sewing + quilting confidence grows here, tip by tip

Friday, 22 July 2016

5 Step Guide To A Perfect Minky Quilt Back [Tutorial]

Notoriously difficult many quilters and sewists fear to work with minky.
Fear no more, here's my super easy, step by step guide to a perfect minky quilt back.


Hi everyone, my 5 Step Guide to A Perfect Minky Quilt Back is proving extremely popular across the internet and my tip list is being printed off and shared.  Obviously, as a teacher, I'm always delighted to share my knowledge with everyone and 'spread the word' and I'd love you to do the same for me - tell everyone that you found the info right here and suggest that they visit my blog too. You'll notice that sadly I've also added ugly watermarks to the crucial images.  Thanks for your support in advance - Chris :D 


Disclaimer: 
This post is for informational purposes only, no payment or commission is received on click-throughs to links shared.


Now let's slow things down and do the same again in pictures:

5 step guide to a perfect minky quilt back

NEVER IRON MINKY, IT WILL MELT!!!

step one
Lay your minky out on a flat surface.
You might want to tape your minky to the surface - I didn't and mine's laid on a slippy glass table top, that bit's up to you.  You'll notice that my table is also smaller than the quilt - I find that spray basting a quilt in halves or even quarters allows me to baste quilts that are larger than my space would allow with a pin basting method and I can slide the quilt sections away from the table as I finish basting them and move to the next section.

5 Step Guide To A Perfect Minky Quilt Back [Tutorial]

step two
Lay your quilt top on top of the minky, wrong sides together.
I didn't cut the minky to size, that bit's too tricky at this stage so we'll cover it later Instead I placed the quilt top at the top corner of the whole minky sheet.

5 Step Guide To A Perfect Minky Quilt Back [Tutorial]

step three
Fold half of your quilt top back on itself, right sides together and spray baste visible minky on the wrong side.
don't go crazy with the spray baste, it's just not necessary - read my spray basting notes below for guidance.

5 Step Guide To A Perfect Minky Quilt Back [Tutorial]

step four
Unfold quilt top + place it back on spray basted minky, smoothing out wrinkles.  
Spray baste is repositionable so lift and relay if you have folds or creases.
As you can see in the pic, I hold the quilt top high in the area and smooth it back into place on the minky bit by bit and making sure each section is wrinkle free before lowering the next section of the top.  I also work from the centre out to the sides easing the fabric as I go.

5 Step Guide To A Perfect Minky Quilt Back [Tutorial]

step five
Fold the still unbasted half of your quilt top back on itself and repeat Steps Three and Four.
This is easy, the quilt top will only lift back from the section you haven't already spray basted - the rest of it is glued!  I marked where the bottom corners of the quilt top lay on the minky backing (you can see one of the marks in the bottom right of the pic below).   This gave me a visual to spray baste up to rather than spraying the whole of the remaining minky sheet.

5 Step Guide To A Perfect Minky Quilt Back [Tutorial]

The two layers are completely glued together and won't move while you quilt or hand-tie or bind the quilt.
Unless you've been way too sparing with the spray baste, you really can throw the basted quilt around now - it's like it's one piece of fabric, not two layers.

5 Step Guide To A Perfect Minky Quilt Back [Tutorial] 5 Step Guide To A Perfect Minky Quilt Back [Tutorial]

NEVER IRON MINKY, IT WILL MELT!!!

spray basting
In class I've seen students easily use a giant can of 505 basting spray to baste one baby quilt - this is complete overkill and I guess if people use spray baste in these quantities then probably they do have problems with fumes unless the room is extremely well ventilated.

When I spray baste I can baste 3-8 quilts (depending on size) from one spray can.  I spray the quilt layers very lightly in a large sweeping motion from a 1'-2' (30-60 cm) distance - it takes me seconds to complete a quilt sandwich layer.  You can't see the spray on the layer surface and it doesn't create a sticky mess on the surrounding floor, furniture or wall (yes I sometimes baste quilts by taping them to the wall too!).  There's never any fumes either, I just don't use enough of it for it to be a problem.  Next time you spray baste try moving your hand back a bit from the quilt and spraying faster and for a shorter time, I think you'll be quite surprised to discover you need hardly any of the spray baste for the sandwich layers to stick together.  Think of all the money you'll save too!!!

If you do experience sticky residue on your surfaces you should be able to wipe these away with a damp, lint-free cloth, stubborn stickiness may need a little detergent to help release it.  Some people lay down newspaper sheets before spray basting but the thought of print transfer makes me a little nervous.  Another option is to lay your quilt out on a shower curtain bought cheaply from the dollar/pound store and you'll be able to reuse it too.  

cutting minky
Minky is also known for stretching and changing shape as you move it and this makes it difficult to cut.  Now that the minky is glued to the quilt top the quilt top and spray baste will stabilise the minky and force it to retain its correct shape.

Don't be frightened now to handle your quilt.
Use scissors or a rotary cutter to cut the excess away from your quilt top.

5 Step Guide To A Perfect Minky Quilt Back [Tutorial] 5 Step Guide To A Perfect Minky Quilt Back [Tutorial]

Overlock or zig-zag around the quilt top edges to secure and this will also reduce further shedding of minky fur.  I recommend you use a walking foot or dual feed to sew the quilt as this can better manage the fabric bulk and slippy surface texture.

