Minky is one of the coziest, snuggliest backing fabrics out there but it can be a little intimidating if you have never used it for a quilt backing before. This post has all of the information you need to know before you back your first quilt with minky.
1. Minky stretches. Unlike quilting cotton, minky has quite a bit of stretch perpendicular to the selvage. If you are sending your quilt to a long arm quilter, they will most likely know how to deal with minky on their machine since it is a common backing fabric, but if you are quilting your project on your own, you will want to make sure not to stretch the fabric when basting. You want you fabric pulled taut (not loose) but not stretched. I know that lots of people like to use spray baste for minky, but I like to use pins.
4. Instead of piecing minky for your quilt back, I recommend buying 90" wide minky. It is much easier than picking your backing. I usually buy mine from the Fat Quarter Shop — they even have a few luxe minky varieties that are 90" wide.
Normally when I buy minky, I buy a 2 yard cut (for both the standard and the wide width). Here is the largest quilt size you can make with each type of minky without having to piece the minky for your quilt back.
Note: each of the maximum sizes listed below includes 8" of extra fabric for both the length and width which is the preference of most long arm quilters. If you want to live life on the wild side and make your quilt a couple of inches bigger than the size listed, baste at your own risk!
Standard width — 58/60"
With a 2 yard cut of fabric, you will have a piece that is 58" x 72". That makes your maximum quilt top size 50" x 64".
Wide width — 90"
With a 2 yard cut of fabric, you will have a piece that is 72" x 90". That makes your maximum quilt top size 64" x 82".
Minky really isn't much more difficult to use than regular quilting cotton, but a little knowledge goes a long way. I hope that this encourages you to make your next quilt a little extra snuggly!