Friday, January 7, 2011

no more Minky

Finley's travel quilt
My friend, Angela, totally inspired me to make a rag quilt for a new baby gift.  I mean, who can resist this picture? Her etsy store, Raggedy Owl, made it look so enticingly fun.  But, it wasn't.  Nope, it wasn't.

I'll admit that things started off poorly when two trips to Hancocks for Minky (also called Cuddle) left me empty handed.  When I finally did get it, the cutting went fast.

And fuzz went everywhere.

Yes, Minky snows.  In addition to being made of polyester (ewww), it snows like crazy.  Now I know it's ridiculously soft and the dimple dots are adorable.  I know!  My kids were petting it.  And I may or may not have joined in.

Cute, but no more Minky for  me.

But I say "no more Minky."  Because the worse part is......  it slides when you sew it.  My seam ripper got a work out until I realized that I had to use so. many. pins.

Minky requires LOTS of pins

Minky is used to back the quilting cottons when you piece together this rag quilt, so the Minky sides are facing.  It's an easy project (if you're not using Minky).   I found a little tutorial here.

I had convinced myself to use the Minky because A. It's adorable and B. It won't fray when cut.  But, somehow it slipped my mind that I would be cutting the quilting cotton edges too, which will fray.  A lot?

a Baby Rag Quilt

So, now that this baby is done, I'll admit reluctantly that it is cute.  But, it still snows.  Errrr.  I'm gonna wash it and deal with whatever thread-fraying madness eschews.   I comfort myself with the fact that my pregnant friend helped pick out the fabrics.  I'm pretty sure she'll like it.  If I were to want to gift one again, I think I'd just buy it from Angela!

I enjoyed that all of these fabrics were pulled from my stash, collected over the past few months from my longtime sponsors Sew Fresh Fabrics and Sew Love Fabrics.  It was fun to create my own color scheme rather than relying on fabric collection coordinates.   Don't get me wrong - I love working from collections too, but making my own "look" did add to the fun!

Oh, and this experience makes me wonder about Anna Maria Horner's velveteens from Innocent Crush.  Anna said they snow and that they do shift when sewing.  Anyone have any experience sewing with them?

35 comments:

  1. Your quilt is adorable. But I totally relate to the frustration of working with Minky. It will be a while before I sew with it again. I loved the finished results but I was darn near in tears trying to get my projects done.

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  2. Minky is maddening! I just made a nursery with the stuff... bumper pads, blanket, etc. UGH!

    Your blanket sure is cute though!

    Jennifer :)

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  3. I made a VERY simple blanket with minky and in addition to all the snowing, I also dealt with a bunch of stretching! Argg!
    You are one nice friend!!
    And yes, that picture is adorable!

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  4. Oh my goodness - it's so good to know that I'm not the only one! I've felt like the Grinch complaining about Minky!

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  5. Love the rag quilt..always wanted to try to make one of those!

    I use minky a lot with my boppy pillows and yes, the snow is really frustrating. Not only do you have thread all over the floor but now minky dust. I learned to use a lot of pins when sewing the minky so ive gotten the hang of working with it. you just need to get use to it ;)

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  6. I've got similar experience with Minky, but I've made pillow - so everything is inside and the pillow is truly loved by my daughter. I can't even imagine how rag quilt must be difficult to sew using Minky and... what happens next.

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  7. Did you try using a walking or even-feed foot? I wonder if that would help solve the slipperiness....

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  8. Hate minky! I think babies are the purest of pure why not put something organic/natural next to them.

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  9. Yes, I was using my trusting walking foot. Hardly ever sew without it! It really wasn't so bad once I was using a million pins. But, even so it wasn't as precise as I'm used to sewing.

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  10. Haha, yes, minky is M-E-S-S-Y! But it is very soft - my daughter loves to pet it too. LOL I find using my walking foot helps a lot with the sliding. The blanket is adorable!

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  11. Ahhh, i love it! Too funny. Yes it does make a mess while you are sewing it, so I always make many quilts at once. Be sure so wash and dry it once before you give it away! That will get rid of the fuzz. And the cotton will not fray very much at all, it will be fine.

    As for the sliding and pinning... I guess it is something you get used to! Out of the hundreds I've sold in the shop, I've never pinned a single rag quilt and my seams always match up. Maybe in the beginning? Its been years so I'm not sure...

    Sorry it didn't go well, but it did turn out very very lovely. Love your post, you make me laugh. :)

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  12. Very cute and love "your own" choices! I used to make rag quilts all the time, and the only other piece of advice I have is change your lint trap once during the dryer cycle. The rag edges do tend to fray off a bit, sometimes a lot... Depends on the fabric. It's going to be so cute and snuggly when it's done! Despite your frustrations, you did fabulous!

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  13. You have striken fear into my heart. I just bought a pile of minky....Plan to use them on the backs of regular quilts, so don't need to rag them. I have a friend wh does this regularly, will have to give her a call. Did you try spray basting? That is the secret to my success for regular quilts. I am hoping it will work for me- wish me luck!

