Friday, May 29, 2015

Tale of Two Cities: The Temperature Quilt

Last year, my friend, Rachel, started making a "temperature" quilt. She chose a range of fabrics and assigned degrees of temperature for each color in five-degree increments (you can read more about it here). I was completely intrigued by the whole concept.

I had a stack of Grunge fabric and decided to make a few alterations from Rachel's quilt.
 I would record the high and low of each day. I soon began to realize that a quilt based on Fresno, California, would be, um....repetitious, to say the least. I needed to a city that would have more contrast in temperatures throughout the year, some actual "weather." Mark's brother lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. I knew I would be able to get a wider range of temperatures and it would also be interesting to compare and contrast.
It took awhile to assign the temperature ranges. Originally I thought I would go from warm colors, to cool colors, with white being the lowest temperature. 
I finally settled on white being "freezing" (31 to 35 degrees), with the cool colors getting darker as the temperatures dropped. The bottom picture shows the final color range with the top left square being 111+ degrees and the top right square being anything below -26. Yikes!
I kept a daily journal, which was actually really fun. I started cutting and sewing. Because I was recording both high and low temperature for each day of the month, I realized the months themselves needed to be separated, so I used a narrow strip of black between each month, and a grey rectangle for the months that had less than 31 days.
Once in awhile I would see that we broke a record, so I inserted a little black scrap--the one below is for breaking a record high held since 1902.
And then for three days in a row in July, we broke a record for having the highest lows--I usually have to think about that one for a couple seconds. Yep, those three nights just never cooled down. When I told someone I never used the fabric signifying 111+ degrees, they couldn't believe it never got above 110 because it sure felt like it. But of course I couldn't factor in the heat index for Fresno or the wind chill for St. Paul.

Sometimes I had a little helper who loved to move the squares around for me.
Sometimes I got distracted by other projects.
But at the end of the year it was fun to sew both tops together. Darby Myers used one of my favorite quilt designs.

Without further ado, here is what Fresno temperatures looked like in 2014.
And St. Paul for the same time period.
It's fascinating, interesting and fun to see the differences in the two sides. The vertical strip along the left on each side is the temperature gauge.

Yesterday Mark and I took the quilt to a local middle school and photographed it beneath the current temperature. Wouldn't you know? At 6:30 p.m., in May, in Fresno, it was still 91 degrees.

It's going to be a long, hot summer.
I'm linking up today with Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, TGIFF and
 Fabric Frenzy Friday.


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charlotte said... #

What a cool/hot quilt. Great job keeping this project going. Love it!

Patricia said... #

Wonderful design and love the colors.

Brenda said... #

great idea and great results. Here in Winnipeg, it was a high of 30 degrees celsius last Friday. Tonight's low is 1. we're all about highs and lows here!

Jayne said... #

Amazing. What a cool/hot concept. I am speechless!

Leanne said... #

These are both lovely! I keep toying with the temperature quilt idea too, I loved watching Rachel's come together.

Carla said... #

This is such a fun idea! I just love both sides. Maybe I'll copy you someday??!

Sandra Walker said... #

This is FASCINATING!! I moved 3 years ago to Canada's southernmost town; most of my family is in Edmonton AB and they (mistakenly) think there's not much difference between the two...I should totally do one of these.

felicity said... #

Beautiful quilt with a fascinating inspiration. You know how I feel about heat so I will leave it at that.

The Colorful Fabriholic said... #

Such a cool concept! Both sides look terrific, and the story behind them makes them fascinating! I like how you chose a warm location and a cool location, and the difference your choices made in the color layouts of both sides.

Kaelyn Angelfoot said... #

Love it! I've seen the scarfs knitted but not a quilt before. I think I'll make one myself!

Unknown said... #

What a great idea! loved seeing this one come together. Awesome finish.

Boyledover said... #

Such a unique idea, and great finishes. Bravo.

Barbara Sindlinger said... #

Love that idea - and your are right, this Fresno weather sucks. I hate the heat.

Terri said... #

What a great idea and quilts, very colorful, and meaningful, too. Thanks for sharing them.

