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7d Karo Step Sewn-Thru Quilt
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Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
7d Karo Step Sewn-Thru Quilt on 07/24/2011 10:47:29 MDT Print View

A lot of quilts being made right now, might as well throw mine in the mix. I was planning to buy some M55 for a summer quilt, but once the SevenD fabric was released figured I would give it a shot instead. Pics below. The 7d was pretty easy to work with in my opinion. I haven't tested the DWR yet, but the cire finish seems really good. Not a single bit of down has escaped thus far(quality of down helps too)

Final weight with cord, toggles, etc is 11.3oz which I am really happy with.

For the sake of weight it would be much nicer to be short! Between extra fabric and down this quilt would be ~10oz if it was made for someone 5'10" instead of 6'5".

Length: 85"
Width(head): 54"
Width(foot): 42"
Down: 7 oz 900fp
Fabric weight: 4 oz
Toggles: Quest Mini Mini's...FYI Lighter than the Zpacks tiny toggles
Cord: Zpacks Poly Cord
Baffle type: Karo Step 12/6

Hard to tell here but it has a curved taper from head to foot.

Closed up and ready for action.

Thanks for looking!


Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: 7d Karo Step Sewn-Thru Quilt on 07/24/2011 11:15:42 MDT Print View

Nice work Ryan.

I'm curious though, what are your measured "finished" dimensions vs the "rough" dimensions?

Being sewn thru, and "box" quilted, I imagine you're loosing quite a bit of length and width, vs either horizontal or vertical stitching, where I've observed an average of 7-9" linear shrinkage on a sewn-thru quilt with 5" stitch line offset (chamber size if you will).

Another interesting thing is when you factor in that shrinkage, you're not actually saving any weight over using baffles made out of say sevenD or .33oz cuben. Although it's definitely less work.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: 7d Karo Step Sewn-Thru Quilt on 07/24/2011 12:11:23 MDT Print View

Hi Javan,

You're right, it's less work. Baffles over a sewn thru will definitely save you on area, but it will definitely not save you time which was one of my main concerns. I only need a light summer quilt so why over build it? I went with Karo instead of horizontal stitching solely because I hadn't used that style before and was curious if I would like it.


Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Re: Re: 7d Karo Step Sewn-Thru Quilt on 07/24/2011 12:30:37 MDT Print View

Ryan, certainly, I totally agree.

Just putting that information out there, and still curious what your observed shrinkage was?

How wide did it end up coming out from a 54" starting width?

Loft wise it looks too warm for a summer quilt! ;) Did you calculate for desired target loft based on area or did you use an arbitrary "x" oz of fill to determine the 7oz fill weight?

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re on 07/24/2011 12:49:28 MDT Print View


Finished width came in at 50". Length is 79" which is about what I figured based on others who used a sewn thru with horizontal stitching. Wasn't sure where the width would turn up, I had guessed about 3" loss.

Calculated the amount of down based on a desired 1.5" loft and it came out to about 6.5oz of down. Put seven in there because I was a little concerned about down shifting too easily, but after playing with it I wouldn't be concerned next time. Final loft is little less than 2".


Edited by ViolentGreen on 07/24/2011 13:20:36 MDT.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Re on 07/24/2011 12:54:03 MDT Print View


I expect you'll be warm to 35 in that thing at-least.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
I like it on 07/24/2011 15:27:51 MDT Print View



I like the simpler (than box) construction of your quilt and, of course, the weight.

I wonder if there is any way to logic out how to compare a bag with sewn through construction with one having box construction. Would, for example, a box construction bag with 1.5" of loft be about as warm as one with 2" of sewn through construction?

To go one step further I've considered trying a short quilt that only covers me from neck to knees. My feet sleep warm and are usually out of the bag all night anyway.

How did you come up with the size of the sewn through boxes? Why not half the size or twice the size? Any guidelines or thoughts on this?

I like anything that moves toward simplicity of construction and your quilt is a move in that direction.


Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: I like it on 07/24/2011 18:02:33 MDT Print View

Hi Daryl,

All things being equal, I think a sewn thru Karo style would be warmer than a standard sewn thru with horizontal stitching but I don't know of a way to test that other than out in the field. I am basing this assumption off the fact that my quilt has ~219" of stitching, the same quilt with horizontal channels would have ~565 inches of stitching. So, much more area for cold spots to develop. One of the quilt gurus like Tim or Javan can jump in here and correct me if I'm wrong. Maybe this only makes a couple degrees difference, I dunno.

