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My first quilt was a baby quilt for our daughter. It was one of those with a synthetic minky "cuddle" fabric. I wish I would have used another backing because synthetic fabrics mat up. A lot of people don't realize this and wash the minky/fleece backed baby blanket as they would everything else. That softness goes away quick! So make sure you keep in mind they have to be washed on gentle, that's always made me hesitate for something for a child.

I do understand the allure of soft minky, it's super soft and cuddly, but it is also stretchy. On a normal machine, this can be an issue and you may find it very hard to deal with. I swore that I would never do it again, but here I am still using it. I actually like it better than longram.

But it has gotten easier.

The planning stage

My process for the most recent quilt I did went like this:

  • Pin the top and bottom of the backing onto the rollers.
    • Minor stretch width wise, the trick is to put as little tension as possible at this step.

  • Start winding the rollers, keeping the end even.
    • Don't force anything in place, just smooth it out.
    • This minimizes stretch, and applies an even stretch length wise.
  • Float the batting and top over the backing, pinning where necessary.
  • Use side tensioners and make sure to grab firmly onto the backing and batting.
    • Judge your tightness based on the quilt top rather than your backing.
  • And mark everything. Before you get started. If you draw your lines ahead of time that can save you quilting time and this makes for a fun quilting experience.

    You can learn everything about quilting, but it just takes time, practice and some nerves!