A 2022 Embroidery Challenge

I’ve been watching people making temperature quilts on social media for a few years and really liked the idea of making one. But I knew I would struggle to carry such a large project through to the end, plus the idea of knitting a blanket in the heat of summer wasn’t that appealing. Then I came across the idea of a temperature cross stitch, small, portable and seemed much more manageable!

I found this fantastic pattern for a spiral galaxy by Climbing Goat Designs, bought my fabric and a seemingly huge number of threads and prepared for the 1st of January.


Started out well, but I didn’t like how messy each day was to start and finish. So I did some research and found out some neater ways of starting. The loop stitch was for when the thread was nice and long and the pin stitch was for when it was a bit shorter.


I found out I needed a much bigger hoop, so ended up buying a quilting hoop which was large enough.


I worked out that using a seat frame would make it so much easier to cope with embroidering such a large hoop and my left hand was very grateful for the reduced strain! Also blue and purple were getting quite boring by this point, so I was so excited when green started to appear at the end of March.


Finding the start of the next spiral was tricky and I did end up unpicking it once. I was also pleased I had kept on top of stitching the sparkly stars.


It was interesting having a visual representation of how much warmer it was getting.


The end of the academic year was very busy, so I was quite proud of myself for keeping on top of the embroidery. But the stars had to wait until later.


We had an unexpected heat wave. Because my temperature scale had been planned on historic average data it only went up to 28°c and July ended up at 38°c, so I had to buy extra colour to cope with the sudden expansion of my heat scale.


It continued to be hot, but not as hot as July. I still needed to use my extra colours though!


It was a relief to see the cooler colours coming back. But this was a challenging month to sew because I had triggered RSI in my wrist at school.


This was an odd month because the majority of the days were 17°c, which did make for a lot of lime green stitching.


We spent a lot of this month packing and preparing to move house, so managing to keep on top of stitching was challenging. A lot of November was actually stitched in December.


In contrast to the summer, December decide to swing the other way by plunging into negative figures (this is unusual for London!). My scale ended at 5°c, and we had temperatures as low as -1°c. So once again I needed to pick up some extra colour for my scale. My needle finally gave up a week before the end of the year (clearly being threaded so many times had caused metal fatigue), so I didn’t actually finish until the first week of January.

I still have the starts to finish, but that should be done soon.

Some fun facts from the year:

• 2022 here ended with the same temperature as it started. 13°c for both the 1st Jan and 31st Dec.

• The temperature range on this cross stitch goes from -1°c to 38°c and documents both the coldest winter and hottest summer.

• My original plan went from 5°c to 28°c (as that used average data for the area), so I had to buy extra colours both in July and December to work with the wild variations in temperature.

I really enjoyed doing this, but I don’t think I’ll do another one for a while. I do highly recommend Climbing Goat Designs though, fantastic support and community and a very clearly written pattern.

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