5 Step Guide To A Perfect Minky Quilt Back [Tutorial] 5 Step Guide To A Perfect Minky Quilt Back [Tutorial]

Quilt or hand-tie and bind your quilt in the normal way, my preferred method is hand-tying as personally, I don't like the appearance of trapped minky fur under machine quilting stitches.  Click the image below for my How To Hand Tie A Quilt tute.

How To Hand Tie A Quilt [Tutorial]

 cleaning up after working with minky
While you are working with minky I recommend regular clean ups of your work surfaces and floor and clothes - this fabric sheds fur like crazy.  I have a cordless handheld vacuum cleaner that's perfect for the job.  A sticky lint roller or sticking tape wrapped around your hand will help clean your clothes.

If you've used your cutting mat you'll probably find minky fur trapped within cuts in the mat - follow my tute for cleaning your cutting mat to restore your mat's surface (click image link below).

How To Clean A Self-Healing Cutting Mat [Tutorial]

Finally, lift the sole plate on your sewing machine and give it a good clean - there's bound to be lots of minky fur and lint hiding under there and your machine deserves a bit of TLC!

and always remember
NEVER IRON MINKY, IT WILL MELT!!!

so what is minky?
it's a synthetic polyester fibre, fade resistant and super soft, it will remain super soft for its lifetime if laundered correctly.  It is available in many nap and pile lengths and in different types of 'fur' and colours.  Here's a pic of some minkies I have in my stash, I've shown both sides of the white minky so you can see how the back is made too.

5 Step Guide To A Perfect Minky Quilt Back [Tutorial]

is it safe to use minky for baby quilts?
as it's a synthetic fibre, minky isn't breathable and, as babies can't regulate their body temperature well, it's certainly not the best choice for a newborn.  Aside from a risk of suffocation babies and adults can develop sweats and rashes.  Minky isn't a good choice around naked flames or heat either as the fibres will melt.

how to launder minky
cool wash with detergent.  DO NOT use fabric softener as, bizarrely, this will take the life and softness out of the fabric and no bleach either.  Dry on a low heat or line dry - remember direct heat will melt minky.

is it safe to use spray baste for baby quilts?
I'm not able to say it's safe but if you want to use basting spray then use it minimally (see my notes above about over spraying) and wash the quilt at least once before gifting/using and this should remove temporary basting spray.  My preferred spray is 505.


Related Posts:


Love it or hate it, I've shared the minky facts, now it's up to you but don't forget
NEVER IRON MINKY, IT WILL MELT!!!

5 Step Guide To a Perfect Minky Quilt Back [Tutorial]


Do you have any tips for working with minky or experiences to share about minky?  We'd love to hear, tell us in the comments :D

Featured On:

Clicking on an image will take you to a new page of crafty goodness :)

Disclaimer: 
This post is for informational purposes only, no payment or commission is received on click-throughs to links shared.

Click to follow Chris Dodsley of made by ChrissieD on Bloglovin'

www.madebyChrissieD.com


Linky Parties This post may be linked to some great Linky Parties, always a great source of inspiration too.  If you click through to my 'Fave Linky Parties'  page you can see where I like to share my work.

15 comments:

  1. I've used minkee as a quilt back several times, and this is exactly what I do - works like a charm. Kids and cats (and probably dogs) love the softness! The only time I ever had a problem working with minkee was when I had a light-coloured minkee back with a dark quilt top. It bearded like crazy. The minkee was a white/blue chevron. I had to quilt it from the back, and only on the blue chevrons. Not my finest hour, but the 4-year-old boy who received it like in anyway ... Hope you're well! Love following your travels!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can only imagine how tricky quilting that was Paula. I've read horror stories of minky stretching and moving while quilting but I've never experienced it using spray baste, it's so easy. Bearding, I've not experienced that either but will consider it from now on. I'm doing great and have more travels coming up for the next few months but not back to Vancouver, I really hope to get back there at some point, Simon and I really loved it. For now I enjoy glimpses of it when I watch Love It Or List It Too, how desp is that?!!!

      Delete
  2. Great tutorial. Great information. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi there
    Just stopped by to let you know that I featured this on my Saturday Spotlight post this week!
    Saturday Spotlight
    Thanks again for linking up! Hope you have a great weekend!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've never tried this but it looks so effective #TheRealCraftyLinkParty

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for the tutorial, and for the interesting info on minky! Pinned to The Really Crafty Link Party Pinterest board!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Never used Minky but like the look of it. That quilt is so pretty

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have never done this, but it looks like fun. I love the pattern you made.

    Thanks for sharing this with us on the #HomeMattersParty. We hope to see you again next week when we open our doors at 12 AM EST.

    ReplyDelete
  8. no batting ?????

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's right, there's no need for batting as the flannel and minky are thick enough and warm enough without :D

      Delete
  9. Thanks for the great tute, very clear.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Some great tips there Chrissie, I didn't know that spray basting existed but that might be perfect for me if I want to applique with my machine.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Would you use batting if you were using quilting cotton for your top and not flannel?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Personally, if I was using a quilting cotton with minky then I would use a thin batting such as Quilters Dream Request to give the finished quilt slightly more body but it's not essential :D

      Delete

I love to hear from everyone, thank you for taking the time to read my blog and share your thoughts. Please leave a message to let me know you visited, it's a great way to get to know you all better too :)

Chris Dodsley