How to Use Minky Fabric for Quilt Backing
Whether you call it Plush, Minky, or Fuzzy Fabric – this cozy, stretchy polyester blend is a surefire way to guarantee the most cuddly quilt you can imagine, but not without it’s downsides! Many people find sewing with Minky fabric to be quite challenging as it slips & slides all around, can stretch & pucker like you’ve never seen, and tends to leave fuzzy lint everywhere! I am here to help alleviate your fears and teach you the best practices to make Minky your new BFF sewing fabric!
I have been backing many of my quilts with cozy Minky since my 2nd quilt and I have learned a LOT along the way! I hope these tips and tricks help you take the plunge!
First off, What is “Minky” and where do you get it?
Minky fabric is also known plush fabric or Cuddle® (if it’s the Shannon Fabrics’ brand), and can be found at a lot of different retailers. I’ve been known to buy it at my local Joann’s, online, or even use a pre-made plush blanket from Target as the backing for a quilt! (There are really no rules, ok?!)
Shannon Fabrics makes some really great quality minky fabric, which you can purchase online very easily! The quality of Shannon Fabrics’ Cuddle® fabric is by far the best, and it will last just as long on a quilt back as regular quilting cotton would. One thing to remember when selecting your fabric is that the higher the loft, the more difficult and messy it will be! Here are some I would recommend, my personal favorite is minky dot!
What the FUZZ?
So you go to the fabric store and get your fabric cut and quickly realize that there is FUZZ everywhere! This can be a normal part of sewing with Minky, depending on your loft & quality, so if that bothers you, be prepared and keep a lint roller close-by! When you are done quilting and it is time for you to trim your quilt yourself, I suggest clearing off your entire trimming area so the fuzz does not get on other projects, and vaccumming the room immediately after you are done trimming.
A little about the Quilt in the Photos
The quilt you see pictured here is a really wonderful pattern: Sugar Pop by SuzyQuilts. Its a fast & fun pattern, and you could even cut out the strips with an AccuQuilt to make it even faster!
Do you use Batting with your minky?
I do use batting! My current favorite is Quilter’s Dream Orient batting, but any low-loft batting will do just fine! You can even leave out the batting if you want to go for a thinner quilt.
Do you Pre-wash your fabrics when backing with Minky?
I don’t. I do not pre-wash any of my fabrics while quilting and I actually quite love the crinkle look that comes after washing! If you want to minimize crinkle, I suggest pre-washing all fabrics prior to cutting or sewing.
How to Baste with Minky?
Making your quilt sandwich is arguably the single most important step for success when backing a quilt with minky fabric. When I baste the quilt, I am careful to gently stretch the minky just a tiny bit and tape it in place on my floor (or you can use tables for easier accessibility if you have one large enough). Once the minky is taped down with just a tiny bit of stretch, I flatten the batting on top and spread it out. I prefer to use Spray Baste when quilting with minky because it really does not stay put in place without it!
Click here to read my Spray Baste Comparison to find the right spray for you!
After basting both layers of the quilt completely with spray, I also add in a handful of curved safety pins for good measure! Can never be too safe!
Quilting with Minky
Mark your lines: I use a ruler and a hera marker (or a butter knife) to create crisp creases that do not ever leave permanent marks on my quilts! I also add in a couple pins just for good measure.
Use a walking foot: I prefer to use my walking foot with any machine straight line quilting and it comes in VERY handy when working with Minky. If you do not have a walking foot, please believe me when I say IT IS WORTH THE INVESTMENT! I actually did not use one for years and would have had a lot more fun doing the quilting myself if I would have had one!
Take it slow: it is a walking foot, NOT a running foot, ok?!
Start in the middle: Begin your quilting near the center of your quilt and work your way towards the end. When actually doing all stright line quilting, I like to stitch a basting stitch along the top edge of the quilt and then use that as a starting point for my horizontal lines. (If you want vertical lines, sew your basting stitch along one side.)
Find more quilting tips in this quick video:
Binding with Minky
For this quilt, I did the classic hand sewn binding method that my grandma taught me. The only thing I do differently when backing a quilt with minky instead of regular cotton is to make sure I cut wide enough strips (2.5″ usually) and test to make sure there is enough binding to fully cover the initial stitch line.
Quilt Binding Tutorials:
Do you feel ready to back your quilt with Minky now? Be sure to reach out or comment any questions you might have!
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