Thursday, February 15, 2018

New Quilt -- A Temperature Quilt

Last time we talked, several of you gave me permission to start a new quilt!!
Okay, it was already started and it's a Temperature Quilt!!
Seems perfect for someone who spends some of every day outside birding, walking or stitching in my garden -- but before I share that with you . . . . check this out!
We are having a thaw this week.  The rivers are racing and the birds are very active -- so a walk at one of my favorite birding spots was in order.  One of the perks of winter walking is all the deer trails that are exposed making it easier to wander into little wildernesses.  I followed several this morning.
One led out to the river bank and there on a long narrow island in the river were two large brown lumps -- about the size of a Labrador retriever on very short legs -- beaver!! 
Fortunately I had my camera with me and was able to zoom in for close-ups!
They were both grooming. 
My excitement arises from never having seen an entire beaver in the wild at such close range.  They are bigger than I realized. 
Usually all I see is a head and tail moving away on the few occasions we've startled one when kayaking.  What a thrill!!  
So back to the "temperature" quilt.  My first exposure to this idea was NeedledMom's blogpost (HERE) sharing the results of her and her sister's 2017 versions. They made a flying goose unit using the high and low temperature each day to determine the colors to be used from a run of 36 solid colors -- each color represents a range of 4 degrees Fahrenheit.
I was intrigued!!
I translated their color chart into prints from my stash -- MUST use what I have!!
All the prints are labeled with a letter which coordinates to the chart I created to keep on track. 
I started with January 1 to make a 2018 quilt and in one of my "creative merger" inspirations, I am doing an appliqued free-form drunkards block unit.  This is just over 5 weeks -- the white circles are full moons because I pay attention to those (since they make me and everyone around me weird.)
Every morning, I check the high and low for the previous day at
and when I've accumulated a few days, I cut the pieces and leave them on the arm of my recliner for hand stitching.
I started "googling" temperature quilt and found there are variations of this (including a knitting one) and read a blog about a gal making one for the first year in their new house, so she's already over half finished!!  I just had one of those big birthdays so now I'm doing it from last summer's big birthday to this summer's birthday -- the beginning of a new decade in fabric.  I've dug around on the internet and found historic weather records of high and low temperatures for the nearest large city so now I'm prepping two or three days every day and stitching every evening to catch up.
Quick look at what I'm doing -- the low temperature for the day is a 3 1/2" cut square and the high temperature is a 3" cut square.
I write the date on the back of the large square since I'm working on several each day
I cut the arc freehand -- loving this!! 
That way none of the arcs are identical.
Here's a close-up of some of the stitched blocks.
I'm using a running stitch with a double strand of cotton thread.
Easy and fun plus I can now justify splurging on these two boxes of Superior Threads Super Bobs!!
I'm trimming out the "background" after the applique is stitched and saving those pieces to use as many as I can for the "high" temperature on future blocks.  That's making the arcs even more random and spontaneous.
My nature nerdiness (read, concerned about global warming) began to wonder what a historical temperature quilt would look like . . . . say for the year I was born!? So a smaller, simpler piece is happening simultaneously for the first 366 days (it was a leap year) of my life.  I think it will end up as part of the back of current year's quilt.
Looking forward to seeing what this looks like in the end!  Interestingly, the high's and low's were identical on the day I was born as they were on my birthday last summer -- what does that say?

Looking forward to painting in the coming week -- not really, but it needs to be done!
Have a good stitching weekend!!


  1. I have learned two new things today: what a temperature quilt is (fun idea!) and that beavers are much larger than I thought too. The size of a stumpy-legged Lab?! Wow!

  2. Your temperature quilts are going to be gorgeous! I love how you are incorporating moon phases in it too.

  3. Oh I love this idea. You have inspired me, and look how far behind I am. LOL. I love the idea of hand stitching them in place. I have been looking for a beginner hand stitching project and I think this is it.