Sorry folks, but too busy to check in until now and see there were a few questions.
Why a quilt?
1) Theoretically, they are easier to adjust and stay comfortable on than a pad. I say theoretically because I'm still tweaking my UQ suspension to get it right.
2) Pads are vapor barriers and can cause perspiration, sweat, stickyness-type issues for some.
3) Folks that roll around at night can easily roll off a pad, but the UQ is on the outside, so no problems with rolling around.
4) They are cooler... as in, all the cool kids have UQs
5) It can require gymnastics to get in a hammock and get the pad situated just right under you (primarily in an asym gathered end hammock, likely easier in a bridge.)
6) Most UQs pack smaller than pads, many are lighter than pads also
With that said, plenty of folks use pads and like them.
Walking foot on the machine?
Nope. No problems with any materials so far. Then again, I've never used a walking foot machine, so I may not know what I'm missing.
Special machine for sil?
Nope. I made GVP G4 Scout backpack with lots of layers of heavy material when attaching the straps to the bottom. No real issues. Also have sewed a Double Layer hammock of 1.1oz RipStop nylon. This old machine does great on thick or thin materials. Needle size is important, as is using the right type of needle and thread.
Too many parts and adjustments for me to mess up. My simple, straight stitch only machine does fine for everything I've tried.
Do I sell them?
I haven't yet, but I guess I'd be willing to consider it if someone wants one, isn't in a huge hurry (might take a couple of weeks, depending on my work schedule), and understands I'm not a professional. My stuff works, it just doesn't look like it was produced by a 12 year old sweat-shop worker who has been sewing for 5 years. Those kids know how to sew straight lines. I don't
Pin holes and seam sealing?
I try to use a 10 or 12 needle for sil, to minimize the size of the holes.
Seam seal as Ridgerunner and RealityGuy described.
Stay warm Zelph.
I'm fairly new at hanging and learned pretty quick how cold the underside of a hammock gets. I slept on zlite a pad several times and it insulated well, just was hard to keep it adjusted right under me for the whole night, and hard not to wiggle off of it and wake up with a cold shoulder.
I've never tried a bridge. I'm told Grizz makes a fine one though.
My FrankenBird is a close approximation of a WBBB. I love it. I get as diagonal as I can and can get nearly completely flat.
The shelf on the side is awesome!
BTW, you sound like my wife with the comment on my gear "problem".
I'm headed outside shortly for my first night hanging in below freezing temps.
I've nested the two UQs that I made... one is fleece with nylon covering each side, the other is 3 layers of IX with nylon on the bottom side), and will have a fleece tQ that I made, and my Kelty 15* bag as a TQ. Will be my first night without the zlite pad with temps below about 55*.
Wish me luck.
I just like the dancing banana.