Welcome to Kate's Quilting Block's Blog. We are a quilt shop located in the heart of Utah. Along with beautiful fabrics and quilting supplies we offer machine quilting, custom embroidery/monogramming, and hemstitching services. Follow us on our our blog or facebook for updated news and events. You can also follow us on our website http://www.katesquiltingblock.com/.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sewing with Minky Successfully Part Two

My simple suggestions for working with minky -

Minky Strips
Cutting:  Never cut with a dull blade or scissors.  The pile of most minky's is way to thick and a dull instrument will not give you the clean cut needed to minimize shedding.  Always replace a rotary cutter blade if you suspect it of being dull.  You can always mark the blades with masking tape for later use with fabrics not needing an absolute sharp blade.

Tidying as you cut: Use a sticky lint roller to pick up the shedded fibers off of the minky as you cut.  This minimizes the minky fluff from going all over everything and helps to keep it somewhat contained.  It also helps make clean up easier if you are doing what you can as you go along.
Also keeping a vacuum handy is a good way to keep the fuzz under control.  You will need to vacuum the entire area after you are finished cutting and sewing.

Seam Allowance:  The recommended seam allowance on minky is 1/2 inch.  Minky tends to curl so the 1/2 inch gives you room to sew without catching the curl.  Take your time when sewing minky.  This fabric does not respond well when sewn at fast speeds.  I find that it tends to slip and stretch when sewn at high speeds.

Sewing: I have heard many ladies mention that you need a walking foot to sew on minky.  I disagree.  In my opinion a walking foot stretches the fabric.  When sewing knits (this is where the knit characteristic comes in) in most cases you do not want them stretching.  When knits are stretched while sewing they tend to come out with a ripple effect.  Minky can do the same.  Now if you are wanting a ruffle effect stretching is definitely something that you want to do.

Sew at a slower speed not a fast one.  This minimizes sliding along with pinning.  You can also minimize the sliding by hand basting your pieces together.

Remove your pins as you sew. Do not sew over your pins.  This can cause the needle to break and cut a hole in your minky.

Pinning: While sewing minky you will see some sliding.  It is very important that you have a lot of pins on hand and pin minky prior to sewing.  You want to pin farther apart than every couple of inches.  I recommend about 1 to 1.5 inches apart.   I also like to use binding hem clips in place of pins depending on the project.   I especially like to use them when binding with minky.

Have Patience and Be Flexible:  Minky is a specialty fabric and has its own characteristics.  Be willing to work with the fabric.  Never work with minky when tired or upset.  It has the potential of driving you nuts if you are tired and increasing your frustration if you are upset.

I hope that these tips and suggestions help to make your minky project a success.

Happy snuggling!


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sewing with Minky Successfully Part One

Snuggly Cuddle by Shannon Fabrics
Here at Kate's a lot of you have been asking how to sew on Minky.  So here are some suggestions and little information to help you better understand minky.  I have broken it up into two parts to make it easier to read.

1. First we recommend starting off with a good quality minky.  There are many types and qualities of minky out there.  We prefer the Snuggly Cuddle fabric by Shannon Fabrics it is of the finest quality and works up the best.
2. Our favorite tools when working with Minky fabrics:
  • Rotary cutter with sharp blade.  
  • Sticky Lint Roller
  • Scissors
  • Pins or binding hem clips
3. Minky is a specialty fabric and with some of the fabrics has a definite nap. For those of you who may not know what a nap is the definition is below.
  • Nap:  part of a fabric that is usually directional in nature or going only one way.  Good examples of fabric with naps are corduroy and velvet.  These fabrics when smoothed with the hand in one direction, are typically shiny and are not shiny when smoothed the other direction.
Along with a nap minky is very stretchy.  I have heard some refer to it as a knit.  I agree with it being a knit yet considering the nature of minky and some of its unique characteristics I lean more to distinguishing it in its own category of a specialty fabric.  For me the reasons are because minky is like a knit in that it is stretchy so you have to that into consideration when choosing minky for a project.  Also it is kind of like fur.  In that it sheds a great deal and depending on the type of design on the minky it only lays one direction.  Also minky on the wrong/backside side of the fabric is kind of satiny; making it slippery to work with.

These reasons are why I, call it and treat it, like a specialty fabric.  Each specialty fabric has its own quirks and minky is no different.  Now I know all of this kind of sounds a little intimidating.  But it really isn't.  If you follow a few simple suggestions it works out beautifully.  (see part two for these suggestions)

Happy snuggling!


Monday, June 11, 2012

It's in the Bag Savings
It's in the Bag Savings Event

It's in the Bag Savings Event is
Wednesday - Saturday,
June 13-16, 2012.  

Receive 20% OFF all regular priced items that will fit in the bag.  
Bags are available in store beginning Wednesday June 13th.   

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Fat Quarter Frenzy Today

Our monthly Fat Quarter Frenzy Event is today.  5 for $10.00 Don't miss your chance to pick up your favorites.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fabric Colors - Color Basics

Color Wheel
Ever wonder about what category a certain color falls under?  Here is a quick synopsis to help figure out this question.

Colors are described as cool or warm depending on its position in the color spectrum and the hues of its nearest neighboring color.

Red, orange and yellow are warm colors, while violet and blue are cool colors.  Green is said to be the most neutral color.

Colors are further categorized into primary, secondary and tertiary colors.  Primary colors are blue, red, and yellow.  These are pure colors that have no component other than themselves.

Secondary colors are orange, green and purple.  These are composed of the primary colors on either side of it on the color wheel. Orange is made form red and yellow, Green is made of yellow and blue, Purple is made of blue and red.

Tertiary colors are orange-red, orange-yellow, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-purple, and red-purple.  Tertiary colors assume more of one color than the other.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pattern Party Winner!

  Congratulations to Wendy the winner of this quarters Pattern Party Open House Door Prize drawing.

Come party with us!  It's not to late to join the fun.  Click here to download our latest newsletter with all of our Pattern Party, Block of the Month, and class information.