Down quilt sewing process
29 September 2010

One typical lightweight piece of gear is the down-quilt. Because commercial quilts are quite expensive or heavy a myog quilt is of choice. It is a lot of work, but quite simple and the result is astonishing.

What you will need:

  • sewing utilities

  • a really big water container, something like a bath tub

  • your materials, in my case: Pertex Quantum, Nanoseeum, 350g 800 fill power goose down (yeah baby)

  • a big bag of nanoseeum, used to wet your down

This is the cut I used, it is not perfect, now I would not make the foot part rectangular, trapezoid shape. As for my size, I’m about 1,73m tall.

Pattern

Before you cut your materials make a prototype from some scrap material, use tape or sew it together, just to see if the size fits. Have a second person watch you turn around in your quilt, you won’t recognize any gaps, but the other person will(a camera would do too). After you have your exact quilt size, go and cut.

Cut
Corner

You’ll save a lot of time if you fold the material, so that you cut 2 layers of it.

Cut 2

After you cut the main body of the quilt it is time for the nanoseeum. Originally I wanted to use a chamber width of 10cm. Because of a mistake it became 14cm, which works well and saved some chambers. The height is 7cm for 350g of down. Feel free to calculate the height, or just steel it from others :) Cut a baffle from a peace of hard paper. Fold your nanoseeum n times around this piece of paper to get all the baffles with one cut.

Baffles 1
Baffles 2

Now you can start sewing the baffles to your quilt. To save you some trouble follow the following process:

  • cut another piece of hard paper for your chamber width

  • use it to mark the future seams with a pen Baffle Markings

  • don’t use any tape with this thin material! ( I did, it sucked)

  • sew the baffles to one side of the quilt, foot to top area Baffles complete

  • use a small piece from your baffle height paper and put some sticky tape on one side of it.

  • when you sew to the other side use the piece of paper to get the right distance to the edge of the nanoseeum Baffle width

Now all your baffles are sewn in, close one side of the quilt, wrap the fabric around(2x) to avoid fray.

Closing the side
Closing the side 2

Now make your bath tub full of water and sew the bag. Open your down bags in the water and the bag, try to keep them all in the bag and wet them.

They do not want to get wet!

Make sure they do…​ After all your down is wet collect the remaining down in the tub with your bag (whale-plankton tactic) and put it to the other down. Now you can weigh and portion the down for your chambers.

Down portions
Single baffle down filling

Put them in the corresponding chambers but skip the last chamber. This is the chamber where the drawcord channel will be and you still have 2 openings, this chamber can’t hold the down. Now close the other side like the previous one. Put the down in the last chamber, close the last opening and sew your drawcord channel, the one at the bottom, too. Almost finished!

Now put your quilt in a drier and try to dry it out. I did this for 1,5 hours: 10 minutes drying, shaking 10 minutes drying, shaking…​. Then let it dry for a week. Now you can put your drawcords in their channels and sew the foot part together(either directly or with a zipper)

Done:

Wet quilt
Closed Footbox
Leg closing
Open foodbox