My interpretation of the theme was "Global Warming." Here is the finished quilt:
I had a lot of difficulty with it due to the ruffling in the borders. I really like the effect but it made the quilt somewhat uneven on the edges, and it ended up lopsided which I fixed according to the measuring tape but not the picture. It's not my best effort ever, but there are parts of it I'm really happy with.
See? Pretty good in closeup. I used sparkly thread to quilt, so it's all very glittery and icy.
I wanted to make a polar scene because the effects of global warming are greatest at the poles. (I thought of doing the Arctic and having a polar bear, which is the iconic victim of global warming, but the penguin embroidery design just worked better in this quilt. Sorry, polar bears.) This is because the poles are covered in ice and snow. As you know if you've ever walked outside on a sunny day when there's snow on the ground, it's bright--the snow is reflecting the sun's rays back into space. As the ice melts, less of the sun's rays are reflected back into space and the water/land absorbs the warmth from the sun, making more ice melt, and so on. For more about the science behind global warming, here's a good website.
Unfortunately, I was not the only quilter whose interpretation of Hot/Cold was global warming--or whose quilt involved penguins. Out of 16 quilts presented for the challenge, three had penguins on them. Oops, guess I wasn't very original this time around.