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thru hiker quilt
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Jeffrey McConnell
thru hiker quilt on 05/08/2010 15:53:37 MDT Print View

I am interested in acquiring a 3 season quilt. I'm torn between just buying one or giving the thru hiker kit a try. What sewing skills do I need to make the thru hiker quilt? Right now I have none, but I'm very willing/eager to learn. I'm planning on taking a 2 hour intro course at Joanns and I have a very talented grandmother and mother in law who would be willing to help out. However, I'd like to do most the work myself. Am I over my head for a first MYOG project with the thru hiker quilt kit?

John Addleman
(Jaddleman) - F

Locale: Boulder
med-hard on 05/08/2010 18:24:29 MDT Print View

How long do you have? If you want to do most of the work, it might be a bit much for #1. If you have time, you could make a couple easier projects first.

Jeffrey McConnell
no rush on 05/08/2010 19:22:19 MDT Print View

I'm not in any real hurry, but it would be nice to be able to use it this summer. I have a 15 degree bag right now and sometimes its just too warm. What kinds of projects would be good to work on first?

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
re: thru hiker quilt on 05/08/2010 20:24:37 MDT Print View

Jeff, One of the best first projects is silnylon stuff sacks. Extremely easy to sew and it is an item you can use right away. After that probably the next easiest is a 5x8 silnylon tarp or try making the thru-hiker minima vest.

Though techinically not that hard there are a few challenging steps to a down quilt. If you don't sew yet I would recommend you make a light synthetic quilt first. Much easier to do and much cheaper.

One word of warning the thru-hiker down quilt kit is nothing more than 2 pieces of material, some noseeum netting, and 2 bags of down (6 oz each). There are no other instructions then what you find online. You will need thread, drawcord, cord locks, and other items depending on how you choose to finish the quilt.

Good luck,

Jeffrey McConnell
Re: re: thru hiker quilt on 05/09/2010 12:52:31 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the advice Jamie. I think stuff sacks is a good place to start. Do you know where I could find plans/materials for a synthetic quilt? I think that would be a fun project after making a few stuff sacks.

Edited by Catalyst on 05/09/2010 12:53:06 MDT.

David Franzen
(dfranzen) - F

Locale: Germany
Re: Re: re: thru hiker quilt on 05/09/2010 14:33:45 MDT Print View

my first sewing experience was a teddy bear some 7 or 8 years ago, although i have to admitt, my mom helped me a whole lot on this.

earlier this year, my second sewing project then was a baffled (not sewn through) down vest. i did it all by my self. i constructed it in such a way that all the difficult seams were on the inside. in that way it looks good on the outside and the the 2 or 3 not so nice seams are not visible.

it took a whole lot of time, but in the end i'm very happy with it. i'd regard a quilt not more difficult than a vest. so if you are somewhat a handyman, go for it. (BUT: dont expect your first project to be cheaper than buying it)

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
quilt v. vest on 05/09/2010 15:02:28 MDT Print View

Making a quilt would (imo) be much easier than the vest kit.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
re: thru hiker quilt on 05/09/2010 17:52:39 MDT Print View

I agree with David C. that a synthetic quilt would be easier than the vest. I was thinking of it as a stepping stone before making the down quilt.

Jeff, I would recommend getting Ray Jardine's book "Trail Life". It has a chapter on making your own gear. It is biased towards Ray's design, but that is understandable as it is his book. He starts with showing how to make simple items like stuff sacks, gloves, hats, and then migrates to tarps, quilts, and packs. His kits are versions of what he has in the book.

If you wanted to go straight for a synthetic quilt you might want to buy a kit from Ray.

Rayway Quilt

What you will find is that there are many ways to make a quilt. Most of that is in how the footbox is formed. But the basic synthetic quilt is just 2 pieces of breathable nylon (momentum 90 or 1.1 oz ripstop) with a layer of climashield XP in between. Check out this link the Mountain Laurel Designs that shows a synthetic quilt the is commercially available.

MLD Spirit Quilt

Here is a link to the down quilt I did. It will provide an insight into an alternative way to form the footbox.

Jamie's Quilt

I did use the thru-hiker quilt kit to make this quilt and it is one of my favortite pieces of gear. I spent 2 nights in it in the Smoky Mountains just last week. It was warmer then I needed so next I might be making me a summer quilt.


Jeffrey McConnell
Re: re: thru hiker quilt on 05/12/2010 13:02:20 MDT Print View

Thanks for the information. I enjoyed looking at your site. The design you used for your down quilt is actually the same design I'm interested in using - you want to make another one? ;) I'll have to start with stuff sacks and go from there. I've considered buying a commercially available down quilt - something like the JRB sierra sniveler, but it seems a lot cheaper making your own with the thru hiker kit.

Edited by Catalyst on 05/12/2010 13:16:06 MDT.