Because I get a lot of questions about it…I thought I’d share about my process when backing and quilting Minky. I’m definitely not an expert but I’ve found what works best for me. I only attempt quilting them myself when they are a throw size or under…if I’m in a brave mood I might even try a twin size.
As I said in my Looking In post, I bought buy a lot of my Minky backings from my local Joanns, from here online (the cuddle dot is SO soft), and from here if I'm desperate when they go on sale (usually around $7-8 dollars a yard). Since some of them are 64" wide (check the listing before you buy), I can usually get away with only buying 2 to 2.5 yards and not piecing the back (throw size and under). I don’t pre-wash my Minky backs.
If I want a heavy quilt…especially if its going to be on a bed I add batting. If I want a lighter quilt for carrying around or for the couch I skip the batting. Double sided Minky Fleece is my favorite to use when I skip the batting (it’s a little thicker/fluffier), but it probably doesn’t matter. You can also use flannel to take the place of batting, especially if there is a lot of white in your top.
I pull out the big guns when I baste with Minky. I use basting spray heavily first, then I go back and also pin every 6-8". It’s probably overkill but it works. I tape the back to the floor when I baste…but be extra careful not to stretch it. Just get the wrinkles and creases out without pulling it tight.
Right after basting I stay-stitched around the edges using a long stitch length to keep everything in place. Once you get quilting the quilt can shift a lot and the edges tend to get stretched and wonky…I feel like it helps me free motion quilt nicely around the edges and everything stays nice and square.
If you notice the backing pulling through to the front in the stitches, try switching to a thinner needle. I usually use a size 90/10 (?) needle when I quilt…once I switched to a smaller size it stopped.
Using a large quilting design will keep your quilt from being too stiff and it will drape more like a cozy fleece throw. It will also prevent swear words from being said. :)
After I machine stitch the binding on it’s ready do be used and loved and fought over relentlessly!
That picture up there is before washing, but after washing it looked nearly the same with a tiny bit more "crinkle" in the top. Of course if you use batting, you’ll get a nice crinkly top, but a much stiffer quilt.
Feel free to share any other tips in the comments section…I’m sure we’d all love to read them!