# Thread: DIY Top Quilt Guide

1. ## DIY Top Quilt Guide

So I made 2 TQs for me and my wife the other day. It was my first try at this and so far I am pretty happy with the results. I will explain the best I can, on how I did everything. Please bare with me on the photos be cause I used black nylon so it can be a bit hard to make out certain things.

So I wanted a TQ that would get me down to 0°F temps. So I bought 32oz of down from Wilderness Logistics and some 1.1 Black Ripstop Nylon. Thanks again Marty, great job on packaging it in easy to use 1oz bags.

I used 16oz of Down for each TQ.

The first thing I did is find out what size of a TQ would work for me. Playing around with my sleeping bag and some blankets I figured out that, 56" wide at the head-end and 52" wide at the foot end with 74" of total length, works for me. Here is an illustration of the pattern I used. I decided to use a 5.5" baffle width for the top half and a 4.5" baffle width for the bottom half of the TQ. Reason? Well, I figured since the first thing that always gets cold in a hammock, for me, is my legs and feet. So with this, I decided to use smaller baffles at the foot end and still use the same amount of down per chamber; thus, the bottom half of the TQ has more down per Square Inch than the top half. My logic could be off but I figured, what the heck, ill try it anyways.
TQ.jpg

The Foot box was 12" x 13". I decided on this side because the bottom of the TQ will be wrapped around this panel so I wanted the perimeter of the foot-box to be equal to the length of the finished length for the TQ foot end. The Foot end is 52" and will be 50" after thread injecting and filling with down so to make a foot box equal to that, I decided to go with 12" x 13". If you add up the perimeter of the foot box it equals 50". 12+12+13+13 equals 50.
The picture below shows how I marked my baffles out. Notice how the top half is larger than the bottom half for baffle size. Don't forget to Double this process because you need to pieces of fabric. One for the outside and one for the inside of the TQ.
DSC00013a.jpg
DSC00014a.jpg

Ok now that the fabric is tapered from 56" wide at the top to 52" wide at the base and the top half is marked for 5.5" baffle widths and the bottom half is marked for 4.5" baffle widths, its time to cut the NoseeUm Mesh for the baffle walls.
I decided to go with 2" high baffle walls so I cut my mesh 3" for 0.5" seam allowance on each side. I thread injected all the baffle walls to the first side of the TQ shown below.
DSC00015a.jpgDSC00020a.jpgDSC00021a.jpg
After pinning and thread injecting the NoSeeUm Mesh netting to the first side, I then began pinning it to the other side of the TQ. Pinning ahead of time insures you dont make a mistake when you begin to thread inject. I made the mistake of putting the two sides together backwards the first time and having to cut it off and start over. I learned from other guides that you can roll each side of the TQ up to make it fit better into the Thread Injector.
DSC00027a.jpgDSC00031a.jpg

After finishing the baffle walls, I then closed up 3 of the 4 sides by simply just thread injecting the edges together and to keep the baffles sealed up, I thread injected right over the baffle wall. This was the simplest I could think of for sealing up the baffles at the sides. I know some people like to stitch up the side of the baffle wall with one side of the TQ to give it a nice square look but I wanted to keep things simple yet effective.

I decided I wanted to add a Heat Arrestor for the Top part of the TQ. Basically this is just a fleece blanket cut to about 16" by the width of the TQ and thread injected on 3 sides. The top and 2 sides. I left the end towards the footend of the hammock unattached so that when the TQ is laying on top of me, if there is any parts where the TQ is not snug against me, the Fleece will hang down and close the gap sealing in the heat. I got the Fleece blanket from walmart for \$5.
DSC00042a.jpgDSC00038a.jpg

Cont on next Post.........

2. Here is a few more pics of the process of attaching the fleece Heat arrestor to the top part of the TQ. I only Thread Injected it on 2 of the 4 sides at this point. The 4th side(facing the base of the TQ) will never get Thread Injected, The 3rd side will be thread injected after the TQ has been filled with down. If I were to Thread Inject it now, I couldnt get the down in the first 2 baffles.

