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  1. #1
    hikenbike's Avatar
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    Sewn Through Karo Step Working Prototype

    Hello fellow DIY addicts.

    I recently finished up a concept I've been planning for a while. My LaFuma Warm n Light summer bag is 38.5 ounces in the stuff sack. It's a nice bag and I've been using it as a top quilt for some years now (on the ground in a tent). Figured I could shave some serious weight by putting together a lighter weight quilt. My goal was to cut the weight of my top quilt in half while maintaining the ability to use it for the majority of my backpacking trips.

    I hashed out the initial fabric cut dimensions (86" long x 60" wide tapering to 50") with respect to the final dimension I expected after sewing and filling. Happy to say I was spot on.

    After adding the Omnitape, ties, and footbox cinch cord my shell weight was 8.8 ounces. I used some generic 30d calendared ripstop...Argon would get me a little lighter. I was shooting for 10oz of down fill but the 'more is better' influence from my 5 year old son got the best of me and I added an even 12oz. Total quilt weighs just over 20 ounces. My karo step boxes are at 12" with only 4" of seams on each side. My goal was to minimize the seams while maximizing the ability to shake the down where I wanted it depending on the conditions. I'm very happy with the fill and the ability to move it where I want it....while staying put after shaking.

    Looking forward to testing this on a 3 night backpacking trip on the Superior hiking trail in a couple of weeks.

    Thanks for looking!

    2014-06-05 09.15.37.jpg
    2014-06-05 09.16.12.jpg
    2014-06-05 09.17.14.jpg

  2. #2
    Scotty Von Porkchop's Avatar
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    That's a great looking quilt. I'm a big fan of karo baffles, even though I've found them more prone to ripping in the wash.

  3. #3
    gunner76's Avatar
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    well done.
    Frosty Butt Hang Jan 2015 .................. Fat Butt Hang April 2015..........Hunger / Halloween Hang Oct 2015

    neusioktrail.org ..................... Free Hammock Classes

    I am 18 with 43 years of experience !

  4. #4
    craige's Avatar
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    I love the pattern that karo step adds to a quilt, that looks fantastic!

  5. #5
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    That is seriously nice. Looks as good or better as any commercial quilt I've seen.

  6. #6
    hikenbike's Avatar
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    Thank you for the kind words folks. I've got 2 nights under this quilt and it may be a bit warmer than I was expecting - more testing ahead. One thing I designed into the quilt is a pleasant seamless experience at the head of the quilt. I achieved this by using the same fabric for the inner and outer shell....just folding the one long piece with seams down the sides and at the cinched footbox. Some quilts allow the user to cinch around the neck...I'm an active side sleeper so this was designed for me. I find I really like the down filled chambers up at the head of the quilt.

  7. #7
    Member titobob's Avatar
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    Do u have an estimate of the cost? And material sources?

  8. #8
    hikenbike's Avatar
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    This prototype was made with fabric I got on sale at Hancock Fabrics - about $14 for 5 yards. The down is from a ultra high quality pillow I had around for this purpose. So yes, that's a custom 'made for me' top quilt for $14.

    If I was to purchase the materials at retail:

    I'd say $50ish for fabric (Dutch Argon)
    $100ish for 12oz of high quality down.

  9. #9
    meisjoe's Avatar
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    That stitching is very cool looking!!

  10. #10
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    How does the stuffing work for the karo style? i'm interested to try this instead of my straight line baffles, but i'm not sure of the stuffing method. do you do it all at once?

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