In this instructable you will learn how to make a lightweight down camping quilt. There are many ways to go about it. This is just how I did mine. It is recommended to use these steps more as “guidelines” rather than instructions as I encourage you to modify to your likings. This design is based on some quilts that I found on other websites.
This is also my first quilt that I have put together as well as my first instructable. I apologize if it is not the best. Feel free to send me any design mods that you make to your own quilts. Suggestions on where to obtain materials will be provided throughout the instructable. Good Luck and have fun.
Step 1: Materials Needed
- 5 yards of ripstop nylon. (can usually be obtained from your local fabric store.)
- 2 1/2 yards of each color
- 2 yards of no-see-um mesh. (I used lightweight drapery fabric from my local fabric store.)
- Down. You will need anywhere from 9 to 14 ounces (rip apart a 100% down quilt or pillow, or buy in bulk from downlite.com)
- Sharp Scissors or a Hot Knife
- Masking tape
- Yard Stick and Measuring Tape
- Metallic Marker (shows up great on dark fabric)
- Sewing Machine
- Paracord and Cord lock
Step 2: Design Layout and Cutting
I suggest that you first draw out possible quilt shapes and patterns on paper beforehand. Spread out the fabric on your floor. Measure and mark your dimensions. Remember to be creative. Using masking tape mark the outline of your quilt. Mark and draw the lines where you will be pacing your baffles. Baffles are the "tunnels" in the quilt that will hold the down and keep it from shifting. My baffles were placed 7 inches apart. The length of the quilt is 70 inches which gives me 10 baffles. Once all of the marking is done, cut out the pattern.
Step 3: Cutting Second Piece and Baffle Strips
Spread out the other piece of fabric on the floor and lay your pattern (baffle marks down) on it. Tape if necessary. Cut out the pattern on the second piece of fabric. Using the First piece as a model, mark the new piece with scotch tape indicating where the baffles are to be placed. Finish Marking the Second piece after removing the first piece.
Cut the No-See-Um netting into strips depending on the amount of loft you want. These will be your baffles. Make them one inch taller than you need them. My baffles are 2 inches high. The strips are 3 inches wide. You will tuck them under to form a stronger bond when sewing. Using the guides that you have marked with the mettalic marker, tape the baffle strips to the fabric. Sew the strips of netting onto the top fabric, remembering to peel off tape after EACH baffle.
Sew the Baffles, which are now connected to the top, to the bottom piece. Again, peel of the tape as you finish EACH baffle. Working your way up, do one baffle at a time. Tape and sew the baffle to the top shell. Repeat this till you get to the top, removing the tape after each baffle is complete. Sew the top seam.
Step 4: Sewing the Seams
Pin the sides where you want the seam to be. Fold the material under so that the finished edge is clean looking. Sew up one side of the bag as well as the top and the bottom, leaving one open to stuff with the down. As you sew the bottom seam, remember to leave a space for the paracord. The paracord will be used to cinch up the bottom of the bag to create a foot box. I sewed one end of the cord to the fabric to hold it in place. Attach your cord lock now if you wish. You are now ready to stuff the quilt.
Step 5: Finishing the Quilt!
There is a simple formula to detrmine the amount of down you will need for your quilt. (area) x (inches of loft) / (fill power of down) = ounces of down needed. My quilt measures 45" x 70" x 2" of loft giving it an area of 6300" squared. Divide this by the fill power of the down (700 in my case) to get 9 ounces of down. I overstuffed my quilt with an extra ounce to make it look nicer.
For a 20 degree bag you will need appoximately 2.5 inches of loft. A 40 degree bag only requires about 1.5 inches of loft.
Find a place your house where there is no breeze but plenty of light. Keep the vacuum cleaner close by. Using a food scale, place a container or bag of down on the scale and measure by subtraction. Once the bag is completely stuffed and you are satisfied with the looks of the quilt, pin and sew up the remaining side.
Voila. Your quilt is complete. I later added straps and buckles to the sides of the quilt so that I could buckle it around my back like a sleeping bag.