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  14. This is the ONLY time I use Minkee: when it is used for the backing of a quilt and I'm having someone ELSE do the machine quilting. Let THEM deal with it!

    Then I can get the quilt returned to me and still be in love with how wonderfully soft it feels, but not have to deal with all the little pieces of Minkee being EVERYWHERE in my house!

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  15. Made 6 of AMH's figure 8 scarves using her velveteen & voiles. The "snowing" wasn't as bad as minky is. I did have to pin like crazy & use my walking foot as the velveteen does stick. It was frustrating to work with until I learned to pin a lot.

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  16. Oh yeah - I've hear so many seasoned quilters say NO MINKY too. NEVER use it as a backing.

    stick with flannel or flannelette

    ~M.

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  17. On my very first quilt I used Minky as the backing. I spray basted and didn't have any problems with it. I'm glad I didn't read too much about it before I used it or I might have been scared out of using it. I've also used it for two more quilts with no problems except for all the snow!

    Then I thought I would make some pillows with the leftover minky. I tried sewing strips of it together with the walking foot and it was a disaster. I gave up fairly quickly. Some day when I have more time I might try to go back and use a bazillion pins.

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  18. I spray basted mine and used my walking foot, and didn't have a problem at all, used hardly any pins what so ever. I am getting ready to my DH one, now that the crib size one has been given away as a present.

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  19. Very cute quilt - I love the colors! You must have a fun stash. I like the white backing too :)

    This is my first time at your site (linked from Blue Elephant Stitches). I can't wait to explore!

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  20. Hey all! Since I was only sewing 8" squares together, I didn't think basting was necessary. It would surely have helped!

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  21. Yep, I stay away from Minkee. :( Love the feel, but can't stand the extra care involved.

    I sewed 3 skirts with the AMH velveteen and didn't have any problems with slipping. I used the acufeed on my machine, so maybe that helped. I found that if you were sewing velveteen to velveteen, the fabrics stuck together really well (I rarely pin). The snow is a pain, but not nearly as bad as minkee.

    Your rag quilt really is adorable, though!

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  22. I have never sewed with minky, sorry it was such a pain:(

    The blanket is adorable though...I love all the fun colors and patterns chosen.

    Also, I tagged you in a post. Hope you play along!
    http://increasinglydomestic.blogspot.com/2011/01/15-things-you-never-knew-you-wanted-to.html

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  23. What a super pretty and cute quilt. One day, I hope, I will be able to do it as perfect as you do. :)

    Svenja

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  24. You're brave! The snowing would drive me crazy too! The quilt turned out so cute though! :)

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  25. That is gorgeous! I love it! I am a new follower. I would love to have you stop by my blog and follow me too! I just posted my rag quilt blanket to backpack tutorial!

    http://sunscholars.blogspot.com

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  26. Love the fabrics other than the Minky. I'm with Cindy there! Not a big fan of having something offgas and with nasty chemicals in it close to little babies.

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  27. Here's a good raggy quilt tutorial.

    http://nook-n-sew.blogspot.com/2011/12/my-raggy-quilt-tutorial.html

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  28. so glad I found your blog. Thinking of making a rag quilt and I couldn't see how Minky would be so wonderful since it's polyester. It's supposed to fray, not snow. I wonder if that's exactly what chenille does too. I think it's cotton but with that nap I bet it would be forever a mess.

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  29. Here's a tip I've found with sewing minky that has changed my feelings about minky...elmers glue!! That's right a small line of elmers washable white glue along the seam line and it keeps everything from shifting! Let it dry for a couple of minutes, I still pin it but I don't need as many pins, I also use a walking foot, and if one of the fabrics is a cotton I put the stretchy minky on the bottom! I promise you will love minky again!

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  30. How is the care of minky after it's been washed once? I planned on making a rag quilt (though in strips, not squares) for a charity project and dug up some fuzzy minky that I need to use on something. It goes with the flannel I had picked out and thought it might be fun to incorporate a few strips here and there on the quilt front, but don't want to if the upkeep will be difficult or if it would make the fray/rag part of the flannel it's being paired with look silly. Thanks!

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  31. I totally appreciate this review! It is hard to know when to adapt another person's project and do it myself and when it is worth it to purchase the other's project. This is definitely one of those times to support another artist. Love that!

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  32. I'm in the process of making an appliquéd minky quilt for my first grand baby. A boy!! Yay!! After working a few hours I can't breath because of all of the dust in my throat. Feels like I've been in a Shara Desert dust storm. I will wash and dry before presenting the quilt!

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  33. I went to a workshop yesterday with a rep from Shannon Fabric. She gave great tips. She told us Cuddle Fabric does not shed after the initial cutting. I found other tips at http://www.pacificfabrics.com/media/uploads/2011/03/17/files/Cuddle_Sewing_Tips.pdf.

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  34. can you make a rag time quilt with cotton

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  35. An alternative to washing after cutting to get rid of the snow, try throwing it in the dryer, no heat, with a damp rag.

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