DSC00049a.jpgDSC00055a.jpg

Ok, so now I have 3 sides of the TQ sealed up with a Fleece Heat Arrestor at the top part of the TQ and it is Thread Injected on 2 sides, leaving the side with the open baffles to be thread injected later.

My down came in 1oz bags and I decided I was going to have 15 baffles so that left me with 1oz extra which I used for the foot box that I will show later. Each baffle got 1 full oz and I used the ShopVac method to filling the baffle chambers. I took my shop vac and added the hose extender to the hose but put some NoSeeUm Mesh netting over the hose before I put the extender on. This stopped the down from getting inside the ShopVac and keep it pilled up inside the Hose Extender. I used a smaller Shopvac hose extender to slide into the larger one and push the down back out into the Baffles. You can use whatever you like, I just happened to own 2 different ShopVacs that were different sizes. BTW, I tried Fronkey's method and failed horribly. Down went everywhere the second I split that bag in half and even when I tried to coax it into the bag it basically laughed at me and spilled out everywhere. I applaud Fronkey's Dexterity.

DSC00059a.jpgDSC00058a.jpgDSC00065a.jpgDSC00072a.jpgDSC00073a.jpg

Cont on the next post......

3. Finally, I Thread Injected the side that was still open and began making the foot-box. The foot-box was simply that 13" x 12" piece of material doubled and thread injected together on 3 sides, filled with that last ounce of down and then thread injected shut. Here is a few pictures of it almost completed.

DSC00079a.jpgDSC00081a.jpg

Next I thread injected GrossGrain to the sides of the TQ from top to bottom. And then finished attaching the Foot-box. I then Thread Injected the bottom half of the TQ. This created a nice sealed in foot box.

DSC00087a.jpgDSC00085a.jpg

Finally here is the finished product, I slept in it at 38°F and was very very warm. I am willing to bet that this TQ will get me to at least 10°F with a decent UQ to go with it. I wont know for sure until then. Perhaps some others can give some input on what they thing the Temp ratings might be..

DSC00089a.jpgDSC00092a.jpg
Here is a picture of my wifes TQ with same 16oz of down as mine but slightly smaller in size.
DSC00108a.jpg

Well I know these guides have been done before but I wanted to share my version of a TQ. I will update its effectiveness as I knock out my up coming backpacking trips. OH almost forgot, Its total weight is 29oz with DIY stuff sack.
DSC00105a.jpg

4. Thanks for putting in all this work for us! You'll no doubt enjoy your awesome quilts!!!!!

5. Looks good! Fantastic guide as well, thanks for sharing.

6. They look awesome! How much did they cost you to make?

7. Ive been looking at doing one of these and ive read a lot of guides, everyone uses the noseeum but i was wondering what its for?

8. Wow, 5.5 " of baffle would give you a temp rating of something like -30.

I just bought 2 of the thru-hiker quilt kits so I'm ready to start my top and bottom quilts. Since there aren't really good patterns for a top quilt I really appreciate your photos and drawings.

Oops. upon re-reading it I see that your baffles were 2", not 5.5". That should give you a temp rating of about 20 to 25 degrees.

9. Originally Posted by GregB
Wow, 5.5 " of baffle would give you a temp rating of something like -30.

I just bought 2 of the thru-hiker quilt kits so I'm ready to start my top and bottom quilts. Since there aren't really good patterns for a top quilt I really appreciate your photos and drawings.

Oops. upon re-reading it I see that your baffles were 2", not 5.5". That should give you a temp rating of about 20 to 25 degrees.
At the group hang, a few members said I should be able to hit 0 degrees easy with 16oz of down. The temps dropped to low 20s and I felt toasty on top but was using an CCF pad and was cold on my backside. Ill know next winter what it is rated for.

10. Amazing work. I'm not ready. I need a few more months to psych myself up for this.