Camping skills: How to make your own camping quilt
Camping magazine reader Yvonne Perk reveals how to create your own luxury quilt for camping trips
Having finished making my zipped-in groundsheet and adding flaps to my Outwell tent (click here to find out more), I decided my next project would be a lovely camping quilt.
These are really popular in the States, but not so common here in the UK, but you can buy them if you search. They are very expensive, though so I decided to make one.
I used Skylon fabric for the shell, a breathable showerproof fabric with a very nice soft feel to it. The down is held in place with 2in baffles made using mosquito netting.
Overall it’s just over 7ft long and 5ft wide with a loft (thickness) of about 3in, using very high quality 800-fill down. The finished quilt is ultralight and packs very small, but it is good for very cold/minus temperature camping.
It’s hugely thermally efficient due to the slanted box baffles and just very snuggly. They are great because you don’t have that squashed-in feeling you get from sleeping bags and you can cuddle up in it on chilly evenings.
HOW TO MAKE A CAMPING QUILT
1 This is the mosquito netting you need to make the internal baffles - you have to put in baffles or sew in pockets, otherwise your down will naturally migrate to the base and you’ll end up with a big fat quilt at the bottom and no more than two pieces of fabric at the top. The fabric is cut in 3 inch wide strips so you have 1in for each seam and 2ins for the baffle (wall) height.
2 This is the skylon fabric the shell of the quilt is made from. Your baffles should be equal size so it’s best to chalk line where the baffles should be sewn to. Here I’ve drawn chalk lines every three inches. This is where I will sew my netting to the quilt. I’ve designed this so that the baffles run horizontally rather than from top to bottom. My skylon fabric was one continual length and I didn’t want to cut it unnecessarily so I just marked where the middle was (hence the centre arrow) to save cutting it and having to sew a seam.
3 Sewing the strips of netting to the quilt along the chalk lines that I had made earlier.
4 Sew a net strip to every chalk line on one side of your quilt and you end up with this. Next you sew the netting to the other side and eventually you end up with little boxes which keep your down in place. There are 20 baffles in this quilt.
5 Here I’ve sewn the top of the netting to the top of the fabric and then I’ve sewn the bottom of the netting to the bottom fabric. This makes a little wall which stops the down moving about and keeps it in its own little chamber.
6. You end up with nice little channels for your down to rest in. Here you can see that because I’ve sewn my net to the chalk lines on my skylon fabric I know that they are precisely three inches apart. My netting strips are 2ins high.
7 I didn’t get a photo of me stuffing the quilt as I locked myself in the bathroom to do it (don’t even think about trying to do this in anything but a small sealed location - it gets everywhere!). So we jump to this photo of the finished quilt… here it is all stuffed and fluffed. The sew lines you can see are where I’ve sewn the baffles inside - it makes a lovely pattern when you’ve finished.
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