2020 Temperature Quilt

I am incredibly excited to be starting this project this year. There will not be extra effort on my part for temperature data collection as it is a regular event in my day to day life. First thing when I wake, anytime I may need to go outside (even for a minute), before I go to bed, anytime I need to drive somewhere. It’s a constant.

My world dramatically changed on January 17, 2019. I went anaphylactic. From the cold. From being outside for two minutes (ski jacket, togue, scarf, mitts, boots on).

My DH (Dear Husband) and I had headed out after work to walk the dogs. There is a large park (Island) right behind us and paths we take. We had just crossed onto the island and I felt a burning tingling sensation in my face and then my lips and started to feel swelling immediately. As a doctor I knew what was happening, and I knew it had to be from the cold. Of note, I had been outside in -50C the day before, up North, taking photos with no issue.

DH was a bit ahead ahead of my as I had slowed as I started to feel this happening (and we walk fast!). I yelled ahead to him, he turned and said, “What the F*?! have you done to your face?!?”. Those of you who know him, this is a typical DH reaction; but, it gave me the confirmation I needed that yes, this was actually happening.

I simply screamed back, “RUN!”, and did an about face running back to the back door key out. He followed suit with both dogs.

A regular person would go to the E.R. at this point. Not me. Raised by a physician, and a physician who was Chief of Emergency for years, I can definitely be my own worst enemy.

This is the start of my story and I will fill in the pieces as the year progresses with this temperature quilt. Opening up about my rare circumstances as the days go by. Suffice to say you can see I survived day 1 of this last year, and I’ve persevered. I’m still here. I’ve figured out certain ways of being and when I look at it I’m probably the most aware of everything in my surroundings at a given second then most humans. A curse and a blessing – like most things. My challenge this past year, one hundred percent, has been to find the blessings in this and come out the other side, besides staying alive I guess. I should also just be thankful that I’ve managed to stay alive. Funny how we don’t take that as an accomplishment.

Onwards to this quilt which adds an element of fun to my now obsessive compulsive, but necessary, observations on temperature. I’m the best human windsock out there, and have become incredibly proficient at predicting our weather which is a feat as it has temperature swings daily.


Day 1 I’ve chosen to be Dec. 31, 2019 as I wanted to include the last day of the decade.

I’ve selected 30 Kona Colours going from 33C + down to -30C and lower.

I will be adding a slice of Flame if there is a Chinook.

And lo and behold we had a Chinook on Dec. 31! It is that arch in the sky and is a warm wind coming off of the mountains that bring warm temperatures with it.

So I was able to go outside, all covered as usual, but I made it 20 minutes with just slight discomfort in breathing, yeah!

The temperature range of Dec. 31 was -7C to +6C with a Chinook in the morning and rain in the evening that turned into snow at midnight!

I will be using flying geese blocks – the goose being the High for the day the background will be the Low.

Kona Snow I will use a slice of if it snows, and Ash to represent rain.

The Blocks will be 2.5″ x 4.5″ unfinished and when I travel away from home will be upside down as I am making the blocks according to where I will be as it is all about my EXPOSURE. I haven’t fully decided if the blocks I make while I am at my ranch will be upside down or not, as it is “home” too but an hour outside the city, Calgary, and has more extreme temperatures. I’m reserving my decision on that one!

I’m waiting to be back in the city to start piecing these blocks so I’m the meantime I am making photos of what fabrics are to be used as a way to record the days.

I’m loving this process so far and that’s the most important thing.

Happy New Year everyone and I have resolved to try and post weekly this year. Every week I will fill you in more about this quilt and my journey. I may have to do two posts if I get really organized to update you on other projects!


6 responses to “2020 Temperature Quilt”

  1. Your plans for Exposure are well-thought out, and I admire you for choosing to make a temp quilt that’s sort of a way to cope withyour physical problem. Your condition must surely be very unusua. I hope that as you age it goes away. Is that possible? Can you outgrow it? Can you be treated for it? Choosing 30 colors for your quilt is admirable, and I hope every one of them gets used. I love your enthusiasm for this project, and hope you are able to sustain it for 12 months! Best wishes.

    • I ended up going to 34! So yes I am medications – more will be revealed – they have made it so I am surviving but I am still reacting. Thankful for modern medicine or I would not be here today but we have so much more to learn! It is an unusual and extreme case.

  2. Such a great way to document visually what you are documenting personally! Great way to give a visual language to the last year of the decade

  3. Every time you reveal more about your condition, it takes my breath away. That moment of beginning was terrifying, and the longevity of duration makes me angry on your behalf. You are handling it with amazing grace, taking that high road you always choose, and you will be a beacon of hope for others who deal with this. I hope you are journaling, both in readable language and medicalese. The quilt plan is exciting, especially the red exclamation of the relieving Chinook. You know that makes me happy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: