Custom Quilt with No Cold Spots!

There is nothing worse than being woken up in the middle of the night by the cold because the down in my quilt has migrated to the sides. 

My latest "ultimate quilt". Finally no more cold spots. 

After making an "ultimate" winter quilt last season I thought everything would be fine, until I woke up with freezing toes in October. I couldn't believe it. My "ultimate" quilt had 15 ozs of 900 f/p down and I was still cold!

When I got home I tried adding additional vertical baffles to the footbox. . . and by March I was sleeping through the night while cowboy camping on the snow. 

For this season in the Sierras I set out to make a lightweight 3 season quilt with no cold spots. I added horizontal and vertical baffles throughout and there are NO sewn through seams. I am 6' 195 lbs so I made it 6'8" long and 57" wide at the shoulders and hips. The last 5 baffles gradually narrow to the 40" foot girth". 

I decided to use blue M50 for the shell and grey NoBul 1 for the liner. Although M50 has a good DWR it has a plastic feel so I used NoBul 1 for the shell and liner on the top baffle. The baffles are 0.34 oz/sqyd cuben. 

Also, considering the Zpacks and Katabatic 30 degree quilts w/ similar dimensions are between 16.4 ozs and 20.1 ozs I figured a weight in the 16.5 to 17.5 oz range was reasonable.

Making the horizontal and vertical baffle 'matrix' was more work than I had imagined. After experimenting I realized that it was best to just attach the horizontal and vertical baffles first, then attach the whole thing to the shell. 

I used 17 baffles total. The first 11 are 57" x 5" x 1.75". The next 5 diminish in width from 55" to 40" (also 5" x 1.75"). The last one is made up of two baffles, each is 20" x 1.75" x 1.75". This final double baffle is used to cover the seam of the interior of last baffle on the liner. 

The middle 37" of each horizontal baffle is completely sealed by vertical baffles. The idea is to keep the down in this middle baffle over the body (and not migrate to the sides). The remaining sides of each horizontal baffle are also sealed. 

The center of the bottom of the footbox is made up of 5 baffles that diminish in size as they reach the foot end. Each of these is continuous and none of the seams are sewn through. 

To complicate things each baffle had to be stuffed and sealed individually before moving on to the next. 

I calculated the weight of the down to be 11.48 ozs before starting. This is based on 30% over-stuff using 900 f/p down. 

The final weight for the completed quilt turned out to be 17.53 ozs. 

Although the baffles are only 1.75" deep the single layer loft is around 2.5" between baffles (about 5" double layer loft). 2.5" of single layer loft should be warm to 20 degrees. This is about 10 degrees warmer than I had anticipated.

Sewing the baffles before attaching them to the quilt material. 

The shell material with some of the baffles attached. 

Finally all of the baffles are attached to the shell.

Next I sewed the liner material to the inner baffles and added the down. 

Then added the down to the side baffles. 

Finally I added the down to the center baffles and sewed the footbox area.

I added two baffles at the end just to cover the seam at the end of the footbox.

The finished footbox.

The finished footbox.

A close-up of the baffles on the inside of the quilt. They are 1 3/4" tall. 

The total combined/two sided loft is about 5". 


  1. This is fantastic. I just finished making my first quilt and it turned out awesome but I really struggled with the footbox. Mine was more of a square and I had the hardest time getting it the right size and then sewing it right so that it looked good. I love your design, I may have to try that one next.

    1. Thanks, I'm glad you liked it. I'm planning on trying more of a square shaped footbox net time. . . the journey to quilt perfection is never ending!

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