January 23, 2014

FAQ: Quilting With Minky . . .

One of my favorite backings for baby quilts is minky.  And I'll tell you exactly why. My baby boy received a special quilt from me - one that I had carefully planned, poured over fabric selections, and pieced with love. And he never got attached to it. It was made with a cotton top, batting, and backed with a quilt-shop quality flannel. However, he did get attached to another blanket - a minky blanket from Walmart as a baby gift; and it has gone with him everywhere and slept with him almost every night since he was old enough to grab onto it (and he's four years old now).

Is sewing with minky difficult?
My first try ended with a big pucker on the back, but since then I haven't had any problems. I suggest using lots of tape around the edges when prepping it for basting (but don't stretch it, just smooth it out really good first, and then tape so there's no puckers anywhere). I use curved safety pins for my basting method - and my suggestion is to use lots!

Do you need a batting layer?
No, it's optional. I often add it in baby quilts because I like them to be extra warm. But I've used minky on lap-size and even a twin-size and chose not to add the batting layer. It has a nice weight and drape to the finished quilt without.

Do you need to pre-wash?
YES. I always pre-wash the minky. For the top layer - cotton is optional to pre-wash (I would definitely pre-wash less than designer quality), but if working with pre-cuts or small pieces, I find pre-washing unnecessary. For flannels, I always pre-wash.

Where do you buy it? And is there differences in quality out there?
I've bought from online quilt shops, and also from my local fabric chain store. I don't find much difference in quality, except that there's a bigger selection in prints available online. I like to work with shorter pile minky better, but have worked with a higher pile (rosette print) and it worked as well (but I wouldn't recommend it for your first couple times).

How do you quilt it?
I've done a an-allover stippling, quilted in ditch, and straight-lined echoing the ditch. All work just as well. Just remember not to pull or stretch the fabric as you feed it through your machine. I also highly recommend using quilting gloves!

And YES, all the quilts pictured in this post have been made by me and have a minky backing.


Average Quilter said... #

They are all so cute. I like using minky as well. Your are right the babies get attached to it

Lynne Tilley said... #

Rebecca, thanks so much for this post. I am finally encouraged enough to think I could work with the minky. There's no way to learn except to just jump in and do it. I have grand babies who would love this backing, and I personally would love to have one myself ;) Yours are all so beautiful and adorable. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

Kay said... #

Thanks, this is really useful. Minky is not something I have tried yet.

LV said... #

Those quilts look great! Where do you buy your minky from?