How to: Set Up Your Minky Backed Quilt for Binding

Minky….. when someone says they have a minky (or cuddle) backed quilt for me to bind it evokes the emotions of joy and fear all at once. It is such a fuzzy, soft, cuddly, wonderful material, but at the same time it is SUCH a beast to work with if you don’t set yourself up for success. There is a reason some long arm quilters charge more for a minky as it does require more of a gentle hand and care. If it is pulled too tight, the back ends up being tighter than the front and bunching occurs in the quilt top. If it is not pulled tight enough, the backing ends up bump and loose. It is a lot like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, you have to treat it *just* right in all steps of the quilting process, including binding prep.

First, not all minky is created equally. We all love the stuff you can buy at big box stores because it is so much cheaper and often purchased with a coupon, bringing the cost down even more. If you are planning on hand binding your quilt, do not use this kind. It is like pulling a needle through plastic. You will cause so much hand fatigue and it will take you three times as long to finish your hand binding. The minky (or Cuddle as it is known) made by Shannon Fabrics is the kind you want to use for quilts that will require hand binding. (This is not sponsored, they don’t even know who I am). The needle glides through it like butter. It still takes a little bit longer to bind than a quilt backed in cotton or flannel, but it is worth the extra expense to save yourself grief in the binding process.

Once you are at the point that you are ready to bind a quilt that is backed in minky (or cuddle), trim the excess of leaving about 1″ of backing and batting. It is imperative that you leave the basting stitch provided by the quilter around the edge. If you trim this off and trim your quilt top to size, the minky will try to sneak back under the quilt as you are attaching your binding in prep for hand work.

Next, attach your prepped binding along the edge of the quilt. If the quilt top is not very square, try your best to make it so. If it doesn’t bother you, then follow the edge of the quilt top. You are the boss. If you care about it being square, awesome! If you don’t, awesome! Do everything as you would normally do when attaching binding, like mitering corners, etc.

Quilt was made by Meg Dunton (@thebaconandmegssews) and quilted by Ashley Golden (@aagolden84)


Once you have attached your binding along the whole edge of the quilt, grab your fabric scissors and ever so carefully trim along the edge of the binding.

This will help your binding to go significantly easier than if you had trimmed your quilt before attaching binding. I cannot say how much easier this method is enough! It truly is. If you need help with binding technique, how to make binding continuous around the edge (so you can’t tell when it starts or stops), how to mitre corners, etc. there are lots of awesome internet tutorials. If you don’t want to scour the internet finding them, my Comprehensive Guide to Hand Binding Quilts is up in my Etsy and Craftsy shops, complete with lots of step-by-step photos walking you through the whole process.



Fat Quarter Shop Quiltalong: Clementine Quiltalong Month 4

We made it to month 4 of the Clementine Quiltalong for Fat Quarter Shop benefitting St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital! This month’s block is called Coconut Cross and was my favorite one to put together so far! I really enjoyed that there were 3 different types of units that came together to make each unique block. For the pattern and more info on the quiltalong, head to Fat Quarter Shop’s blog, The Jolly Jabber!

Free Quilt Tutorial Round Up

As I was making my Cake Pops quilt, I got to thinking that there really are a lot of awesome, free quilt tutorials on lots of different blogs. I thought it would be fun, and hopefully useful to you, if I did a round-up of free quilt tutorials! There are literally hundreds out there (and I’m not talking about those on Moda Bake Shop, Missouri Star, Art Gallery, etc) and are such a great resource for those of us who like to spend our quilting money on fabric vs. patterns! Here are some of my favorites from some of my favorite people:


Saguaro Quilt by Kairle Oaks of Handcrafted Goodness




Kairle shares a step-by-step tutorial of how to make these awesome, scrappy cactus blocks.





Wonky Log Cabin Quilt by Emily Carr of Simple Girl Simple Life



Emily’s unique way of using up scraps to make such a fun quilt is sure to make your scrap bin load a tiny bit lighter.





Banners Quilt by Kelsey of Fox Fishe 




This is a free pattern on Craftsy and uses fat quarters, fat eighths, or scraps!





No Waste Large Granny Square by Trish Poolson


This is another free Craftsy pattern that uses charm squares and a no-waste method to make a fun spin on a traditional granny square quilt.




Framed Squares by Andy Knowlton of A Bright Corner



Andy purposefully chose to use bigger squares of fabric so as to not cut the adorable prints into small, non-recognizable pieces. This is a great one for those larger-scale prints you’ve been hoarding.





Jelly Strip Stash Buster Quilt by Allison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew



We all know and love many of Allison’s free tutorials (hearts, anyone??) but this is my personal favorite. I tend to never know what to do with a jelly roll and this is definitely on my must-make list!





Quick Cornerstone Quilt by Amy Smart by Diary of a Quilter




I know and love Amy’s Patchwork Forest tutorial very well, but this is another simple showstopper with many, many possibilities for the fussy cutter in all of us.




Scrappy Trip (Modified!) by Alli Jensen of Woodberry Way



The traditional Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt gets a bright, new makeover by Alli in this fun tutorial. This is another on my must-make list, in fact I already have a white jelly roll ready to go once I can decide on which fabric line to use….. 🙂





Sawdash Quilt by Marion McClellan of My Quilt Diet


This is for the ambitiously awesome quilters out there and it is a STUNNER. Marion remade it a few years ago in solids for Riley Blake Design’s quilt market booth and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Marion shares her tips and tricks on her blog for this gorgeous block!





Cake Pops by Jen Van Orman of Heritage Threads



This is a fast, easy kid-sized quilt that uses most of 1 layer cake with 2 simple blocks on repeat. It is a fast one for sure!






Rainy Day Jr by Lindsey Neill of Pen + Paper Patterns



Lindsey is so dang clever with her quilt patterns and this is no exception. It is such a fun baby quilt and I have plans to figure out how to make it a mini reeeeeally soon!





Fizzy Wigs by Melanie Colette of Hello Melly Designs



Melanie’s super clever use of a charm pack ends up being an even more clever quilt!






That’s it for now! There are SOOOOO many awesome, free quilt tutorials out there if you are needing something. I hope this was helpful as you are planning out future projects!