that day.

Some use the average temperature for the day and others use the low and high temperatures.

You can use any quilt block or pattern to make a temperature quilt, but I am using the Temperature Quilt Pattern from Fiona Sandwich. This is the pattern that inspired me to make a temperature quilt in the first place.

This pattern uses seven pointed stars, and each point of the star has two colours. I am using the inner part for the low temperature and the outer part for the high temperature.

The pattern is designed for English paper piecing, but I am piecing it using pojagi seams. This is my first project doing pojagi with cotton fabrics, so I’m still experimenting.

I’m trying out traditional pojagi methods for marking the seams, but if it doesn’t work, I will have to use English paper piecing methods.

Planning

Before I began, I had to decide how many colours and what temperature ranges to use. Since I’m a bit of a numbers. nerd, I used a spreadsheet to help me decide.

I downloaded all the high and low temperatures in my city for a 2014 and put these in an excel spreadsheet.

Then I put conditional highlighting in each cell so that they would change colours based on the number that was in it.

This allowed me to play around with colours and ranges to see the difference. I wanted all the colours in the quilt with good variety. Some of the options looked “too blue” or “too orange”.

spreadsheet with coloured cells representing temperatures.
spreadsheet with coloured cells representing temperatures.
spreadsheet with coloured cells representing temperatures.

In the end, I decided to use eleven colours. I am using dark purple for all the extreme temperatures – both very hot and very cold. I think this will add continuity across the quilt. I also hope there won’t be many of these days.

rainbow gradient fabric collection.

I printed a scale and glued fabric samples onto it to keep track. I made the ranges for the more moderate temperatures smaller so that there would be more variety.

temperature quilt colour chart

Since I live in a place with hot summers and cold winters, my scale goes from above 27*C (81*F) to below -25*C (-13*F). We have had years with lots of days outside that range, but I am hoping we don’t this year. I’m not a big fan of either extreme. If we do, my consolation is that I like the colour purple.

Getting Ready

Since I am hand piecing, the pieces don’t have to be cut out precisely. I cut strips of each colour and cut rough triangle shapes. Now I have a bunch of each colour ready to go.

rough cutting orange triangles with a template.
pre-cut fabric triangles for piecing.

Check back throughout the year for progress updates…


elizabeth decroos

Elizabeth DeCroos

designer, teacher, speaker

Elizabeth enjoys doing all types of sewing and needlework and teaching others new techniques. For more information or to have her speak to your group click HERE.

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