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MYOG Down Quilt
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Cam Mcanally
(cambam) - F

Locale: Research Triangle
MYOG Down Quilt on 10/04/2009 20:22:09 MDT Print View

Hello guys and gals, I'm about to embark on a hopefully painless journey and make the quilt kit from Thruhiker using Momentum fabric and 15 oz of down. I've found a few decent threads on here and a smattering few elsewhere, but I'm looking for a few more threads concerning down quilt construction before I commence with the project. Heck, even any info about synthetic quilt construction wouldn't hurt one bit, as it's never bad to have too much info.

Would you guys be kind enough to list any threads or sites you've come across that may be of some help? Thanks in advance for the help.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: MYOG Down Quilt on 10/04/2009 20:53:30 MDT Print View has some good info as well. When I made mine I used a 48" width at the top, 78" long, and tapered to 36" at the foot. Luckily I'm a pretty slim guy because its just a smidge tight. The dimensions linked above would be more comfortable for me. Right now I have to roll over carefully, otherwise I get a cold draft down my back :).

The biggest piece of advice I can offer is be patient with the down. The cutting and sewing of the baffles is easy but tedious but the down almost drove me over the edge. I can assure you that after its all over you would be so proud of it. It is by far the best thing I have ever made and totally worth all the headaches of working with the down.

With that said if I ever make another quilt its going to use synthetic insulation. I'm never, ever working with down again, I can pay someone else to deal with that :P.


Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: MYOG Down Quilt on 10/04/2009 22:46:44 MDT Print View

This is what i do...

cut the fabric 1" bigger on all sides than my desired dimensions.

pin hem all the edges so the raw edges are folded onto the wrong side of the fabric. This will give you the cleanest edge possible, compared to a rolled over edge, which looks more MYOG.

I use construction style (60" & 72") straight edges to draw the baffle lines on the fabric with washable markers ( i space 5" or 6" apart sewing the baffles with .25" seam allowance)

sew on the baflles to one side, sew the drawcord tube into the top (must plan the way you sew baffles or you may have to sew the bottom drawcord tube first *i use flat cut with zipper and drawcord to make footbox*) then sew the baffles to the other side.

sew it together on one side (add the zipper if using one for the footbox) and add the bottom drawcord tube.

You will now have 1 side open so you can add the down. This edges should be finished on both the top and bottom pieces (they are still pinned right?)

To fill with down i run a sting across my room to hang the open edge of the quilt on so i can stuff the down in. I use a shop vac with 2 extensions that i use just for down. the first ext. has no-see-um mesh duct taped to the end, the second ext slides over the mesh and creates a chamber that holds the down. I use a trash can full of down on my scale to measure how much down i am putting in each baffle. I suck up 5-10 grams per time then blow it into the baffles until each is full. Then i pin the side together and take it to the machine and sew it up.

I think that's it.


Edited by MarshLaw303 on 10/04/2009 22:48:08 MDT.

Cam Mcanally
(cambam) - F

Locale: Research Triangle
quarantine? on 10/05/2009 05:40:49 MDT Print View

Thanks Tim and Adam. I've spent the better part of the past few days getting my junk room prepped by either moving stuff out or covering up things that I'm leaving in there. I must remember to cover the A/C vents later, that could be disastrous!

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Re: MYOG Down Quilt on 10/05/2009 10:31:17 MDT Print View

if you go the shop vac route you can use it to suck up any down that escapes from the trash can. My down room is a mess because i'm lazy but it really isn't that messy, i just do down in there on a regular basis so i don't get too worried about it, it is my gear room so maybe the down will stick to my other gear making it warmer!


Edited by MarshLaw303 on 10/05/2009 22:28:48 MDT.

Jonathan Duckett
(Thunderhead) - F

Locale: Great Smoky Mountains
Re: Re: Re: MYOG Down Quilt on 10/05/2009 17:24:24 MDT Print View

Quilt tutorial on Practical Backpacking

Different language but the picture sure helped.

PM me if you need additional links as I was in the same position you were in and asked some questions in the forums here too.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: MYOG Down Quilt on 10/05/2009 23:05:05 MDT Print View

In full detail and glorious techncolour:

You need a subscription though.


scott Nelson
(nlsscott) - MLife

Locale: So. Calif.
Keep it wide enough on 10/07/2009 18:17:23 MDT Print View

My only advice would be to add extra width for the quilt. I am always surprised by how much the quilt "narrows" after you stuff it. And on a cold an windy night, I am always wanting more coverage down my back as I roll over on to my side.

Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
width on 10/07/2009 21:46:59 MDT Print View

One way to make sure it is wide enough is to lie under the fabric on your side with one shoulder on the ground, the opposite up. drape the quilt over you and measure. If the quilt is not wide enough the edges will rise off the ground when you roll over or sleep on your side creating drafts. Adding tapered "flaps" of single layer of nylon along the edges works great to help keep the quilt "tucked in".
To stuff in the down, I used a small bathroom, hung the baffles vertically on the towel rack, used small binder clips to close them when full. I just used my hands with the bag of down on a scale so I could see how much weight I was using. If your hands are sweaty the down will stick to them. Use climbers chalk to cover your hands, so the down will not stick to them. Move slowly. Sure down will float away, but it is easy enough to pick up off the floor later. Here are some pics. The black quilt was a Neatoman design with a foot box added for warmth.

If you use masking tape along the baffle sew lines, try to have the tape on the edge that will end up outside the "tunnel of the baffle, so that the tape is easier to remove. Just keep an eye out for that as you sew.

Lay the outline of your quilt on a floor with masking tape, or on a table, like a ping pong table. That will give you a guide for your cuts. You can do it for the baffles, too, ie. you will have tape going across the pattern along the lines where you will sew on the baffles.

Remember, when you read the directions all at once, it can be confusing and discouraging. But, when you go step-by-step as you sew, the directions become much more clear and understandable.

Go for it. Down packs down much smaller than synthetic, taking up less room in your pack.

Sleeping bag, next?

Edited by rambler on 10/07/2009 22:00:38 MDT.

Timo Anttalainen

Locale: Finland, Espoo
Re: Re: Re: Re: MYOG Down Quilt on 10/08/2009 10:28:34 MDT Print View in english:

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: MYOG Down Quilt on 10/16/2009 15:59:22 MDT Print View

All the posts so far are good advice. I've gotta try the shop vac trick.

Pay particular attention to making sure the quilt is wide and long enough. I wear a 44 long jacket, so I like a 58"-wide quilt. If the quilt is short in any dimension, you won't like it. If it is too big, you can always shake the down out of the way and trim it smaller.

You can save weight and bulk by tapering the top foot by 6 inches on each side. IOW, the drawstring casing will be a foot shorter. This saves weight and makes the top fit better around the shoulders when you snug the drawstring.