I'm very new to camping/hiking (other than car camping) but got hooked on some of Ray Jardine's designs for ultralight hiking/camping while being cost efficient. I purchased a quilt kit, tarp-tent, net-tent and had it all shipped to my parent's house.
My mother is an incredible quilter and I knew I'd need her help in interpreting the instructions and actually putting the items together. We actually did this on Mother's day...a little bonding is always a good present. :)
We decided to start with the quilt, figuring it would be easier...not so sure after the fact knowing how thick that batting was (I ordered the alpine upgrade) and sewing all three layers together. Here are some pics from our progress:
In the middle of construction we took a break. My Mother wanted a ride on my new bike, so who am I to deny her? :p
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b50/bster13/IMG_2153.jpg (I love to camp while on long motorcycle trips!)
We finished most everything, including the gorget and draft stopper. Our progress was halted at the end because we did not have a needle large enough to accommodate the thick yarn that holds the insulation in place. Once that is complete we just need to sew up the footbox, not a big deal. In the end there were some steps that I thought could be better described. Especially making some of the cuts or laying out the two layers of rip-stop and the insulation in between. It's much easier to work with the rip-stop separately from the thick batting, then once you have the rip-stop cut out lay the battering under it and use the rip-stop as a cutting template, rather than trying to cut all three layers at once. We also gave a 1 inch allowance for the amount of batting needed (the instructions have you take specific measurements for the length and width considering your height/girth) and then trimmed the excess before we starting sewing it all together. In the end, we figured everything out, and the instructions were good. The thread I purchased from Ray-Way.com was a good buy as well, as my mother compared it to some thread she had that she thought was strong and the Ray-Way thread was superior, good to know it wasn't some marketing BS. :p
We anticipate the tent projects to be even easier without having to work with the insulation and thus far (with my mother's sewing technique and ray-way design & materials) the quiet looks very professional. :)
I'll post more pics as we make more progress.