Do you ever find yourself just avoiding a project? I am in that place with my current project. This has never happened to me before.... I am about 1/4 of the way through quilting my first finish of 2014, I should be so excited, right? It's not that I am disappointed in anything with this quilt. It has been a bit of a bear to put together, but really not the most difficult quilt I have made. Why this avoidance of getting on the machine and finishing this quilt? It isn't going to take that long, I am doing an all over quilting design that goes pretty quickly. I could have it done in several hours, I could that is if I just do it!! FMQing is my favorite part. . . I have been avoiding this quilt for days! Has this ever happened to you? What do you do to get past it and looking back have you figured out why the block? I would love to hear what you have to say! :)
Minkee. . . . it is so soft, so cuddly and comes in a beautiful array of colors and textures. . . and is feared by many! lol I tend to put the battle stories I've heard about a technique, fabric or pattern out of my head when I dive into a project. The picture below is of the Minkee/flannel rag quilt I made. It was made with the Minkee Tween layer cake and flannel yardage from a local LQS.
Call me crazy, but I didn't think working with Minky was that bad :) When I bought the flannel yardage I was talking to the person cutting the fabric about working with Minky. She said she worked with it all the time, no problems. The best piece of advise she gave me was to throw it into the dryer after it is cut to reduce the fur storm that will happen after the material is cut. I had not opened the package of squares yet so I took it to my dryer, opened it (fur storm for sure) and put it in the dryer for about 15 minutes. It worked! I had no issues with the material shedding as I worked with it :)
I also found that rag quilts are very forgiving in terms of cutting and sewing - sometimes it is good to just sew and not be obsessed about 1/4 inch seams and perfection in cutting! The squares were 11 inches to start. I sewed the Minky and flannel together by sewing an X corner to corner and then I sewed generous 1/2 inch seams. I didn't use pins (I do use them on occasion but when I sewed the first X and I didn't experience the stretch and slipping around I had heard about I went with it) and because all of those edges were going to be snipped - no need to worry about having everything perfectly lined up - YAY :) I did use pins when I sewed the rows together. Those seam junctures are THICK and I found I really did need to have them pinned to get them through the machine and have them even semi close.
I did buy the 'special' scissors made for snipping the edges. Honestly, I don't think this is needed... My hand still got sore and you still need to watch that you are not cutting through the seams. Mine has sat in a sewing stuff drawer since I finished this quilt. I'll use it again, there is a denim rag quilt in my future, but again, a regular sharp sewing scissors will give you the same results - and you can use the saved money on more fabric!
So there you have it, I say, if you have been avoiding Minkee (or Cuddle) because of all the horror stories, jump in and give it a try! Here is the tutorial on making a Minkee rag quilt. Yes, another Jenny Doan video :)
Until next time, keep on quilting!!