I finally finished it. Well, to tell you the truth, it’s been done except for some extra stitching and the facing. So this past weekend I made it my goal to finish it. Here it is hanging in the living room.
Each birthday is represented with the high and low temp. So on this quilt I have 70 birthdays. It starts in 1950 and ends in 2019. I didn’t want to do another row with just two days so I left it at that.
On the right side you see the temperatures from hot (65-70 degrees) red to light gray (0-5 degrees). It’s interesting to see the change in the temps for 70 years on this day – December 29. Here is a close up of the temperature scale.
There are lots of ways to create a temperature quilt. Just google on Pinterest about them, and you will have lots of designs and ways to do these quilts.
To recap my process, I decided that I wanted to do a temperature quilt just using the temps on my birthday. You can get those temps at Weather Underground. Put in your city, go to history, and you can get all kinds of information.
The next thing I did was decide on how many fabrics and colors I was going to use. I decided on 5 degree spans. Here is my chart and the temperatures for those birthdays.
Then I needed to decide on the actual fabric I wanted to use for those temps. I didn’t think I wanted the regular dyed fabric so I went about dyeing two different other fabrics.
The first is the regular cotton fabric, second was a tablecloth I cut up, and the last was a soft loose-weave cotton. I chose the latter. I did come to regret that decision. The loose-weave was hard to sew down. I ended up zigzagging the pieces. I love the fabric, but should have used the regular cotton. I almost stopped mid project and start over, but decided I’d soldier on. I liked how it turned out, but if I did it again, I’d just use regular cotton.
Once I decided on the fabric, I needed to decide what kind of block would I make to show the high and low each day. I decided on this rectangle with the low on the bottom, high on top. I played around with the blocks making a couple samples.
Since the fabric was not stable I glued it on the gray felt. I put some of those I had “done” on the design board to give myself some idea how large this piece was going to be. I thought it was going to be bigger than I wanted to work with. I also decided not to put the year number on every one. That made it way too cluttered.
Next, I decided to make them smaller and maybe just put the date at the beginning of the decade. I also wanted to see what I thought about gray as the background. I liked it, but I noticed the gray temp fabric did not show up. I also gave up the idea of backing them with the gray felt.
So I thought black might be better. I decided to construct the decades on separate strips of black fabric. Again, this was because of how hard it was to work with this fabric.
I gave up the dates. I decided I wanted a key on the right side.
Then I was almost finished, and I set it aside. I decided I would face the quilt instead of bind. If you aren’t familiar with facing, it is so much easier to do. Here is a link to my favorite way to do this by Chatterbox Quilts.
And here again is the quilt.
Of course, just taking one day out a year isn’t a real accurate representation of the whole year, but it’s fun to see. This quilt shows temperatures from 1950 – 2019. In the 90s it starts to heat up, and 2019 ends with 64 high, 50 low.
It was a fun experiment. It took way longer than I expected because of the fabric I used, but it’s done. It is also the largest piece I’ve ever done. I found that how I have my sewing machines situated does not lend itself to working on large pieces. I’ll need to think about a different arrangement if I work large again.
Thanks for dropping by. Now to get to some other things I’ve been wanting to do.
I love your approach to the temperature quilt. It is much more personal. I was surprised at the how warm it could get on that one winter day. Maybe I will look at my birthday in mid-January. The only thing I remember being fairly consistent until the last 20 years is how many times we were driving in snow. 🙂
Even though I do not comment often, I want you to know I always smile when I see there is a blog update from you.
Love this and seeing your process!!!
Maria, Thank you!
KJ, I’d love to see your birthday done in a temp quilt! Thank you so much for your sweet words. You made my day.
Wow! That turned out great!
Lea, Thanks! It was fun doing it, and an interesting project. I love how it looks on our living room wall!!