Lynne said... #

Awesome! Love this idea.

cjhaab said... #

Wow, this is a great concept and great perseverance finishing it up.

cjhaab said... #

Wow, this is a great concept and great perseverance finishing it up.

Rachel said... #

I've always liked this idea, but you took it to new levels making two pieces! Do you vary which side is up based on how much warmth you need? ;) On a related note, my family would never survive in Fresno. True story.

Rochelle aka Bella Quilts said... #

I grew up in Taft and Bakersfield and moved to No. NV when I was 21. Visiting in the valley is definitely a challenge. We visited Bakersfield in March this year (which is kind of pushing it for me) but who knew it would be 96 degrees in March!! Couldn't wait to get home!

I love the two quilts. What a great way to show the difference in climates between parts of the country. I hope you enter them in a contest. And your helper is so cute.

knettycraft said... #

Hello, just stop the first time here... visit via TGIFF. I absolutely love the concept of the quilt and how it turned out. Last year at my working place I got a kind of coloured statistic about a one year project (there was a coloured square for every week)... there were blues, yellows, oranges and reds and I thaught about making a quilt out of it... now I see that I should have made that. :-) It works.

Liz said... #

This is mind blowing - such an intriguing concept and the resulting quilts are both stunning!

Debbie said... #

This is very cool!

Christals Creations said... #

That is such a great idea.

Needled Mom said... #

I love your color adaption. This is such a "cool" idea and the quilts are stunning when completed.

CapitolaQuilter said... #

The temperature quilts are SO fabulous. Great concept and results.

Tu-Na Quilts said... #

Very creative. I'm from North Dakota so can relate to the MN quilt.

wish2stitch said... #

What a really cool way to design a quilt. I had never seen this before. Visiting from FIUF.

Anja @ Anja Quilts said... #

What an interesting concept...which resulted in an awesome finish. Thanks for linking up with TGIFF.

Mama Pea said... #

It's so awesome, Cindy! I love it! Will you bring it in July? It was 55F here today, gray , and rainy. Seriously?! It's almost June 1. I'm about ready to move. I can't handle all this crappy weather!

Anne / Springleaf Studios said... #

Such a wonderful idea to make two city temp quilts. I love the contrast between them. And the idea of the little bars for record breaking temps was brilliant!

Sue said... #

I love this idea - now to track the NASDAQ 100 :-)

Archie The Wonder Dog said... #

What a great idea! There's no way I'd be able to live in Fresno, though - when the temperature hits 20C (68F) I start to hope it won't get much hotter!

OPQuilt said... #

Loved this project! It's an interesting way of incorporating history into quilting in a unique way--I'm hoping that somewhere you put the year in the label so it will be well documented. I am also not looking forward to our summer, although we've had some nice cool mornings, lately (which I love!). said... #

Your inspiration for this quilt is so brilliant why can't I think of things like that?

Tonya Ricucci said... #

love these quilts - they are gorgeous and the idea brilliant

Carol E. said... #

LOVE this gorgeous quilt, and as a St. Paul resident, you can guess which side I think is by far the more interesting. :-)

Rachel said... #

Yep, it really took me this long to sit down and finally read this blog post. Yay! I'm so glad to see how the quilt turned out, two quilts really! I like how you put the temperature gauge on the side. Hmmm if I ever do another one.... I thought about this year, but never got it going. Great job Cindy, so glad someone else joined me :)

Adele said... #
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Teste said... #
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Kitty | Night Quilter said... #
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uzairkhatri said... #

If you are planning to become a meteorologist then you have a lot of weather forecasting instruments at your disposal to help you forecast the weather better. You may not know it, but you may be a future meteorologist who helps us plan our activities for the week. Barrackpore

Anonymous said... #

Lovely quilt! Can I ask how big each of the coloured squares were that you used? I'm wondering how big this ended up at the end - you've got beautiful proportions!

Mari Miller said... #

Thank you!!! This is EXACTLY the (simple) pattern and instructions I needed to make an Anniversary Quilt for my daughter and son-in-law's 1st anniversary, commemorating the final year they lived in Yellowstone until just a few days after there wedding there, when they moved to start new jobs. Much appreciated!

Mari Miller said... #

Oh, good question!