This morning I got up and decided to finish this thing. I got everything pinned and ready last night, so today my big job was to sew around the outside twice, turn it inside out, and sew the end. I put the sewing machine on the floor, held my breath, and pushed the foot pedal (with my hand).
Sewing went rather well. My only complaint is the HyperD fabric stretches. Its not as stable as regular square nylon, which means measured distances don’t always wind up being right. Good for hammocks, because when you lay in them they sort of conform to your body. Bad for quilts, because you’re trying to sew three layers together. I had a few wrinkles here and there where the shell layer wanted to stretch more than the liner (which was locked in place because of the cord channels already sewn on. I got through it and pulled all the pins out. The fuzzy insulation was still sticking out the sides and I thought it looked sort of like a ridiculous Santa suit for a hippie Santa.
I showed it to the wife, who agreed. A dark red tie-dyed Santa suit. Ho Ho Ho, merry April 20th, and all that. I went back in the den, cut off the fuzz sticking out, and sewed around the entire thing again. Then it was a simple matter to reach into the foot end, grab the loops, and flip the whole thing inside out. The final step on the quilt itself is running the suspension cords. It was pretty easy, all my channels poked out correctly. There was only one channel that I almost sewed closed because it wrinkled, but there was just enough opening to get the cord through. I used black cord on the sides and ends, but I ran short because of bad planning. I had some leftover yellow reflective stretchy cord, so I used that for my hanging rope. It helps that it is yellow, because I know which cord hangs from the whoopie hooks.
Above you can see a terrible cell phone picture of my hammock with the quilt hung under it. It hangs rather well, and is the right length. Below is a picture of the hammock and quilt suspension. The bright green line on the left goes to the tree strap. The dark grey line on the right is the hammock suspension line, it is just a continuous loop right to the end of the hammock. The yellow and black bungee cord is for the underquilt. One hook holds everything up. My hands are stained from Tie-Dye AT-shirts I’m selling, but thats another post.
The tie-outs worked pretty well. The one on my right side (when I lay in the hammock) was right on target. The opposite one was about 3 inches off, which is pretty good for fitting a hammock when I didn’t even measure the hammock itself. The tie-out cords are stretchy, also, so if the loops don’t exactly line up, it’s not an issue. The picture makes it hard to distinguish the shell from the hammock. The hammock is also tie-dyed, but it is red, blue, and light blue, where the quilt is all red and black.
Below, I stuck my hand out the hammock and took a picture. You can really see the difference between the quilt and hammock colors. The bright red and black strips are my cord channels at the edge of the quilt. The light blue/red with the net is the hammock of course. The quilt set up pretty easily, and provided a good bit of breeze protection on the sides and underneath. The ends sagged a bit, but I suspect with some cord adjustments the ends will snug up just fine.
After a quick test (because it was 97 degrees and the bugs wanted to carry me off), I rolled everything up and dumped it in the den floor. My last chore was designing a stuff sack for the quilt. I normally HATE making sacks, but this one was pretty easy. I had a good idea of the size I wanted, about 7 inches in diameter by a foot long. I took a pice of scrap, cut a rectangle 24 inches wide by about 18 inches. I rolled a hem along the long side for the draw cord, then folded the sack in half and sewed the side, and then the bottom, leaving about 4 inches of scrap which I cut off. I didn’t measure, I just cut it off where it “looked right”. Another set of stitches all the way down the side and bottom, after rolling the edges over, and the sack was done. I ran the draw cord around the top channel and put on a cord lock. The quilt stuffs into it just fine but it’s a little bulky.
But, the quilt saves me the hassle of toting my sleeping bag liner, which saves room. I could buy a $25 compression bag and get the thing even smaller, but I’m happy with this for now. I just need a place to hike that’s cool but not TOO cool.
Total weight for the thing: 1 pound, 6 ounces.