The highs and lows of the year for temperatures are documented in Kate Abraham’s temperature quilt. (Photo by Don Bodger)

The highs and lows of the year for temperatures are documented in Kate Abraham’s temperature quilt. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Gauging the temperature in Saltair through quilting

Abraham’s work presents a pattern of daily highs and lows throughout 2020

It’s obviously a quilt. But Kate Abraham’s creation also provides a unique perspective into the weather in Saltair during 2020.

Abraham, 66, took the entire year to add each day’s statistics to complete her temperature quilt. The final product is very colourful, but with an actual meaning to its composition.

“It’s kind of a standard type of quilt I found on-line,” explained Abraham, who belongs to the Saltair Quilters and Crafters.

Related story: The allures of quilting almost indescribable to the uninitiated

“I figured it all out in 2019 and on January first, I was ready to go. I look up on The Weather Network. It would give you the previous day’s highs and lows.”

Once a week Abraham would get all the details she collected and make blocks. Being a leap year in 2020 just happened to make it all work out perfectly.

“There’s lots of ways you could do it,” Abraham noted.

Her quilt was recently featured on Global B.C.’s weather segment and introduced by meteorologist Mark Madryga. Abraham said her friend Donna Walsh Wheeldon of Ladysmith sent in a photo of the quilt and, being his area of specialty, Madryga was impressed enough to feature it on TV.

“I got a lot of feedback,” Abraham conceded.

The daytime highs are colour-coded on the diamonds and the remainder of the space surrounding each one to make a square corresponds to the daytime lows.

The colour coding and temperature range for each are: dark blue -7 to -5 Celsius; mid blue -4 to -2 C; pale blue -1 to +1 C; pale green 2 to 4 C; mid green 5 to 7 C; dark green 8 to 10 C; yellow 11 to 13 C; dark yellow 14 to 16 C; orange 17 to 19 C; dark orange 20 to 22 C; light red 23 to 25 C; mid red 26 to 28 C; dark red 29 to 31 C; and purple 32 to 34 C.

There were four days in 2020 of temperatures at the high end that required purple fabric and about 10 days at the low end, designated by dark blue.

If Abraham ran out of fabric, she would simply use another colour as close to the intended one as possible.

She put in labels to mark the start of each month to make them stand out.

Even Abraham didn’t know how the final colour scheme would come out but it forms an interesting array of colours while serving as a weather chart for the region.

“Only one day in the year the temperature didn’t vary between day and night,” she noted.

As a result, the colours for that particular day were exactly the same.

Abraham was born in Cornwall, England, grew up in Devon and spent 27 years in North Vancouver before coming to Saltair three years ago. She’s been married to husband Areef for 45 years and they have three children: Yasmin, 39; Riyan, 37, and Karim, 35, plus five grandchildren.

“We did consider a lot of places,” she indicated before making a move. “We considered the Okanagan, we considered the Sunshine Coast.

“This area had the lowest rainfall, North Vancouver had the highest.”

They were also attracted to the area while on an extended cycling trip. “That bike trip kind of sealed it,” noted Abraham. “That and the weather. Once you decide what it is you want and make a plan, you just went for it.”

Kind of like her quilting. She previously belonged to the Lion’s Gate Quilting Guild.

“Once I got here, I found this group on-line on the Saltair website,” Abraham explained.

She likes how the group incorporates other crafts like embroidery and bead work besides quilting.

“I used to do a lot of needlepoint,” Abraham indicated. “That’s too hard on the eyes now.”

She now concentrates mainly on quilting. Due to COVID, the Saltair group has been shut down from its regular meeting location at the Saltair Community Centre other than a brief period from last August until October. Zoom meetings help keep everyone connected.

“Just to keep in touch and get inspired by what people are doing,” Abraham said makes it all worthwhile.

But it’s still not the same as in-person meetings.

“I miss the camaraderie and the teaching,” she conceded. “We would teach each other things. It’s a great group.”

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Different colours tell the tale of Saltair temperatures during 2020 in Kate Abraham’s temperature quilt. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Different colours tell the tale of Saltair temperatures during 2020 in Kate Abraham’s temperature quilt. (Photo by Don Bodger)

This is only the half of it, as Kate Abraham stretches out her temperature quilt. (Photo by Don Bodger)

This is only the half of it, as Kate Abraham stretches out her temperature quilt. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Colours on Kate Abraham’s temperature quilt document Saltair weather during 2020. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Colours on Kate Abraham’s temperature quilt document Saltair weather during 2020. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Kate Abraham put a lot of work into her temperature quilt throughout 2020. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Kate Abraham put a lot of work into her temperature quilt throughout 2020. (Photo by Don Bodger)

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