Monday, February 28, 2011

Tips For Sewing With Minky


I love this fabric! It's called minky, and it is soooooo soft. I've used it in quite a few projects, from QUILTS to OWLS to SLIPPERS. But, there's no way around it, it is hard to work with. I thought I'd share what I've learned about sewing with minky in hopes that less people will make the same mistakes as me.

Tip #1
Pin A LOT! As you can see in my picture below I pinned this little owl like mad! Minky stretches, shifts and curls so the more pins the better.

Tip #2
Spray adhesive is fantastic. When I am putting minky on the back of a quilt, spray adhesive works far better than pins or basting. Check out THIS POST of mine for tips on quilting your own quilts using spray adhesive.
Tip #3
No heat! Minky does not shrink in your washer, but don't dry it in the dryer! Especially if your minky has those cute little raised dots. The heat will make you dots go flat. The same is true with an iron. Not only will your dots disappear but minky can MELT!
Tip #4
Keep a lint roller near by, minky sheds when you cut it and gets everywhere.
Tip #5
If you are sewing cotton fabric to minky, stitch with your minky side down and let your feeders guide the minky along. It works a lot better this way and the minky doesn't slip as much. A walking foot, I sure would also be great, but since I don't own one yet, you'll have to let me know :)
Tip #6
And lastly, just an idea, when you're putting minky on the back of a quilt or piecing it into a quilt, like I've done HERE, (especially a baby quilt, that you wouldn't want too bulky anyway) try skipping the batting. It will save you a little bit of money (which is nice because good minky can be pricey) and minky adds quite a bit of softness, loft and warmth on it's own.

9 comments:

  1. I hate working with minkie, but LOVE how it feels. My kids always ask for things made with it. All of these tips are great. I will just add 2 more.
    Walking foot - this is really helpful. Still cotton side up and minkie side down.
    Wonder Tape (Dritz) wash away - it is double sided tape that won't gum your needle and washes away. It can usually be found in the quilting notions. SOOO much better than all those pins - but it is not cheap. I buy it when 50% off sales come - or I have a coupon.
    Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Thanks, now it's time to try minkie.

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  3. I have put minkie on lots of quilts but I haven't washed them. Your dryer tip makes me a little nervous, any suggestions?

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  4. I love making quilts with this fabric! I have dried it in the dryer, but low heat and then let air dry to complete.

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  5. I quilt with Minkie backs a lot...and here are my experiences:
    You can free-motion quilt it...turns out great (though i don't use the dotted kind).
    I use spray adhesive and then scatter large safety pins when sandwiching the quilt.
    I use flannel as batting. I like having that third layer, but its not so hot and still drapes nicely.
    You can also use it on a long arm quilting machine, but when putting the minkie back on the leaders, make sure the stretchy direction is attached to the leaders so when the rollers pull, they won't stretch out the length.
    We have put our flat minkie in the dryer many times on low with no ill effects.
    But absolutely never iron it...i learned this the hard way after finishing an entire quilt only to melt the back when attempting to attach the iron on label. :0/

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  6. Oh, and i run the minkie through the dryer on air dry before i start to work with it, and it cuts down tremendously on the lint/fuzz!

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  7. I made my grand-daughter a minkie blanket with no backing, just added satin blanket binding. She uses it all the time, carrying it everywhere and won't sleep without it. Its been washed 100 times and placed in the DRYER a 100 times. It is still soft, the raised dots are still raised, the binding is still holding firm (although its her habit to stick her finger in the binding corner opening). It was worth every penny I paid for it. And yes, those little fuzzies may drive you crazy so have that lint tape ready. I use a walking foot and that works great to keep the fabric steady as I sew it.

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  8. I have made several baby blankets with flannel backing for every niece and nephew in the family. I used minky for two of them and babies love the feel of it. I am happy to say that my sister's girls at age nine and seven still have them on their bed. I made them extra large so they are great for traveling in the car. It is rather expensive, but worth it for those special projects. Thanks for sharing these tips.

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  9. I have just joined Pinterest and read and read. I have been a sewer and crafter for so long but it never ceases to amaze me how free people are with they information and patterns for all to enjoy. I will start to contribute in the future as if we all give a little of what we have learned it is so much better than everyone taking from the few.
    Lesley Thankyou

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