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  1. #1
    Senior Member entropy's Avatar
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    My DIY Oddessy: Karo Box Down UQ and TQ

    Having been amazed by the incredible DIY quilts that I've seen posted here I was inspired to jump right in and make my own. I had originally just intended to just make an underquilt, but I figured "in for a penny, in for a pound" and ended up making both. A big fabric order from Questoutfitters and two pounds of 800 fill goose down from Feather Industries arrived just before Christmas and I was ready to roll.

    I decided to make both the top quilt and underquilt using the Karo Box baffle pattern for ease of stuffing, and just because I like the looks of the things .

    Underquilt:

    One thing I've never seen on here is a differentially cut Karo underquilt. I sat down with a pen and a piece of paper and managed to figure out how to do it. The bottom sheet is 48x60, so a nice grid of 4 by 5 12" boxes with 6" baffles along each side. The top sheet is also 60" so the longitudinal baffles started as 6 x 4 pieces of mosquito netting and with a 1/2" allowance gave me 3 inches of loft. The lateral baffles are asymmetrical. The top sheet is 40 inches wide and divided into 10" wide boxes with 5" of baffle sewn into the sheet. The baffle pieces themselves are trapezoidal with 6" along one side and 5" along the other. The extra width in the bottom sheet was taken in with four 2" pleats on each end. After sewing around the outside, I edged it with 1.5" inch grosgrain ribbon to make shock cord channels. The finished quilt has 11 oz of down (20% overstuff) and so has a 3-4 inch loft.



    Top Quilt:

    The baffle pattern for this one was inspired by JerryW's quilt. I really liked the big puffy sections in his, which were generated with 16" boxes and 6" baffles sewn on each side. Its got a pretty good taper, the head end of both sheets was 4' wide and the bottom edge is 3'. I created a 12" down stuffed foot box panel and sewed it in similar to his. I sewed in 6" draft stoppers between the hems of the top and bottom sheets on each side. There is also a draw string channel at the head end. This quilt took 14 oz of down and also has a 20% over-stuff and 3 to 4 inches of loft.

    I made one screw-up with this one in that I neglected to attach one baffle to the black sheet, and didn't notice until it was stuffed with down. Rather than rip a seam I managed to shake all the down out of the area and fished for the edge of the baffle and attach it. It looks a little clunky, but its actually inside the footbox so no one will know but me



    Thanks to all of you who answered questions on design, and encouraged me to take the plunge. My girlfriend thought I was a nutter until I started showing her the awesome quilts that you guys whip up. I had zero sewing experience starting all this, except for a pile of time watching my grandmother sew when I was a kid. I was definitely channeling my Amma when I was sitting in front of the thread injector. Sadly, she passed away last fall, but I know she would be proud of what I've managed to pull off.

    I'd be thrilled to answer any questions anyone may have about the process of putting these things together. Other photos of the steps of construction can be seen in my gallery.
    Last edited by entropy; 01-06-2011 at 17:15.

  2. #2
    BrianWillan's Avatar
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    Good looking quilts there, entropy.

    That must have been a winter underquilt you made with a 3" loft. Any field testing planned for this winter? What are the final weights of each quilt?

    I hope you had enough extra fabric left over to make stuff/compression sacks for these quilts.

    Cheers

    Brian

  3. #3
    Senior Member thekalimist's Avatar
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    inspired. --
    ...in it for pics.

  4. #4
    gargoyle's Avatar
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    WOW!!
    Really nice job. Quilt envy here.
    Ambulo tua ambulo.

  5. #5
    Senior Member entropy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianWillan View Post
    Good looking quilts there, entropy.

    That must have been a winter underquilt you made with a 3" loft. Any field testing planned for this winter? What are the final weights of each quilt?

    I hope you had enough extra fabric left over to make stuff/compression sacks for these quilts.

    Cheers

    Brian
    Thanks Brian I intended on 3+ season usage. My hiking partners and I prefer spring and fall hikes and have had freezing cold nights and/or snow on our last three trips. I figured since down is so light anyway I may as well make the quilts lofty to ensure absolute comfort. These will definitely allow me to come along to the Ontario Winter hang, if thats still on the books.

    I picked up a nice remnant piece of purple sil nylon which I'm making into stuff sacks.

    The topquilt weighs 800 (~28 oz) grams and the underquilt is 650 grams (~23 oz). So, quite a weight reduction over the three pound sleeping bag and 1 pound inflatable I had at Bon Echo in the fall, and at least 10 degrees warmer!

  6. #6
    Senior Member hikelite's Avatar
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    Those are beautiful. I'm a definite fan of karo quilts. Awesome job for your first project!
    Your Amma would surely be proud.

    So how long did it take the GF to ask you to make her a set?
    Life is hard? Compared to what?

  7. #7
    Senior Member entropy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikelite View Post
    Those are beautiful. I'm a definite fan of karo quilts. Awesome job for your first project!
    Your Amma would surely be proud.

    So how long did it take the GF to ask you to make her a set?
    The little lady doesn't camp... Mosquito and blackfly bites swell up like mad and she has no interest in spring/fall/winter when there are no bugs

  8. #8
    dant8ro's Avatar
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    Awesome handy work! Makes me wish I did more DIY, but I'm just days to the delivery of my new Winter Incubator and 3 Season Burrow, so I'll live.

    Keep up the great work!

  9. #9
    Senior Member PKT's Avatar
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    Nice work. Enjoy them!

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