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family quilts
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Rebecca Ribbing
(joyfulmama) - F

Locale: Alexandria, VA
family quilts on 03/05/2011 10:22:29 MST Print View

Hi everyone,

I lurk here mostly, but I'm coming out of lurk mode to ask a couple questions. I'm going to undertake making synthetic quilts for me, my hubby and my toddler. So...

1) Does anyone have any suggestions for toddler quilt designs? I'm leery of putting cording on the back, but need a way to keep it in place. My son doesn't like sleeping bags, which is what started me down the myog route. So I would love to learn for your experience and thoughts.

2) Any suggestions on couples quilts? Right now, I'm planning on a fairly basic rectangular shape with the bottom sewn up. I was going to make one for each of us and add velcro to the edges so that we can stay warm and cuddle, then also add the same to the little guy's quilt as well. Any other ideas for snazzing it up?

3) Apex? I've been holding off this winter on getting the materials for when this comes out, but now we've got a couple spring trips planned and I need to get going. It looks like OWF will have it soon from what people here have said. Any reason not to use it? There aren't that many reviews around yet that I've been able to find.

Thanks for any advice you can give!

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: family quilts on 03/06/2011 05:44:08 MST Print View

1) I make a kids quilt at the size of 1yd of material. 36x60ish. I use a zipper for the footbox that comes up 20-26". The zipper helps keep the bag in place as it zips almost half way up. I use a drawcord foot but no cords on the back or head. My 3yr old has slept in this many nights in her hammock. The temps were mostly mild but a few cold nights. Because to be safe i removed all the cords i just check the quilt every time i wake up to make sure it covers her well. she never woke up cold even in the driving rain crazy wind storm where i was freezing because i took the wrong quilt.

2) i have done a few of these. 80" head with 60" foot seem good and add 6" to the height of the tallest user (+seams) seems to get it done for most people of avg build.

3) The only material that would replace apex as #1 in my list is down. If you want a synthetic quilt use the apex it is the best of the best. Call them now and place an order as this stuff will be flying off the shelves, don't want to miss out.


Rebecca Ribbing
(joyfulmama) - F

Locale: Alexandria, VA
Thanks! on 03/06/2011 18:00:49 MST Print View

1) You can have a 3 year old in their own hammock? Oh that sounds so nice. When did you start this with her? Does she have any problem falling asleep without you there? My son sleeps in his own room at home, and I think that one of the reasons he has a harder time while camping is because he's not used to us being around. He just turned two though, so I'm not sure I'm ready to kick him out yet.

2) Do you have any footbox on the double sized ones? One of the reasons I was thinking that I would make two and velcro them together when needed was that it would be easier to accommodate a footbox that way.

3) I would love to do down, but it seems like that would require a lot more work, and I'm just not sure I'm up to that right now. If I needed it to be a winter quilt, I would go that route, but the coldest we see is high 30s. Who knows though, I could easily see making more than one as well. I will call OWF first thing in the morning and make an order for their next shipment.

Thanks for all your advice!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: family quilts on 03/06/2011 19:13:10 MST Print View

Hi Rebecca

As far as couples quilts goes, read MYOG_down_quilt_bag to see what I did.
Basically, I made our UL summer down quilts wide enough (for my wife and me) that I could layer one on the other to cover us both if it got really cold. That plus snuggling worked down to -7 C quite well.

Yes, you do need to 'pocket' the bottom end to stop the quilt from going walk-about during the night.

Kids? I suggest a sleeping bag/quilt design: 3/4 length zip. In fine weather he can quilt, and will get better at this as he gets older, but in the early stages on a cold night he might be persuaded that a zipped-up bag is warmer.


Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Thanks! on 03/06/2011 19:23:25 MST Print View

Hi Rebecca,

Tim made a very cool (well, actually quite warm) double quilt for me. Zippered footbox with drawstring closure (so the end doesn't have to be closed completely). Here's a pic from each end.

Take care,




Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Thanks! on 03/07/2011 07:10:35 MST Print View

1) yeah my daughter used a hammock two weeks last summer. One night she climbed in the tent with gramma and poppa and it started to rain so we just left her there and she took forever to sleep cause she wanted to play with them. In her hammock she is basically forced to lay in a reclined position and with nobody to play with falls asleep very fast, even at nap time. The hammock hangs right next to mine so i can reach over and check on her while still laying in my hammock all warm. I don't take her out when the temps could drop under 40*F for more than a few hours. She needs "camping" to be a fun experience with lots of high points to help it be something she will want to do year after year. For now that means avoiding hard and frustrating things when possible until she gets a little older. I made her hammock from 1 layer of 1.1rip and after 2 weeks found that it isn't mosquito proof. Don't learn this lesson like we did, she was one big bite. 2 layers will keep it big proof, or instead of attached bug net make one that surrounds the whole thing. Also with a hammock it is important to have the right bottom insulation, for kids pads won't work. she was under the pad in 10minutes. I had to rig an extra quilt as an underquilt for her. This year we won't get out much as we have another one coming in June but next time she will have the right gear.

2)All my quilts are flat with drawcord footboxes. 90%+ of my quilts are made with cuben fiber and are vapor barriers. On these quilts a non variable footbox would become a swimming pool, ask Steven Evans he has the 1st one with and it has the sewn in footbox. You can wear VB socks (as steve does) to cut down on this but the venting footbox is much better for the type of quilt i make (vb socks are still a good idea when it is cold and you need to close it up tight).

3)Down is great and there are many reasons i love it but APEX is a great option and will make some nice quilts.


Rebecca Ribbing
(joyfulmama) - F

Locale: Alexandria, VA
Thanks everyone! on 03/08/2011 13:15:03 MST Print View

You all have been super helpful. I just submitted my order at Thruhiker (who has apex in stock by the way).

Tim - I think I may have to pick up an extra hammock at some point and try it out on my son. You said that they are hanging right next to each other, do you hang them from the same tree? I can't imagine that, is it comfortable?

I went ahead with regular ripstop for this set of quilts. I'm not an ul'er naturally, but since having my son, it has started to become a requirement as carrying our ~3 Ib sleeping bags will no longer work! Once I'm finished with all three quilts, they will weigh less than the sleeping bags that hubby and I have had for a decade. Eventually, hopefully we will have the money to buy nice down ones to upgrade.

Doug - Thanks for the photos! That looks nice and toasty!

Roger - That's a great idea, doubling up on the wider quilts for added warmth!

Thanks again everyone! You all have made this a lot easier!