I just completed my first top quilt. Insul_quilt_empty.JPG My design goal was to make a triple layer Insultex top quilt. I have been encouraged by my results with a previous Insultex underquilt/JerryChair, and wanted to get an idea how well Insultex would work for me as both under and over insulation. Previous collective experience has show that the design and construction must avoid compression in order to insulate well.
This design attempts to overcome the lack of draping that is characteristic of Insultex insulation. I wanted to have trapped air space between me and the individual Insultex layers, more than I experienced with a simple sandwich of Insultex material. By breaking down the material into strips, it creates multiple rings of insulated air space.
A secondary goal was for the quilt to be lighter than 21 ounces. I was hoping for a weight advantage over a down top quilt, since it would probably not be capable of achieving the same temperature range as the down quilt. I was thinking this would be my warm weather quilt, and a quilt for wet, semi-tropical environments, maybe more than that depending on how much I like it.
My quilt shell is 49" at the head tapering to 38" at the foot, and 76" long. It has a 14" free magic to form the footbox and drawsting closures at the head and foot. It weighs 19.6 ounces.Insul_quilt_bottom.jpg
The construction is similar to baffles, except it is just baffles and no additional fill. 18 strips of Insultex have been layered with a width of 12" and an offset placement of 4". All of the sequential overlap visually reminds me of "shingles" or an armadillo shell. This results in three layers of coverage for the entire area of the quilt. Their width gradually reduces, and each of the short ends have been reinforced with a piece of 1" gg ribbon. I have quilted each strip in 5 or 6 locations along their length to the layer directly beneath them (not through all three layers). These gg ribbon edges are first attached to one another. Then the assemblage was sewn to the seam of the quilt perimeter. The stair-stepped widths, when applied to a gradual taper, cause the Insultex to bulge open at the lower edge.
This approach to layering the Insultex was an attempt to gain loft, and allow moisture to pass through. It has succeeded very well in creating loft, about 4" when doubled over.Insul_Loft.JPG I am not sure if I will have condensation problems, or possibly too much ventilation between the layers of Insultex. Slept warm last night , but that was inside with thermostat turned way low (about 55 degrees). More testing is needed to verify effectiveness, but I'm feeling pretty good about it.