Anyone with a child in their life, or a child on the giving end of a quilt should know this secret: Kids go crazy for minky! This Purple Minky quilt rounds out a marathon of minky quilts for me recently. My fourth, in less then three months, spurred mostly by the demands of my three girls.
I made this from a quilt top that had been hanging in my closet for over a year. The technique is similar to the cross block that we’ve been quilting for charity, however, I first learned it and the concept of using different scale crosses from Elizabeth Hartman’s Craftsy class on modern quilting. The border fabric is a bit loud, in a purple’ish’ sort of way, but my middle ‘purple’ daughter loved it, and so there it is!
Having quilted several of these now, I have collected some tips on quilting minky, without getting puckers on the back from fighting the stretch, pull and fuzz of it.
Tip 1: No batting. Batting makes the quilt too heavy, as minky is already fairly substantial. This does allow for the polka dots of the minky to create small impressions on the quilt top, We tend to think of these affectionately as texture.
Tip 2: Pin Baste it on the floor, no tape. I do not tape the minky or stretch it like I would a normal quilt during basting. Simply lay the minky wrong side up on the floor and smooth it as best as possible. Lay the quilt top right side up on top of the minky, and smooth again. Typically, the minky and quilt sandwich will not lay flat in it’s entirety. Just start in the middle, smooth and start pinning. I pin in a grid approximately 6 inches apart starting from the middle and working outwards. The whole idea is to not fight the minky and try not to stretch or distort it between pins.
Tip 2: Lengthen your stitch length to 2.5 or 3. This helps compensate for the difference in overall movement of the quilt through your machine, due to the fuzziness factor. I should mention that I do not have a stitch regulator so I am not sure how that would work on minky. Recently, I’ve used my walking foot for straight line quilting, which I find works well.
Tip 3: Keep the quilting spaced fairly wide apart. Because I’ve been in a hurry to get these quilts done, I’ve chosen to quilt them with straight lines, approximately 1.5 inches apart. I have tried stipling in the past, but in my experience, the minky shifts with the multi-directional movements of the stipling, and I end up with a pucker or two between the quilting. The straight lines seem to work a bit better for me with the minky.
Tip 4: Bind like a normal quilt. The first couple minky quilts that I made for babies, I used the pillow technique, where you sew around the edges and turn it out and then quilt. This proved impossible to prevent puckering. So I simply quilt as described above and bind them. Recently, I have been machine binding, just so that the quilts will actually get done, and not wait in a pile for me to hand bind.
So that’s about it for tips. Have fun quilting on Minky, and let me know if these tips help you bring a fuzzy blanket to life for someone little!