My husband is working hard on the interior of another custom travel vehicle. This time, we’re working with a MUCH smaller vehicle than the one we traveled in for 5 months in 2019: a JLU Wrangler. It used to be a 4-door Jeep, but he cut off the back end and converted it into this:
As the interior is starting to take shape, so are design details that I get really excited about: cushions, accent colors, and bedding! To help keep the living area separate from the driving area, my husband built in a custom carbon fiber wall behind the seats with a cutout that we will be able to use as a passthrough. If we take our time, we can slither our bodies through, but mostly the passthrough will be for just that: passing items through it from the front to the back or the back to the front. But for privacy reasons and to help thermally isolate both sides, a cover for the passthrough was needed.
We actually spent a long time thinking about what we wanted to use as the insulation layers. Ultimately, we settled on a pieced cotton top, a cotton backing, and 5 layers between them: 2 layers of Insul-Bright batting, 2 layers of Dream Green batting, and 1 layer of plastic to act as a moisture barrier. As you can see in the photo above, all those layers stacked together makes for a pretty thick sandwich (about ½” thick uncompressed).
Because one of the main goals for this cover is to provide some insulation, I didn’t want to quilt the sandwich as densely as I normally would. I also did not want to overly compact the layers together. So for this project, tying the layers together, using 12wt Aurifil thread, felt like the right approach.
The pieced blocks of the cover are 5″ square finished, so we opted to tie the layers together at the corners of each block. I used 12wt Aurifil in 4663 (Baby Blue Eyes, a variegated thread) for the center and 2740 (Dark Cobalt) for the outer corners. The piecing itself uses Kona Cottons in Niagara (lightest), Paris Blue, Malibu, Riviera, and Indigo (darkest – binding). Because I oversized the piecing and used a traced template from the camper to cut the pieced top and sandwiched layers down to the final size, the darkest piecing elements from the quilt top actually got mostly cut away, so it felt like the right choice to bring it back as the binding.
The backing is Essex Speckle in Black, and those speckles are perfect for hiding the 12wt thread I used to tie the layers together. The photo of the backing above does show that the layers do dimple together a little bit at each of the tied locations. The photo might also show that I opted to machine sew the binding down to both sides. And boy, was getting the binding on the quilt a workout for my Juki. I could definitely tell when I was stitching through a seam in the binding or seams in the pieced top. But I got it on.
After getting the binding on, we took it out to see how it looked in the camper. Those blues are really going to add a nice pop of color to the interior!
Because my Juki had enough trouble going through all the layers for the binding, we opted to use my husband’s Sailrite sewing machine to stitch a ¾” wide strip of loop around the perimeter of the passthrough cover (self adhesive hook will be applied to the wall of the camper). A Sailrite is an industrial machine with a built in walking foot. The needle on the machine reminds me of a longarm quilting machine needle, and after getting the tension settings correct (using a test sample), it sewed through all the layers beautifully.
With the passthrough cover installed, this is the view from inside the cab of the vehicle.
With a corner of the passthrough peeled back, you can see how the loop looks on the back of the cover and the white self adhesive hook blends right in with the camper walls.
The finished passthrough cover measures 26″ wide by 21½” tall. We are really happy with how it came together and how the color will brighten things up!