Thursday, May 26, 2016

Minky Mayhem

Have you sewn with Minky before? Did you enjoy it? If you did, you are a far better sewist than I am. I am so used to using cotton for everything, that minky was a nightmare for me. When I was cutting the minky into squares, so much "fur" went all over my sewing room, it looked like a whole clan of teddy bears was murdered in there. Here is my shirt when I first started this morning, covered in minky bits. It got MUCH worse than this!

Sewing the squares together? So much slipping and sliding around, shifting all the time. I pinned a lot, and normally I never pin! I finished my project tonight, and all I can say, is now I will use the leftovers from this project ASAP, and get that mess out of my sewing room. I should have enough minky left for one more blanket, and after that, no more piecing minky for me. I might be talked into using minky for a backing of a quilt, but I'm not going to make a habit of piecing with minky.

So, what did I make with the minky?

I made a weighted blanket! If you don't know what those are, or why you might want one, read this. The article I just linked to also has a link to the first video tutorial on weighted blankets I watched. One of my grandkids needed a weighted blanket, and so I provided one. I'm hoping it helps them. I'm also making a weighted blanket for someone else, but that one will be fleece, and I have no problems working with fleece.

Now that I've made a weighted blanket, I'll pass on some tips I learned. I started out using the method shown in the Man Sewing video. Thanks to Katie, who reads my blog, I left both the top and the bottom of the quilt open when I enveloped it, with an extra 2" of backing on top and bottom. After turning right side out, I sewed up the vertical channels (stitch in the ditch from top to bottom only), then sewed only the center horizontal line. At that point you can work from either end, and you don't have to shake the poly beads all the way to the bottom of the quilt from the top. That was priceless information, so thank, Katie, for the heads up on that.

Another tip I saw, had you use a pencil to roll the beads down into the correct section, and holding the pencil in place while you sew, so you don't hit a plastic bead and break a needle.

One tip I learned all by myself, after having a bead disaster and picking up beads from all over my sewing room!

After you shake the beads down to the correct section, roll the top down and pin it closed, so you don't end up with beads all over the floor. The thing is, when you are stitching in the ditch on those horizontals, the weight of the blanket is pulling it off your sewing table. When the weight is hanging down like that, the beads end up trying to fall out, and were successful in doing so in my sewing room. Once I started rolling the ends up and pinning, no more messes to clean.

Now that that blanket is finished, I am not sorry I used minky. The blanket is amazingly soft, and has several nice textures to it. I really hope it helps the little one it's going to.

I laid out part of the I Spy quilt that is up next for sewing. I have less than a month to get this quilt finished and mailed off to Texas. While I am working on assembling this quilt top, I'll also be assembling the top to the fleece weighted blanket I'm making, and maybe getting those scrappy blocks sewn into fours. I won't be getting back to the medallion quilt until the I Spy quilt is finished. So many quilts, so little time!

1 comment:

katie z. said...

I'm glad it's all working out. I used plain quilting cotton for my weighted blanket, but I can see the appeal of Micky or fleece!