Monday, 7 April 2008

Minkee and me

I've just discovered minkee fabric. I think it might be one of those love/hate things! The fabric is so gorgeously soft and strokeable. It's just crying out to be turned into sweet little baby blankets, which is what I've been making with it. It's got a velvety feel and a really soft drape, and the little raised dot detail is perfect for little fingers to explore. I really, really love it ... the only problem is that it's a bit of a nightmare to sew! As you cut into it, it's like a snow flurry with tiny pieces of fluff flying everywhere. And despite the fact I thought I'd cut the square of minkee to exactly the same size as the cotton square, they didn't seem to want to match up while I was sewing!

So, bring on the safety pins and the walking foot! I put the pieces right sides together and safety pinned all over, then I also pinned all the way round the cut edges as the minkee has a tendency to roll inwards. I'm really happy with the end result - I could just sit down and stroke these little baby blankets. I only wish I'd made the discovery when my two were babies as they're the height of small baby luxury!

In case anyone's interested, I found a few links with helpful tips on working with minkee:

Sew News
Flickr thread in the Sew Mama Sew group
Pattern Review
A Common thread
America Quilts Creatively

The general consensus seems to be to pin, pin again, then pin some more! Also use a walking foot and a universal size 80 needle, with the minkee against the feed dogs.

There are going to be more of these in the works, just as soon as I get hold of some more baby blue and ice cream pink fabrics - they just look so pretty against the white minkee.


  1. What lovely fabric!

  2. am having that exact same problem with Jude's bibs and shoozies! great tips, thanks

  3. Thanks everyone! Sallyent - it really is a nightmare to sew isn't it, but so lovely once it's finished it's probably worth the effort ... I think ...!

  4. Hi
    Your blankets look so cute. Where are you sourcing your minkee fabric from? Its hard to get hold of in the UK and expensive too!

  5. I recently used Minke as the backing only of a baby blanket I made for my newest little granddaughter. Here's what I found:

    1) Use Quilt basting like a charm, and I machine quilted the entire quilt with no movement and no pins! And there is not one single pucker anywhere on the quilt. The Quilt Basting spray also controls the fuzz and lint that Minke can generate and kept the edges flat so I was able to use a 1/4 inch seam on the binding.

    2) When sewing on the binding, make sure the Minke is on the bottom so the feed dogs keep it moving at the same rate as your cotton top and batting...again Quilt Basting spray helps this process also.

    3) Definitely prewash ALL other fabrics that will be used in your quilt including the batting--unless your batting specifically states that it will not shrink!

    Sometimes ignorance truly is bliss, as I did not realize that Minke was supposed to be hard to work with until after I had done this quilt, and luckily, I did not have a problem with it at all. Hope this helps.

  6. Hi Nola! Thanks for sharing your tips. The quilt basting spray sounds like a great idea - I hadn't thought about trying that!


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