These 4 tips for quilting with minky or faux fur will help you create a luxuriously soft backing for your next quilt. It's cold in the midwest this time of year and believe it or not, people still have babies in the middle of the winter (wild, huh?)
So when a very special friend of mine had a very special baby in the coldest season of the year, I knew his baby quilt needed to be extra warm, soft, and snuggly. I knew that quilting with minky or faux fur for backing was the way to go!
The quilt pattern featured in this tutorial is Summer Haze.
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How to Quilt with Minky or Faux Fur
We teamed up with Shannon Fabrics to create a post all about quilting with their luxuriously soft Luxe Cuddle fabric! I wish you could reach through the screen to feel how ultra-soft this really is – I'm not even a baby, but now I want a quilt backed in it too!
Not only is the Shannon Luxe Cuddle fabric ridiculously soft, it comes in dozens of patterns and colors to match any project you could dream up! These were three of my favorites, from left to right: Alpine in Pecan, Hide in Natural, and Snowy Owl in Charcoal, which is what I used for this quilt.
But... isn't quilting with minky or faux fur hard?? The short answer – NO! With these four tips, you'll be sewing up your next creamy, dreamy quilt in no time. Let's go!
Quilting with Minky or Faux Fur Supplies
If you don't have one or any of these specific supplies, you'll probably be fine; however, these are what the minky and faux fur supplier recommend using and I agree that they do make the job easier.
- Stretch 90/14 Needle or Universal 90/14 Needle
- 50 wt. polyester thread (If you're asking, "Will cotton thread work too?" The answer is yes, but in this case a poly-blend or 100% poly would be better. For detail on why read this blog post, The Difference Between Cotton and Poly Thread: A Hard-Hitting Interview.)
- Basting spray
- Walking foot
Tip 1: Press Your Quilt Top Seams Well
Before we even get into quilting with minky, preparing your quilt top is the first key to success. Getting your seams as flat as possible ensures that your quilt top will lay flat when basting and later when you're quilting. You can press them open or to the side, but just be sure they're pressed well! A good wool pressing mat and tailors clapper are two tools that can help greatly in this step.
For my quilt top, I pieced the baby size Summer Haze quilt with a variety of Art Gallery Fabrics prints and solids. There was just something about these colors that reminded me of snuggling up next to a warm fireplace after coming in from the cold!
Tip 2: Baste, Baste, Baste
Of all the tips, this one may be the most important. When you're quilting with minky or faux fur, it is critical that you baste your layers together extremely well to ensure that nothing shifts or puckers. When people complain that their minky puckered while sewing with it, it's usually because the layers moved around or they weren't basted flat to begin with.
I personally used basting spray for quilting with minky this time around, and I opted to skip the batting because the Cuddle fabric was fairly thick and I didn't want it to get too heavy. Pin basting would certainly work as well – but regardless of which method you use, take your time to be sure all layers are extra secure.
Tip 3: Use a Walking Foot and Take Your Time
After your seams have been pressed and your layers have been securely basted, it's time to get down to the actual quilting! Bump your stitch length up to 3.5 and slooooow downnnn (yes, lead-foot quilters, I'm talking to you) and you will be far happier with the results!
If you have one, I'd highly recommend using a walking foot for quilting with minky or faux fur. It helps to feed the fabric evenly through your machine so you aren't pushing and tugging to move it through. Slowing down from your normal breakneck quilting speeds will ensure that the fabric is being moved evenly and will help you to avoid those pesky puckers!
Tip 4: Keep it Clean with a Handheld Vacuum
You may think this tip is a joke, but I assure you, it is not. This is the single easiest way to keep the mess to a minimum because we all know how minky can shed A LOT. So here's the trick to save your sanity:
Every time you cut the minky to expose a raw edge (when cutting it to size for backing, when you're trimming your quilt, etc.) turn your handheld vacuum on and run it along the edge you just cut. This sucks up all the fibers that were severed, as well as any that might be on the verge of coming off.
Although you may still need to vacuum your sewing space when you're done with your project, this significantly decreases the lovely fuzz floating around.
If you follow these tips, quilting with minky or faux fur will be a breeze! So go pick up a couple yards of Cuddle fabric, grab a quilt top (you know you have some laying around waiting for backing) and quilt it up! You'll be snuggled on the couch with your new favorite quilt in no time.
have you sewn with either minky or faux fur? Tell us about it in the comments!