Friday, December 14, 2018

Temperature Quilt Along - Colors

Oh my goodness! I am blown away by the number of people who have signed up to join me on this adventure! And now I’m feeling a LOT of pressure to deliver!

I have had some requests for specific design and fabric plans. Assigning specific colors will be hard because each city will have different temperature data. I will provide some size and idea suggestions in the next post, however.

Yesterday I visited Winterset (one of my favorite Iowa towns in Madison County) with friends. We went to the Iowa Quilt Museum and, of course, a quilt store. That made me rethink my color choices for the Temperature Quilt. And consider doing a second one in more muted colors…crazy.
I touched on colors a little in my previous post, but I thought I’d shed a little more light on my thought process. The first picture above is where I’m at right now, but I don't think I've finalized my choice since a whole boxful off Bella Solids just arrived at my doorstep!

Which colors & fabrics should I use?
The norm is to use cool colors (purple, blue, green) for cooler temperatures and warm colors (yellow, orange, red) for warmer, but you can do whatever pleases you.
What is important is that you have a variety of either color OR value (light, medium, dark) or both.
I'm doing solids but you can certainly assemble a collection of small or tonal prints and work with them.
The hubby suggested I use 50 shades of grey but I think I’ll pass…

How do I assign colors to temperature ranges?
I gave this a lot of thought and I think there are two approaches:

1. You can figure out your temperature ranges first, then assign a color to each. I explained how to do that in the previous post.
2. You can assemble a range of fabrics first, then divide your temperatures to allow you to use them.

Right now I’m leaning towards 2 because I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to find exactly 24 colors I like for this quilt.
Trying to squeeze exactly 12 or 24 colors into a specific range of temperatures seems like I'm trying to force a square peg into a round hole. If I end up with 20 or 21 it'll be just fine.

So to summarize:
  • Find your minimum and maximum temperature using historical data. (See my previous post)
  • If you don’t have fabric at the ready: 
    • Decide how you want to divide the temperatures (5 degree increments? 10 degree increments?). I recommend having at least 12 colors so, if you live somewhere the temperature doesn’t vary all that much, you might have fewer than 5 degrees in a range and that’s OK.
    • Choose as many fabrics/colors as you have ranges.
  • If you have already chosen your fabrics:
    • Count your number of fabrics, which will determine the number of temperature ranges you will need. It'll be roughly the difference between your high and low for the year (using historical data) divided by your number of fabrics. You’ll probably have to play around with it some. A spreadsheet program like Excel is very, very handy for this process.
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Choose colors you like because some of them may show up quite frequently.

Please feel free to ask questions in the comments below and I will answer all questions in the comments so everyone can see them.

If you haven't signed up yet, you can do so in this post.

Remember to follow along and post your progress on Instagram using the hashtag #tempquiltalong.

(I've added a link to each Temperature Quilt post in the right sidebar so you can jump directly to where you'd like to be.)

I’ve added a button you can use for your blog or other website you’d like to share this quilt along on. Somehow blogger won't let me put this in the sidebar.
Just copy and paste the code in the box below where you want your button.



  1. Thanks for the button!...I've inserted on my blog.

  2. Neat to do a quiltalong. I just finished mine for 2018. In Kansas we can get temps from 10 below to 120 above so I had lots of colors to work with. Can’t send a pic but it turned out really pretty. I just used strips and did 7 across and 52 down with just the high for the day. Thinking the next one I do will have both the high and low for each day making it 14 across. Have fun all year with yours!

    1. Fun! I'm looking forward to seeing how all of these turn out.

  3. I haven't found the coloring pages yet and I have been following the blog and getting emails. Will you email me the coloring pages. Thanks

    1. When you confirm your signup (you should receive an email with a link for this), you will be sent to a page with a link for the coloring pages.