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  1. #1
    Member twdant's Avatar
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    Undertaking my first real DIY sewing project...professional advice welcome.

    Here's goes nothing.

    I just ordered 13 oz. of 850+ down from WL for a DIY top quilt. I plan to document in real time the play by play on this thread. My sewing experience is(to prove what a noob I am, and to encourage those who don't think they can sew to at least give it a shot) a few practice zigzags and straight stitches on some scrap stuff, and putting a rolled hem on a tent footprint. My thread shooter is a hand-me-down Singer model 3102 from 1990 (great year, I was two; lots of nose-picking and Nilla wafers). Hopefully I can find some 1.1 ripstop and Guttermann's in town today (Joann's?) so I can start on the shell and liner.

    Thus far, the materials list is as follows:
    From Wilderness Logics
    13oz of 850+ goose down-$87.75
    free shipping
    From Thru-Hiker
    2 yards of 1/4" flat cord-$.99
    1 anchorable small cord lock w/ grosgrain-$.99
    1 yard of 60" nanoseeum baffle material-$7.95
    $5.99 shipping

    I'll take all the coaching I can get, so feel free to load it on.
    Last edited by twdant; 05-07-2012 at 00:27.

  2. #2
    Member twdant's Avatar
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    A couple of things right off the cuff, as I work my nightshift and ponder obsessively about making a down TQ...

    I'm a big man, 6'1" and 270lbs, so I want to make this thing more than big enough. I'm also an active sleeper, so I like to have a little spare room anyway. So far, my dimensions are 56" at the head end, 54" at the foot end, and 80", yes 80", long. Before you poo-poo the idea of such a "heavy" quilt, know that I'm not a gram weenie, and even if I were, the first grams to go would be the ones that comprise my thoracic spare tire.

    I've read several how-to's and most use 16 baffles. However, most are not 80" long, which leads to question 1:

    Should I use more than 16 baffles? It seems that smaller baffles would help distribute the down more uniformly, hence minimizing cold spots and bunching. I'm thinking about using 17 baffles instead.

    Nextly, what exactly happens to the baffles at the side seams? Do they just wad up and get sewn in with the seam, or is there some way to fold and pin them to ensure...something...?

    Also, how exactly does one go about attaching buttons to form a footbox?

    So begins a saga of questioning that will consume my being until I leave to go camping across Ireland on the May 16th. It would be epic to have this thing ready to go by then.
    Last edited by twdant; 05-07-2012 at 01:14.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Catavarie's Avatar
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    Ok so I'm guess you are planning on using 2 inch baffles. Since you ordered 13oz of down. Should be nice and toasty for you.

    I'd say either place your baffles 4 inches apart and have 19 baffles (20 chambers) or even 5 inches apart for 15 baffles (16 chambers). No need in trying to do fractions of an inch when it won't make a huge change in the comfort of the quilt.

    I will say to double check your measurements and mark your fabric fully before any cutting begins. Then check it all again, just to be sure. As far as buttons go. Are you going to do buttons or snaps? Snaps you can buy a kit from most fabric stores (JoAnn's, Hancocks, etc.) to add these in. For buttons leave an extra inch or two along the sides where there is no down to attach your buttons and place your button holes. Personally I just sewed my foot box closed on the long edge and left the end ventable (Is that even a word?) with a drawcord.

    Double check your footbox measurements. Sounds really large to me. At48 inches mine is huge and I wear size 11.5 shoes. So unless your feet are a size 14+, or you really thrash your feet at night, you may find a smaller footbox to be warmer. Use a bedsheet and fold it to the 54 inches and try it out around your feet to see how it feels, and how much you may be able to take off.

    Good luck, I can't wait to see the finished product.
    *Heaven best have trees, because I plan to lounge for eternity.

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  4. #4
    Member twdant's Avatar
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    Yes, 2" baffles indeed. According to a few examples I've seen, that puts me somewhere between 30* and 20*, which is more than enough to comfortably handle the coldest Georgia winter night.

    FWIW, according to the TQ calculator that was recently posted, if I put 17 baffles in an 80" TQ, they end up exactly 5" apart, so I reckon that's what I'll do. I agree about the fractions. They remind me too much of 3rd grade.

    The footbox thing isn't so much a big feet problem, and not really a thrashing about problem either. I hate to sleep with my legs straight and together, like in a mummy bag. I always feel like I'm in a straightjacket. So I figure with a giant footbox, I'll have a little more leeway to spread my feet apart and get comfy, more like a rectangular sleeping bag. I'll try the bedsheet thing and report back.

  5. #5
    MAD777's Avatar
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    I cut my baffles about 1/2" longer on each end than the finished width of the quilt. That gives me a little baffle material to tuck and sew into the edge seams but not so much as to make a big wad of it.

    Otherwise, I make my quilts making approach is pretty close to yours.

    Can't wait to see the pictures
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

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    I don't think you will find calandered ripstop at JoAnnes. I never have

  7. #7
    Member twdant's Avatar
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    The only thing I could find at a brick and mortar store was 1.9 oz. uncalendered ripstop. Suitable? I don't mind the extra weight, especially if it means better durability.

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    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Calendared ripstop is preferred because of it's greater downproofness.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

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    Senior Member gargoyle's Avatar
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    Thoracic Spare Tire
    To be known as "TST" from this day forward.
    One gear item to many have and need to get rid of.
    I wonder if I could PIF it or put in the "for sale" section?


    Calendered ripstop. Try one of the supply guys here on the forum.

    Turn your baffles 90* so they run the length of the quilt?

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    What Ramblinrev said. I sure wouldn't won't to pay for all that down and then it leak out of my quilts Calandered material is the only way to go. If you look in the DIY section or look at a few searches on what others have used you will be way ahead of the game. A lot of talk of folks using M50 and other material. Guess it boils down to how much you want to spend.
    Let us know what you decide to use and post lots of pics

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