Monday, September 12, 2022

Progress on the 2020 Temperature Quilt backing

As I wrote in this post last December, I gave up on paper piecing numbers for the color key on the back of my 2020 Temperature Quilt.  I didn't care enough about this backing to spend quite so much time on it.  I decided to just use the colours, and skip adding any extra information to the back.

2020 Temperature Quilt

Having made the decision to skip the numbers so I could move the project forward more quickly, you might think I would have a finished quilt to show.  The fact that I don't is a pretty clear sign that I wasn't happy to leave numbers out after all.  I just had to figure out a different way to add them. 

It's been nine months, but inspiration finally struck.  I don't have an embroidery machine, and no inclination to hand embroider, but I can freemotion quilt the numbers.

I have quilted letters into a quilt top in the past.  As I did then, I printed the numbers in a very large font (I think these were about size 250) to make a template.  You can see I printed out a few different fonts to audition them.  I'm afraid I forgot to note what fonts these were and I didn't save the file.  Oops!

This time, I chose to cut out the numbers and trace around them onto the fabric instead of stitching through the paper template and tearing it away afterwards.  I used a SewLine mechanical pencil with a ceramic lead.  It's erasable and water soluble so if my FMQ stitching doesn't quite cover the lines (I can pretty much guarantee it won't) I can erase what shows.

My challenge here was that I needed these on the back of the quilt, but quilting through all the layers would result in backward numbers in random places on the front.  My solution was to quilt these onto the backing before layering the quilt. I had scraps of thin Thermore batting, so I cut small pieces of that to place behind the numbers, then stitched through the backing and batting, outlining the traced numbers.

You can see I didn't manage to stitch perfectly on the traced lines, but who will know once I erase the markings?  I also see a bit of thread build-up in places where I started and stopped, but I can live with that in this quilt quilt.  I just want it finished!

The Thermore batting is fairly thin, so I'm counting on it not causing extra puffing in assorted spots in the quilt when I sandwich and quilt the whole quilt.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

I have a few more numbers to quilt before I get to the sandwiching part, but it shouldn't take long. I really thought I'd finish the numbers last night, but when a thread nest developed halfway through, I took it as a sign it was time for bed.

I think I'll have time to finish these numbers tomorrow.  Hopefully, the sandwiching and quilting after that won't take vey long.  Do I dare announce an expected reveal date, or would that be a jinx?

Happy quilting,



  1. I like your way of identifying the temperature ranges. Simple but effective. We don't need a reveal date - work at whatever pace you choose and we'll still be here whenever you're done.

  2. Clever idea & it's good to have finished quilt. The numbers look fine to me. Look forward to seeing the finished quilt. Take care & hugs.

  3. Looks really cool. Good luck finishing it!

  4. This is looking good! I gave up on my 2021 last April. I just stopped enjoying it. I may make it into a table runner just to clear it out from WIP!

  5. As I am using this pattern to make a temperature quilt for this year and was wondering how I was going to work in my temperature grid I was very interested in your plan! I am enjoying the colour reveal with the fabrics I have chosen. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas.

  6. How did you quilt your temp. Quilt? I made it for 2021 , but here it is 2022 (almost over) but I’m stuck on how to quilt it. Lots of ideas but nothing I’m excited about doing. Suggestions?

    1. I made mine for 2020 and it is still in the to-be-quilted pile, so don't feel bad! I plan to quilt mine with concentric circles spaced about 2" apart. I'll share when it's done.


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