Once your child is old enough to have bedding in his crib, look for a lightweight quilt that can work in the crib and toddler bed by itself or as a layering piece. Choose a super-soft version made of 100% cotton and a lower-loft fill to keep your child warm without getting too hot. A lightweight version can also fit into your home washing machine to clean it when your child has an accident or an illness. Choose one in bright white that can be bleached if need be (because you know with kids, some kind of stain is inevitable!). The bonus with all-white: It will continue to match your child’s room decor and other bedding as their tastes change from one character or hobby to another. If you don’t like all-white, this one also comes in gray, blue and pink, or just with blue or pink borders.
The MassDrop Revelation Quilt is a ready-made budget backpacking quilt of their own design, manufactured in China on a contract basis by Enlightened Equipment. If you’re not familiar with MassDrop, they sell small batches of a specific product called “drops” over a multi-day period, giving increasingly deeper discounts when higher volumes are sold. While the specs of the quilts they sell can vary from batch to batch, they’re usually one-step down from the custom or on-the-shelf quilts sold directly by Enlightened Equipment, with slightly heavier shell fabrics and lower fill power down insulation. Despite the differences, they’re high quality backpacking quilts and priced to move!
The Katabatic Gear Flex is a quilt that can used in a hammock or on the ground, coupled with a sleeping pad. Weight varies by temperature rating, but a standard-sized Flex 40 weighs 16.9 oz. It’s available with regular or HyperDRY waterproof goose down and comes with a sleeping pad attachment system to help prevent side drafts. The’ Flex also has a very desirable draft collar that snugs around your neck and prevents heat from escaping when you move around at night. The Flex footbox can be zippered closed and has a draw-string vent, or you can unzip it completely and use it as a blanket. Katabatic Gear has a well-deserved reputation for making quilts that exceed their temperature rating. Price range $260.00-$435.00.
The Sierra Designs Backcountry 700 quilt is slightly heavier (900 grams) than the quilts from Sea to Summit and Nemo listed above but because it provides great functionality, it is nevertheless very popular among hikers and backpackers. The quilt features hand pockets which allow you to snugly enclose it around your body when the temperature drops. For good insulation it has an insulated hood and a tight-fitting footbox. It is also slightly wider than the other quilts on this list and thus better at preventing cold drafts. The quilt features a 20-denier nylon shell which provides great abrasion resistance. The insulation layer consists of 700-fill power hydrophobic down – each down plume is treated with DWR so that it stays dry longer when exposed to moisture. The quilt has a lower limit rating of -8 C° by the EN standard and comes with a stuff sack for easy storage.
Quilting is often thought of as communal activity such as a quilting bee where woman gather around a quilt frame to quilt a bed quilt. With Amish quilts today two, three or four people may work together to make a single quilt, but instead of quilting together each takes on a one or more of steps in the quilt making process. The first step in the process is to select the quilt's design and select and purchase the fabrics to be used in the quilt. Second step is to assemble the quilt top. Third step is to do the quilting and the fourth step is add the binding and ready the quilt for sale. It is not unusual for a different person to do each step. But the most common practice is for one person to do steps one, two and four and another person to the quilting. Occasionally a single person will do it all. The reason for the division of labor is that the work involved in each of the steps is quite different. The ability and artistic talent to select fabrics is not common --better for someone with this talent to apply it to the making of many quilts. Piecing a particular quilt top becomes easier and the workmanship better after quilter has made a half dozen tops of that design. So it is best to turn to a woman who is expert with a particular design to make the quilt top with that design. Quilting usually is not specialized to a particular design or style of quilt and is less cerebral -- in fact it may be a great distraction from the problems of the day. Applying the binding and readying the quilt for sale -- which means finding and removing spots, finding then adding missing lines of quilting, requires attention to detail. The coordination of the whole process is usually done by the person selecting the design and fabrics. This person selects Amish and Mennonite friends to work with on each quilt. Each person working on the quilt works on it in their own home. All work is done in America.
AVAILABILITY: Many of the quilt makers who specialize in highly customized quilts often have very long backorder times (2 months or more) during periods of high demand. If you need a quilt and can’t wait, you’re probably better off buying a less customized, off-the-shelf model. This one factor, more than any other, can often determine which quilt you select.
While manufacturers often list temperature ratings for sleeping bags by the EN standard (scientific method to determine warmth of a sleeping bag, red.), they rarely do this for quilts. Nevertheless, they do typically list the lower limit temperature (temperature at which an average adult male will be comfortable) which they determine through their own tests.
Patchwork piecing of Amish quilts is usually done with a sewing machine. Connecting patchwork pieces together this way makes the quilt very strong. What's more, this stitching can not be seen once the quilt is completed. Amish women have used non-electric sewing machines since they first became available over 150 years ago. On the other hand, applique work is all done by hand, as is most embroidery and binding.
Unless you live in the tropics, most of us need a little warmth at night! A well-made quilt is the perfect bed topper that can both keep you cozy and set the decor tone for your room, and it’s also an easy and inexpensive way to introduce an all-new color or pattern into your bedroom. Whether you live in a warmer climate where you just need light coverage or a colder one that requires some real layers, quilts come in a variety of styles, materials and weights to suit your needs. The beauty of a quilt is that it can work alone or with layers of other bedding, so it can easily transition through changes of season or simply from napping during the warm daytime and going to bed in the chilly night.