Box sizing - The most common box sizing for Karo quilts is a 12"/6" box. I figured why invent the wheel and just used that for mine(except on the four outermost boxes, those are 10"/6". If I was doing this exact quilt again I would use 14"/6". There is no down shift with the current set up so I think you could get by with a larger box. It would make the construction even more simple.


Edited by ViolentGreen on 07/24/2011 18:03:38 MDT.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Re: I like it on 07/24/2011 18:26:41 MDT Print View

The major issue with sewn through construction regardless of style, is that below 35 deg (this is the generally accepted baseline, but YMMV), the issue of cold air "drafting" through the stitch work becomes very difficult to counter act by adding more down around it.

We often refer to it as "drafting", but it's really more like seeping. The primary issue of course, is that where your stitch work is, you've got effectively "zero" insulation, ramping up from that area to the middle of your "chambers", where you've got the thickest insulation.

So, it depends on your sleep temp, but don't count on going below 35 with something like this, and just bear in mind, that it's tougher to layer insulative clothing under a sewn-thru quilt also.

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: 7d Karo Step Sewn-Thru Quilt on 07/25/2011 06:47:59 MDT Print View

very nice work! for what it is worth my first KARO quilt was 10/6, then i did 12/6 and like you i was very impressed with the down control and now do them all 14/6 and have been very happy


Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: 7d Karo Step Sewn-Thru Quilt on 07/30/2011 14:17:33 MDT Print View

Can anyone give a little more info on the 7d fabric as to where to purchase it?

I've done a few searches and came up dry.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
Re: Re: Re: 7d Karo Step Sewn-Thru Quilt on 07/30/2011 14:30:06 MDT Print View

tigoat sells it

Jean-Francois Jobin
(jfjobin) - MLife
Wow.. on 07/31/2011 09:48:33 MDT Print View

Hi Ryan,
if you want try a 14-6 karo with same fabric.I order one from you.Why not?if you interested PM me.

Jean-Francois Jobin
(jfjobin) - MLife
WoW... on 07/31/2011 21:01:13 MDT Print View

Maybe during your winter time...

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
7d Karo Step Sewn-Thru Quilt on 07/31/2011 21:45:02 MDT Print View

So how do you get the down in the boxes? And what's karo for us non-cognescenti?

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: 7d Karo Step Sewn-Thru Quilt on 08/01/2011 06:59:36 MDT Print View

KARO Step is a type of baffling commonly found in goods made for the bedroom. Some guys on H.F. made a few quilts with this baffle design and it has gained interest because the entire bag is just one large chamber. This allows all the down to be inserted and at one time and then evenly distributed. When we talk about 12/6 10/6 or 14/6 we are talking about the size of the boxes, 10, 12 or 14 and the size of the baffle walls, 6. Each box has a baffle centered on each side. if the box is 14" and the baffle 6" then there will be a gap of 4" on each side of every baffle. when you start putting these boxes side by side the 4" gap is next to another 4" gap so you have 6" baffle 8" gap. With baffles going in both directions your down control is very high but the overall baffle length is very low, almost half that of a traditional quilt. It allows for a lighter quilt, less baffle materials, and simpler construction, less sewing and only have to measure down once then stuff it all in.


Chris Lucas
(ChemE) - F

Locale: SC
Thanks Tim on 08/01/2011 07:17:39 MDT Print View

Nice explanation, it turns out I didn't properly understand this concept either until I read your explanation. I threw together a quick SketchUp model for those of us who are more visual learners than auditory.

Jeremy Osburn

Locale: New England
interesting. on 08/01/2011 10:51:41 MDT Print View

I started watching you guys explain this process a month or so ago. I just assumed it wouldn't work with a real baffle, I took it as it had to be a sewn thru construction. Do you see a limit in the height of the baffle for this sewing process?

Could it also be used on other garmets? I made the thru-hiker pattern down jacket last winter, and I am thinking about eventually making a baffled jacket for extremely cold weather.

Brad Walker

Locale: SoCal
Garments on 08/01/2011 12:26:37 MDT Print View

Would there be too much down migration in something like a jacket that you wear vertically and rustle around in?

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Garments on 08/02/2011 06:25:52 MDT Print View

it might be possible. obviously you'd want a smaller box than 14" for a down jacket but with some scaling you might pull off a great piece of kit. I may have to give it a go myself (add to list of projects i want to do but will never have time for, go)