Old Spool’s 2023 Block Party :: The Temperature Quilt Kit!

It’s our first official Old Spool Block Party & everyone is invited! 

Block Party is what we call a formal Sew Along here at Old Spool, because we love any excuse to get together with our community of friends and celebrate our love of sewing. Old Spool Block Parties are going to become a yearly tradition, just like they were during those dog days of Summer in the neighborhood where you grew up…just minus the potluck and inflatable bounce house full of screaming kiddos! Our Old Spool Temperature Quilt Block Party is the first of its kind here at the Shop and we are crazy excited!

For those who may be bummed there isn’t a bounce house at our party: There are sewing giveaways and prizes for participants! Most notably, everyone who purchases a Temperature Quilt Kit is entered into the Grand Prize Giveaway and monthly participants (guidelines further along in this post) are entered to win monthly fabric, tool and gift card giveaways. Block Party Finishers will also get special discounts to the Old Spool Shop! 

For our first ever Block Party we’re going to stitch together a Temperature Quilt from July through December 2023! Temperature quilts have been trending lately in the quilting world and we totally get it: adding a few creative limitations to our sewing practice is a fun way to get you out of your comfort zone and get you creating something you maybe wouldn’t choose to normally. Disrupt the every day with something new to you and be surprised at what you learn along the way! 


So, what is a Temperature Quilt? 

A Temperature Quilt is a way of recording the weather where you live and depicting that data visually and artistically through a quilt. Sewists record the high and low temperatures of a given period of time (daily for a few months, weekly for a year, etc.) and assign specific fabrics to a range of temperatures. Then, the sewist uses a quilt block of their choice to visually chronicle those high and low temperatures together. It’s a stunning way to relate to our physical lives through our artistic practice because the fluctuations in weather are predictable at times and then some days are completely random. We have a certain level of control in picking the fabrics and blocks we’ll assemble and then the rest is up to Mother Nature, a very worthy creative collaborator. 

Since Temperature Quilts have been so popular the last few years, we have a large assortment of inspiration to pull from, from simple strips to improv wonders. It seems no matter the recipe chosen that the final product is a memorable way to chronicle your life- I’ve seen sewists make one for the first year of a marriage or surrounding a special birthday or event. 

Block Party Temperature Quilt Kit
By Erika Mulvenna on weallsew.com
Block Party Temperature Quilt Kit
By Marie Bostwick
Block Party Temperature Quilt Kit

How to Make a Temperature Quilt

Planning for a Temperature Quilt means there are a lot of elements to consider: from the period of time you’ll record the temperature, what fabrics to use (no less than 15 fabrics are recommended so that you get a good range of variation in your final quilt), establishing the temperature ranges to each fabric, how much fabric you need depending on the time of the year, what motif to sew it all into as well as how you’ll stay organized during the process. Yikes!

….So we decided to make it easy on everyone and curate some kits!

Rainbow selection of Studio E peppered cottons for Block Party Temperature Quilt Kit
Our rainbow of colors for the Temperature Quilt Kits

The details for our Temperature Quilt Block Party

First off, you have to grab yourself a Temperature Quilt Block Party Kit from the shop. Our kits have a curated selection of Peppered Cotton fabrics from StudioE in amounts we determined by reviewing last year’s temperatures. We’ve decided the temperature range for each fabric already, so no need to do any prep work. We also figured it would be more appealing to include 2 different levels of participation so you can choose to either record the temperature daily or weekly for the 6 months between July and December. 

Because we love to keep it simple here, we are using flying geese quilt blocks to record the highs and lows of each day/week for our temperature quilts. The center of each day will be the high temperature while the outer fabric will be the low. As the months progress we’ll share different ways to set up your blocks of flying geese- but we picked such a simple motif because they look great even no matter how you set your quilt up! We include sashing and border fabric in every kit, which will come into play when we start to share our block layouts in the coming months.

There will be a “Flying Geese 3 Ways” in-person workshop in June (two dates are available) so you can experiment with different methods to make flying geese and find what works best for you. We’ll explore Foundation Paper piecing, one-at-a-time and 4-at-a-time methods and your kit includes PDF foundation paper piecing templates, cutting instructions and tips. Anyone who isn’t local (or chooses the Half the ‘Hood Block Party Kit) gets access to the pre-recorded class on a password protected page on our site. Half the ‘Hood sewists can also join one of the in-person workshops at a discounted rate!

Flying Geese Samples lying on a table Block Party Temperature Quilt Kit

Extra’s & Curated Tools

We also created a printable Temperature Journal for those who get a kit, so you can easily record the high and low temperatures and stay organized throughout the process. As the Block Party carries on, we’ll be sharing different ways to layout your monthly blocks of flying geese as they start to take shape, but in the end the layouts are up to you! Each kit includes enough Peppered Cotton in Fog to make sashing, borders or backing for your pillow if making a Half the ‘Hood kit.

Finally, we curated a special tool for the Block Party: Deb Tucker’s Wing Clipper, which you can get at 20% off if you purchase it with your Block Party Kit. We highly recommend this helpful tool because we are about to make A LOT of flying geese!

To participate in the Old Spool Block Party, you need to:

1) Purchase a kit from Old Spool by June 15th 

2) Record temperatures in your journal daily (Full City Block) or weekly (Half the ‘Hood) beginning July 1st.

3. Make monthly progress on your quilt blocks from July through December.

3) Each month you share your progress either by email or posting and tagging Old Spool on Social Media (Facebook and Instagram) so you can be entered to win one of the monthly giveaways.

We’ll be posting monthly to our social media and blog and send out newsletter blasts to all participants with monthly progress shots so we can cheer our fellow sewists on! 

If you’re not on social media and want regular updates about the Block Party via email, add your info and join the list below:[mailpoet_form id=”8″]

Prizes, Timeline and Participation Guidelines

We’re going to announce the prizes for sewing along with our Block Party in a couple weeks, but here’s what we can tease you with for now:

  • Anyone who purchases a kit is entered to win the Grand Prize drawing, valued at $150!
  • Monthly participants who post a progress photo to their social media and tag @julia_oldspoolsewing OR email a photo of their progress to [email protected] by the end of each month are entered to win monthly fabric and gift card giveaways valued at around $25. Drawings take place on the 1st of each month from August-January.
  • Any sewists who finish their quilt top and send a photo to us by January 15th (via email or a tag on social media) are eligible for a Very Cheerful discount at Old Spool on their batting and backing purchase for their Temperature Quilt.

Timeline: 

  • Sew along Announcement: April 1st
  • Deadline to purchase a kit & be entered into the grand prize drawing: June 15th (so we can make sure you get it by the end of the month)
  • Sew Along start date: July 1st 
  • For Full City Block Kits you will record the high and low temperatures daily for 6 months and make ~30 flying geese blocks each month. You do not have to finish sewing all blocks by the EOM, but you do have to make progress on it each month.
  • Half the ‘Hood Kits will record the high and low temperatures of each week for 6 months and make 1 flying geese per week. You do not have to finish sewing all blocks by the EOM, but you do have to make progress on it each month. 
  • Deadline to finish the Quilt Top and receive the shop discount for batting and backing January 15th, 2024.
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