Climate change and quilting

How often do we hear about climate change?

I live on a farm near Giant’s Castle, KwaZulu Natal, theoretically a wet part of the country. I say theoretically, as we have not been WET for nearly a decade! We’ve had the odd bit of rain, but not enough for the grass to grow, the cows to feed and the dams to fill. I won’t even mention watering my garden! Needless to say my garden is a very sad, brittle and dying mess.

Even though I may complain about my situation, I know this is something that is, most disturbingly, being experienced all around the world! Then we have the petroleum companies wanting to explore FRACKING. A process that requires HUGE amounts of water. How ludicrous. But that is another topic, and I digress….

How does this all fit with quilting,you may ask?

At the South African Quilt Festival in Johannesburg earlier this year I met a quilt teacher from Ireland who was making a Temperature Quilt. I was intrigued, so did some Googling. The wealth of ideas on Pinterest was inspiring. This got me to thinking how interesting it would be to log the daily maximum and minimum temperatures for a year. An opportunity for me to watch and see – are we really warming up?

Nearly all the quilt images I could find related to the Northern hemisphere, with the cold colours on the left and right sides of the quilt. A Southern hemisphere quilt will look quite different with the colours being swapped around.

The ideas are numerous….

So I decided that, starting on 1 Jan 2020, I will make one! And I challenge you to do the same.

Using Amafu Fabrics I have worked out the temperature chart and related colours, the quilt layout and pattern ideas, and put it all together as a kit. The kit will be available from 30 November 2019 at a price of R1450 excluding postage.

(Colours may not be true)

Kit Contents:

  • 15 colours, 8 fat 1/4’s for the extremes, 7 x 1/2m pieces for the mid-range temperatures. a total of 5.5m of fabric. (Extra fabric available on request) Fabrics based on each days’ block being 3.5″ x 2.5″ (allowing for a 1/4″ seam allowance) (Not including border, sashing or backing fabrics)
  • Temperature chart with equivalent fabric colour chart.
  • Pattern ideas and piecing instructions: flying geese/ triangles/ circles/etc. You choose which design you would like to do
  • Layout instructions: either as a Quilt-as-you-go, or creating pieced top to quilt once completed. (Instructions for both are included)
  • Weather condition symbols for embellishment by hand stitching should you so wish.
  • Packaged in a box for easy storage and access while you work with it during the year

To add extra interest and personalize the quilt you could add an extra element – perhaps your your overriding emotion for the day using emoticons. Some other suggestions could be weather symbols for particular days or a smaller overlaid block for local conditions on days you might be travelling. Reply to this email to order your kit early to avoid disappointment.

I think that this is going to be an amazing project, not only a 365 day record of external conditions, but also perhaps of some of the internal ones too. Our memories are generally so transient, so fleeting, that a project like this is a type of visual diary, helping us remember. Maybe in years to come we will look back in wonderment and see how things have changed, maybe not in ways we expected, but hopefully exciting nonetheless .

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