Many have heard of the down throws sold by Costco and other vendors (Amazon link). I used one to convert my zpacks down sleeping back into a quilt and another to make a skirt, slipper, leggings and mittens (blog link). Finding my three-season quilt too warm for the hottest summer months, I decided to use another to make a summer-weight quilt. I’ve heard these are comfortable to 45-50F. I’m a warm sleeper so I’ll amend with my experience after some use.
- Down Throws (60″x70″), most will need to use two. You can also use a down sleeping bag or blanket, etc.
- Flat Buckles (sourced from Enlightened Equipment, Zpacks, Ripstock by the Roll, or Katabatic Gear)
- Webbing or elastic to use with buckles
Step 1 – Calculate Dimensions
Length – Add 10″ to your height to determine length
The quilt is 70″ long. I’m 64″ tall and found 72″ finished product length to be just right for me when I made my 3-season quilt. Mine is long enough I can throw over my face occasionally. For this project I decided to leave it 2″ short initially. I can add extra later if I find I want to option in the summer.
Top Width – Add 10″ to your shoulder girth measurement to determine top width
The quilt is 60″ wide. I’m have a loose shoulder girth measurement of about 45″. Adding 10″ makes my final top width 55″.
Footbox Width – Reduce 10″ from the top width.
For me that made it a 45″ width footbox.
Step 2 – Add Length and/or Width
Use the second quilt to add length or width to the base quilt. I included tips on a previous post when I added length to my zpacks bag before I converted it to a quilt (blog link). I still need to write my sleeping bag conversion post; maybe this will motivate me.
- Use a straight edge to create width angle. A sturdy tape measure worked for me. Mark the line. I use chalk.
- Sew on both sides of the chalk line leaving about 1/2″ in between.
- Cut between the sewn lines (this helps contain the down).
- Repeat for opposite edge using the initial cut as a template.
- Finish the edge. I zigzag and then roll and straight stitch to make a clean edge.
I tried several methods when I created my 3-season quilt. I found I preferred a sewn footbox to a snapped or tied version.
- Verify you are working on the narrow end.
- Connect the sides by zigzagging together the lower 4-6″.
- Match the bottom edge, right sides together, placing your connected seam in the middle.
- Sew together the bottom edge. To eliminate air entry you want to have a good seal. I used a tight zigzag stitch, repeating a second time. I put the seam on the inside of my footbox.
You’ll want to review quilt designs to determine which system you think might work best for you. I started with the idea of attaching my quilt to the pad but found I didn’t need or like it. A few systems to review include Enlightened Equipment, Zpacks, and Katabatic Gear. My preference is four flat buckles attached to the long edges with webbing. My placement is one at the top, another about 14″ below. Then one about 14″ up from the bottom and another 10″ higher. Most often I sleep with the lowest and highest buckled and only use the others on colder or breezy nights.
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