I made a temperature quilt for 2022. Have you heard of them? Just Google temperature quilts and you’ll find lots of examples!
Making a Temperature Quilt
The idea is to record the high and low temperature for each day. Assign a fabric (color) to temperature ranges and use the fabric associated with the high and low temps each day to make a block. Sew all the blocks together in chronological order and you’ll end up with a visual representation of the year’s weather. It can be pretty darn beautiful!
Choose your block
You can choose whatever block you want. Keep it simple because you will be making 365 of them.
I choose the Drunkards Path block because I wanted to practice piecing curves. The block has only 2 pieces, so I would only need to cut 2 pieces and sew one seam each day. I chose the pie-shaped piece for the low temp and the L-shaped piece for the high.
Figure out sizes and layout
I wanted a large king size quilt for my bed. So I played around with different configurations and settled on a 6 inch block. Using a 19 blocks across and 19 blocks down configuration gave me a 114″ x 114″ quilt. But it was only 361 blocks. I would have 4 extra! They could go on the back. That’s not how it ended up, but I made some last minute changes.
I choose to use 5 degree temperature ranges from 0 to 100+. It rarely gets down to zero degrees where I live in North Carolina. But it will go over 100 degrees from time to time. So I needed 21 fabrics or colors to span the range. I chose to go with the ROY G BIV order. Using the warm colors, reds, oranges, yellows for the warm temperatures. And the cool colors, blues and purples for the cooler temperatures. With greens as the bridge between the two.
I wanted to destash some of my batik collection. This was quite fun. Choosing fabrics is my second favorite part of making a quilt. Can you guess what my favorite part is? What is your favorite part?
I made a chart.
And I placed my fabrics into a bin, in order to make it easy to pull and cut the pieces I needed for each day.
Sew your blocks
I started off making a block each day.
But life soon got in the way and I found it better to make about a week’s worth of blocks at a time. I usually reserved a little time every Sunday afternoon to do a bit of sewing.
Choose to add indications of “other” weather
One day, it snowed. I decided to add an additional curve to the blocks on days that it rained or snowed. Here are the fabrics I used for rain and snow.
In September Hurricane Ian came to North Carolina, so I added the darker gray fabric you see above for the endless rains of the hurricane.
Here is a rain day block.
When I had 19 blocks, I sewed a vertical row together. I turned the blocks randomly. Just whatever I was feeling that day. When I had subsequent rows sewn, I sewed them together. And so the quilt began to grow.
The final days
At the end of the year I really didn’t want to put those last 4 blocks on the back of the quilt, so I added another row. The last four temperature quilt blocks went at the top to finish the year. To complete the row, I decided to sew strips of the colors in order and strips of the snow rain and hurricane fabrics. For the grand finale, I sewed a block with the highest temp of the year and the lowest temp of the year.
I was so glad I had sewed the rows together throughout the year! It was fun watching the quilt grow and it was a snap to finish in the first few days of 2023. And I could quickly get to my favorite part…
You probably guessed, the quilting is my favorite part of making a quilt!
This quilt is huge! 120″ x 114″ really fills my Gallery frame.
I toyed with having some fun emphasizing the curves with some custom quilting. But I have quite a busy schedule this month and I really wanted to get this huge quilt finished. So I opted for an edge to edge Pro-Stitcher design of clouds. Except for that last row.
I wanted to identify the temperature range for each color of fabric. Originally, I had planned to do that on the label, but I got so many questions about it I put it on the front!
I used Pro-Stitcher Designer to digitize the numbers and quilted the range on each color strip.
Then I quilted the words for precipitation on those fabric strips.
There are 2 filler pieces (blue sky) that were needed to make the row fit. They got quilted with the year.
And the last block with the yearly high and low temperatures got a quilty information label. The high was 102 degrees and the low was 10 degrees.
As I usually do, I sewed the binding using my longarm (HQ Infinity). I use the 1/4 inch Handi Feet Square foot and the Ditch ruler. It’s the best way to add a binding. I will finish by hand sewing on the back. That will take a while!
It’s so big, I wasn’t able to get a good photo of the whole thing. But here it is, draped over my couch, to give you an idea of my meteorological year.
Have you made a temperature quilt? If not, put it on your list. It really is fun!
Quilt every day!
by Mary Beth Krapil
[…] Last week I wrote about making my temperature quilt. I had several questions about how to apply the binding while the quilt is still on your longarm frame. I explained this in a past post, but thought you might like to see it again (or see it for the first time!) […]