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  1. #1

    Practice making quilts

    I'm new to sewing (don't have my own thread thrower yet, but I'm planning on taking a Goodwill tour coming up to see what I can come up with), but I'm taking on practice projects. I've already made a stuff sack with a reinforced bottom, and will probably try to make a simple rectangle tarp or square/diamond tarp, even though I ultimately want a hex tarp for myself. But I'm also thinking about making a UQ and maybe TQ to practice those techniques.

    Since it's summer, and I'd likely end up making a more "permanent" quilt system for myself as my skills develop, it'd probably be a 3/4 quilt just so it's easier to handle I think? For materials, I think I'll sacrifice an old crappy sleeping bag that I picked up for wicked cheap (like $17 cheap) a while back (ALPS Mountaineering Crescent Lake bag.) The fill is Techloft, which from the best I can tell (I have yet to rip the bag open and find out for sure) is "2" staple length", not continuous length. But, really, I'm more into this for the practice of making a quilt, before I go drop money on better shell/fill materials. Plus, since it's a -20 degree bag, I'll probably have enough fill to make a few different quilts.

    Would this bag make a good sacrifice for DIY-learning? It's wicked heavy, and compresses down to the size of a whale hemorrhoid. So big. I wouldn't take it backpacking, so really, it's just taking up space I think. And anyone have some good tips on how to most efficiently re-purpose and harvest the materials from the bag?

    I can post some pictures of it or something later if that matters.

  2. #2
    gargoyle's Avatar
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    A few things come to mind
    "will I learn anything diy'ing this bag?" - Heck yes, you'll learn about stitch ripping, how bags are made and how to destroy one. All good useful experience for future projects. Maybe a few new swear words too..

    Will you get any useful insulation? If the bag is truly a bag inside a bag, as they claim, you may be able to seperate the layers and get thinner layers. At $17, you got little to lose.

    Another option is to trim away enough of the bag and leave yourself with a uq sized piece, say a 40 x 50 or 60 inch rectangle. Add a suspension system of some sort.

    Save the rest for something, if theres enough leftover?

  3. #3
    Chammocks's Avatar
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    I made a 3/4 uq from a "quilt throw" I got at Bed Bath & Beyond. It was super easy. It had channels on the edges already so I ran some shock cord through. Presto. It's purple. Called a down alternate throw.
    I also made a full length down underquilt out of an old semi rectangular REI down bag. You can pick these up on ebay for like $50 bucks. I put four grosgrain loops on the corners, ran some shock cord through the top edge, which already had a channel for a draw cord, sewed folded 3/4" grosgrain to the bottom edge by hand for a bottom channel. Works great. The down bag was 52" by 79" The down alt throw uq is warm down to 40. The down takes be down below freezing somewhere, don't know how far yet.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Punchline View Post
    thread thrower
    Hmm, can I 'borrow' that phrase? <yoink!>

    I started with old sleeping bags too, sounds like a good idea to me.

  5. #5
    Senior Member nacra533's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gargoyle View Post
    A few things come to mind
    "will I learn anything diy'ing this bag?" - Heck yes, you'll learn about stitch ripping, how bags are made and how to destroy one. All good useful experience for future projects. Maybe a few new swear words too..
    Yeah. Funny how no one ever asks for stitch ripper recommendations or how to avoid slicing your project open when the thread ripper slips, usually in the very last inch (or dead center if it's more important). Every time I start to dismantle something, the fancy Lee Valley set seems much more reasonably priced.

  6. #6
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nacra533 View Post
    Yeah. Funny how no one ever asks for stitch ripper recommendations or how to avoid slicing your project open when the thread ripper slips, usually in the very last inch (or dead center if it's more important). Every time I start to dismantle something, the fancy Lee Valley set seems much more reasonably priced.
    Said it before.... even did a vid on it. Use a tailor's awl. That simple.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

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