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Thread: VERY thick blanket!

  1. #1
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    Question VERY thick blanket!

    Ok, I am very new so I apologize if this is in the wrong place - Please put it where it needs to be if it's wrong!

    I need some advice!

    My project is a little unorthodox, and it's not exactly a quilt, but I figured the method would be similar.

    My husband and I will be living in a tent for a while - not sure how long - so I am making an extremely thick, wool, 2 person sleeping bag. The wool batting is 4" thick, the bottom side will be thick hemp canvas for durability, the top will be some type of thick cotton, and the interior will be probably linen. I'm also making a "sheet pocket" that we can remove and wash like a regular sheet. The entire thing laid flat will be about 108"x75" and will be folded to 54"x75" (we're both pretty small). I'm also debating between an ridiculously giant zipper and a row of buttons as a closure for the open side.

    Now, I know I need to tack the layers together to hold the batting in place and keep it from being a big, billowy mess, but how in the world do I baste a 4" thick comforter? Are there pins that enormous? Not to mention this thing is just really really big, so I need a way to hold it in place while still being able to work on it.

    Should I just lay it all out and work from one side? Wouldn't starting in the middle be better with everything held down?


    Sorry for all the questions - if this is something no one has any clue about because it's so weird, I understand, but I'm really stumped on this one!



    Thanks so much!

  2. #2
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    Wow, what temperatures are you planning to sleep outside in? Is the wool lightweight and puffy or is it dense? Most sleeping bags for extreme temperatures are very light weight and soft - check out a camping store. You want to make a sleeping that will dry quickly, it will get damp/wet from sweat, humidity or possible rain leaks AND should be dried daily.

    I would suggest using ties instead of sewing. Remember the more air pockets, the warmer it will be and it will also not overheat you either.

    To join the layers, use 2 zippers which meet or almost meet at the bottom middle, this allows the top and bottom layers to be totally separated - makes drying time faster because it is only half the thickness. This also allows if the bag is too warm for one of you, then you can unzip your side only. Most people make a double sleeping bag by joining two single sleeping bags - very easy to put together and take apart.

    Use a woolen hat! Keeps your head warm and your body warm too.

    If I was planning this adventure then my sleeping bag would be lighter than needed. If I was cold, I would cover the bag with additional blankets for warmth. I would NEVER be making sleeping bags. I would be purchasing two single sleeping bags with the appropriate temperature rating, and be making and/or buying the extra blankets. I have family members which camp during the Winter when it is -40F, and their biggest complaints are from being too warm or unable to dry their equipment.

    I hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    It will be quite a job to quilt it. I suggest tieing it instead. It is still going to be difficult and if you can get your husband to help you, hanging the whole sandwich from a clothesline or balcony might work if you can both stand on a side and pass the needle back and forth. Use strong string and make knots every 4 inches across the whole sandwich.
    I second the vote for buying Arctic weather sleeping bags.

  4. #4
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    Are you sure you wouldn't just want to zip two sleeping bags together as a base to start? As Scout campers, our bags are warm, lightweight and dry easily. Then you can focus on a cover and liners instead of reinventing a bag. If you do decide to make a bag, you could get long long zippers from army/navy surplus bags.

  5. #5
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I have no idea how you would make it. I am just content to stay in my warm house. Sleeping outside in any weather is past my comfort point.
    Good luck.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  6. #6
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    for the sewing to hold it together, zipper, etc- how about taking it to a saddle shop/shoe repair shop or something along that line. They have realllly heavy duty machines. They might also sew some lines on it that will hold it together. Just a thought. Canvas awning place? Boat tarp maker?
    So. Idaho-between Nevada & Sun Valley, Ida

  7. #7
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Interesting project!
    Take it to a longarm quilter; these machines were originally made to do bedspreads/comforters.
    Jan in VA
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    peacefully colors my world.
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  8. #8
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    I agree with those who recommend you take this project to a long arm quilter who can do this properly... also I recommend you put a plastic shower curtain or some kind of liner to protect you from dew or rain soaking into the comforter blanket..
    big hugs
    quiltinmama

  9. #9
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    I would suggest buying two Artic sleeping bags and zipping them together to make one giant one. They have a "waterproof" cover to keep out the dampness and plenty of padding to keep out the cold. I don't think you can successfully put the bag you are thinking about together on a domestic sewing machine.

  10. #10
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    Buy a double person sleeping bag! They are really nice and you can snuggle in them.

  11. #11
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    I agree with everyone. If you have already pur chased the bottom fabric still use it as a type of mattress under you as having plenty of warmth below is very very important.
    Enjoy your selves.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lclang View Post
    I would suggest buying two Artic sleeping bags and zipping them together to make one giant one. They have a "waterproof" cover to keep out the dampness and plenty of padding to keep out the cold. I don't think you can successfully put the bag you are thinking about together on a domestic sewing machine.
    And cheaper. -the heavy duty zippers alone will cost a fortune and that's if you can find them. I bought my son's sleeping bag at the Army Surplus store. It was both warm and light weight. I had a couple moving van pads that I sewed together around the outside hem and then one seam across the center length and width. He had plenty of pad under him. He went camping in February and that was up in NW Ohio on the shore line of Lake Erie. Day time temps were only in the 20's -and lord only knows how cold the nights were or the wind chill factor.The Army bag was plenty warm .

  13. #13
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    Tartan and the others are right, I would just add one small idea. I am too old and arthritic to sleep on a cool ground. I spent less than $100 on an air bed that had its own pump to inflate itself, and I just buy new batteries occasionally. (Never store them with the batteries installed.) Mine is a Queen size, double layer, but a single layer would be just as insulating and possibly leave less bedding to dry each day?) We use a smallish two room tent, (dogs get the other room) and the Queen air bed fits fine. My family teases us about our "Taj Mahal" campsite, but we don't mind as comfort is more important than conformity. You could then use your wonderful thick wool quilt as an extra layer on top if needed...
    Last edited by madamekelly; 04-18-2014 at 12:26 PM.
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

  14. #14
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    As you know by now, the monster you want will be almost impossible to dry. How about zipping two sleeping bags together, and sew your wool and sheet to the bottom by just a few stitches by hand in each corner and some in the middle, as if you were safety pinning it together. Do the same for the top layer. When you get back, you will be happy that you can take it apart to wash and dry.

  15. #15
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toverly View Post
    Are you sure you wouldn't just want to zip two sleeping bags together as a base to start? As Scout campers, our bags are warm, lightweight and dry easily. Then you can focus on a cover and liners instead of reinventing a bag. If you do decide to make a bag, you could get long long zippers from army/navy surplus bags.
    That was my first thought. When we camp, we zip two sleeping bags together and cover us both with an old down comforter. Always toasty and it has gotten down to 35 degrees.
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

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