I love the cold. I lived in northern Illinois most of my life before moving to Florida. Most people scoff when I tell them that I prefer freezing temperatures to those in the 80s or 90s. But is it the truth. I can throw on a few extra layers and will happily shovel our deck or drive. Anchorage is a perfect fit for me from a temperature perspective.
Color me surprised then when on 12/26/2021 we reached a balmy 47.7°F! Everything started to thaw. The snow became packable. We finally saw the actual surface of our deck. And the roads in our neighborhood became ice rinks. Thank goodness for traction sand! The heat wave did not last and have swung FAR the other way. Yesterday, the HIGH temperature in our neighborhood was -2°F! In less than 10 days we experienced a 50°F swing in temperatures. How interesting is that?!?! It got me thinking about how to best capture our first full year in Alaska. Journaling is great but a list of temperature highs and lows seems too clinical even for me. Pinterest to the rescue! After wrapping myself in a fluffy blanket and grabbing the nearest cat to be a lap warmer, I found the perfect way to record our experience: A Temperature Quilt!
A quick search of the results showed some truly incredible temperature quilts. I love the ones that use a Flying Goose layout or triangles. My favorite though was one that used a curved pattern called the Drunkard's Path (Check out the incredible final product Here). I am not an expert quilter by any definition but I do know my way around a sewing machine and am quite good at math. The Drunkard's Path would also allow me to practice sewing curves which is something that will be beneficial to sewing apparel as well. I want my temperature quilt to be something that I look at every day. And anyone who knows me knows that I am terrible about hanging pictures, paintings, or really anything. The best solution is to make a quilt for my bed. And, as the temperatures have demonstrated this week, I can never have too many blankets.
Once I had decided that the Drunkard's Path was right for me, I set out determining just how big each square would need to be. A king-sized bedspread with a long drop has measurements of 120"x112". This means that I was looking for something that something that was almost square in regards to width and length. I settled on 6-inch blocks which means that I need 20 blocks across and 19 rows down which would give a final measurement of 120" x 114". I elected to use 6-inch blocks as I was able to find a great template for cutting the curves for blocks. I will use the convex portion of the block as the high temperature each day and the concave portion for the low. With 12 markers for the beginnings of each month, I will have 3 extra squares that I will need to devise a plan for. Seems like a problem for Future Katie to noodle over. Below you will see the acrylic template that I will be using to cut the pieces as well as some of the other cutting supplies.
The next step was to begin developing a temperature scale that would span typical temperatures for our area, determine the source that I would be using to record high and low temperatures for each day, and shop for fabric to cover the temperature scale I selected. Ultimately, I have settled on a 4°F scale and I have purchased all of my fabrics. The challenge in purchasing fabrics was knowing how much of 26 colors to order. I ordered between 1/2 and 3/4 yard of each color and ordered online so that I would be able to order more if I did not plan correctly. Reach out if you would like more specific information about the fabrics I selected. I will be using www.wunderground.com and a weather station in my neighborhood to record the daily high and low temperatures.
It is only January 5th and I am ALREADY behind making a block each day. Why? My fabric has not arrived and my sewing machine is somewhere in the continental US, slowly making its way to me. I have created a table to record the temperatures and to help me document the making of the quilt once I finally get started. Follow along throughout the year and see how this quilt comes together!