8 In Quilting/ Quilting Tutorials

How to Use Minky Fabric for Quilt Backing

Using Minky Cuddle as 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!

Backing Your quilt with soft minky 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!

Learn how to back your quilt with Minky fabric

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.

Tips and Tricks for how to back a quilt with minky

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!

Cut Time, Quilt More

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.

Modern quilting, learn to quilt, quilting tips

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!

how to quilt straight lines with minky fabric and a walking foot

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.

modern baby quilt backed with minky fabric

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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  • Lynn
    September 13, 2020 at 9:21 pm

    I am trying to find out, since Cuddle has nap, if the backing needs to be laid a certain way. Should the smooth part be going down from the top? Also, does Minky have to be used on the straight of grain, or can it be used on the crosswise grain? With the extra wide, you could use the crosswise grain, and buy less, but the nap would be going sideways. The extra wide just seems like a time-saver and money-saver if it doesn’t have to be sewn on the straight of grain. I hope you understand what I am saying. I have been spending time watching and reading tutorials about Minky and noone has mentioned that the backing has to be laid a certain way, because of the nap.

    • homemadeemilyjane
      September 13, 2020 at 9:23 pm

      Hi Lynn! If you’re piecing minky for a backing you’d want to make sure it’s going in the same “direction” but if you’re not piecing it, it’s fine in any direction. (I personally wouldn’t recommend piecing it though)

      There’s not really a “grain” to worry about 😊

  • Heidi Barnard
    October 12, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    I love this post. I purchased a plush blanket to use as a backing–a little less expensive than minky. Have you ever used a purchased plush blanket as a backing? Do you have any tips/warnings?

    • homemadeemilyjane
      October 14, 2020 at 7:53 am

      Hi! I have used a plush blanket before and it was quite a bit trickier than normal minky, but definitely do-able! Just baste it carefully and go sloooow!

  • Sandy Farrell
    January 9, 2021 at 5:18 pm

    Hello, I am a new to sewing and quilting. I am working on my 2nd quilt and would like to use Minky for the backing. My question is, can I still do hand quilting with the Minky? If so, any tips?

    Thank you for all your helpful advice.

    • homemadeemilyjane
      January 9, 2021 at 5:24 pm

      Hi Sandy!
      Hand quilting on minky is possible, but I personally don’t really like the look. (the stitches on the back barely show)…
      What I suggest doing is making a small sample using a scrap of minky, a scrap of batting, and a scrap of normal cotton. Hand quilt on the scraps to see if you like it!
      Happy Sewing!

  • Charlotte
    January 16, 2021 at 8:43 pm

    Hi Emily

    Thank you for this post. I made a baby quilt and wondered about washing out the spray basting? I feel uneasy with the quilt having chemicals in it for a baby.

    • homemadeemilyjane
      January 16, 2021 at 8:46 pm

      Definitely wash before use to get any of the fabric dying chemicals or spray baste out of it