The first time I saw Minkee (also spelled “Minky”) fabric was in a quilt store in Connecticut. It was shelved with the baby fabrics and was a beautiful, plush, soft fabric. It’s the kind of fabric that you can’t stop touching, because it feels so wonderful! At the time I was completing a baby quilt and knew that it would be the perfect backing.
It was perfect, in that it was beautifully soft and made a great quilt backing. However — and this is a biggie — minkee is more difficult to work with than cotton or flannel. The fabric is thick and slippery. It is stretchy. Minkee also sheds EVERYWHERE. Seriously. You will never curse the animal hair in your house after you’ve worked with Minkee and had pink fuzz over everything you own. You can deal with the slippery issue by using lots of pins (I pinned every half-inch). Also, use a 1/2″ seam rather than 1/4″ seam when piecing.
There are other advantages of Minkee, if you can get beyond the fuzz-all-over-the-house issue. It is 100% polyester and washes well. It also comes in a 60″ width, which is fabulous for most quilts. I would not recommend seaming Minkee to make a quilt backing — I would choose a nice flannel instead.
Minkee also comes in a wide variety of colors, patterns and textures. The dot texture (shown on left) is easier to work with than the plush fabrics, in my opinion, because they are thinner.
Many sources recommend that you do not use batting when using Minkee for the backing. I disagree. I made my first Minkee baby quilt without batting and was very disappointed in the look of it. I would recommend a light-weight polyester batting.
This website gives great tips on sewing with Minkee.
Below you will see a Minkee baby quilt that I made recently. It has Minkee on both sides. I will describe those challenges in more detail tomorrow.