Mountains have a dreamy way
Of folding up a noisy day
In quiet covers, cool and gray.
---Leigh Buckner Hanes
Surely, God could have made a better way to sleep.
Surely, God never did.
I've had good luck with down filling in a bathroom. Close doors and windows (no breeze!), and then go slow - don't move down-filled hands quickly, pick up small handfuls (I lost less this way), DON'T sneeze or laugh or sigh forcefully or sing in the direction of any down. I lost less than two cubic inches this way filling a topquilt, and after the quilt was filled I just picked up the stray down with my fingers.
Lots of people have had great results keeping down under control by filling their project using a vacuum cleaner. A quick web search will turn up directions for this method. Good luck!
Sounds like a great project Wakozacho, good luck with it! I hope you don't mind me hijacking your thread, but I'm in a very similar position to you, having barely used a sewing machine and about to start my first underquilt...
I just bought some ripstop 1.1 from BWDD and 10 oz of down from Hammock Gear. When my exams are over on Tuesday I'm going to get stuck into making my first underquilt. It will be 3/4 length, I'm thinking around 45*55 inches. At the moment I'm debating over how much down I should use. Since I live in the Australian tropics, the minimum temp I would use it in would probably be around freezing, possibly a few degrees below (although I am a slightly cold sleeper). I'm tempted to use all 10 oz but would that be overkill? That would give about 3" of loft.
Secondly, I'm thinking about using a differential design. How much wider is the typical bottom layer than the top layer? When I bought the fabric I wasn't planning to do this, so I don't have a long enough piece of noseeum to make the baffles longitudinal. Does anyone see a problem with making long baffles by sewing two strips together?
Finally, from what I gather it's common to sew darts in either end to help the ends bunch up. How many darts would you use and how long/wide?
I use this method for the down. Works great, no mess (that is not easily sucked up).
"Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities." - Mark Twain
“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” - John Burroughs
I'm an engineer, so I wasted a lot of time creating a spreadsheet based on an idea I saw in a .pdf for how to make a LytW8 Summer Quilt. I posted an image of my spreadsheet below (can't post an .xls file). If you can re-create it, it might help you. It really makes it easy to make small adjustments to your design on the fly and see how those changes will impact the final product.
The grayed out areas are non-adjustable directly, although some are calculated from other adjustable values and can therefore be changed indirectly. Basically, you decide how many chambers you want, the quilt loft, length, width, and what fill power down you will be using. Then, the spreadsheet automatically calculates each chamber length, width, area, down per chamber, and total down. If you input a tare weight for your down container (a pillow in my case), the spreadsheet will also calculate a start and stop tare weight for the container as you fill each chamber! That is assuming, of course, all the down is going from the pillow into the quilt (and not the room)! There is one template for the top quilt and another for the under quilt, using the same down source.
Based on my quilt dimensions (52"L, 50"W at head, 40"W at foot), I calculate you need about 8.8oz of 800FP down to achieve 3" loft. If you give me your quilt dimensions, desired loft, and down FP, I'll be happy to re-calculate. Of course, those numbers are rough since they are also affected by the final quilt design (baffles, taper angle, etc). If I were you, I would plan for the coldest weather you are likely to face. A winter quilt can work in the summer too if you vent it. The reverse is much more difficult.
Here's how I calculate the loft using all of the down:
FP * OS * Oz / (L * W) = Loft
OS is the overstuff factor. I multiply by 0.9 to get 10% overstuff. So using 800 fill power, 10 oz of down and dimensions 55 * 45, you get 2.91" of loft.
That spreadsheet is a pretty cool idea, I may do something similar when I have time.
Also, will you uq be a rectangle? Most are wider at the "head end" and taper towards the "foot end." Mine tapers to 10" thinner at the foot end, and I'll bet that's why I calculated that you needed less down.
If using the tent method a cheap dust mask may also have some merit.
May I ask, where did you get your down??
My knife is so sharp it cut the sixth finger off my right hand! On the plus side, Inigo Montoya no longer hunts me.
I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you to keep the cost of down...um...down .
I've heard nothing but good things from some of the HF vendors regarding down sales, but I'm buying a down filled pillow off ebay. Inferior quality down probably, but it's cheap and so am I!