A baby quilt from the past, and tips for working with Minky

This is a throwback Thursday re-post of a baby quilt tutorial that I did for Shannon Fabrics back in 2013.  I’ve been around long enough and I have so many new followers, that it’s nice to reintroduce you to some of my previous work.  Plus, I’ve got some great tips for working with Minky, and you’ll want to see how I used the Minky backing to bind my quilt!

I love using Cuddle fabric (also known as Minky) from Shannon when I make quilts.  Not only is it ultra soft, but it comes in so many delicious colors and textures.  It can turn an ordinary quilt into a comfort superstar.  Knowing the nature of the fabric plus a few tips and tricks will make it fun and easy to work with.

baby quilt tutorial with minky

I made a simple baby (or child’s) quilt using Cuddle for the backing and for the circles which were appliqued on top of a cute print – Urban Zoologie by Robert Kaufman (which is no longer available).  For the binding, I wrapped the backing to the front of the quilt and mitered the corners.  There’s nothing like a soft edge to a quilt.  Simple shapes are very easy and quick to applique using Cuddle. This is a great way to use up scraps of Minky fabric!  Here’s what you need to get started:

Finished Size:  42″ x 42″


  • 1 1/4 yard of Urban Zoologie, by Robert Kaufman (or other large print)
  • 1/4 yd each (or 6″ wide scraps) of Cuddle Dimple in orange, jade, black, azure and capuccino
  • 1 1/3 yard of Cuddle 3, color Jade, for backing
  • 1 1/3 yard of batting (I used Hobb’s Heirloom 80/20 cotton polyester)
  • Freezer paper for circle templates or template plastic
  • Basting Glue
  • Thread to match applique


Prepare quilt top.

Cut the Urban Zoologie fabric into a  42″ inch square.


A few notes about appliqueing with Cuddle fabric:  Cuddle fabric has a nap to it and it can be easily crushed when pressed with a hot iron (especially the Cuddle Dimple used in this project).  Because of this, I don’t like to use fusible web products when working with Cuddle.  I simply cut out the shapes and baste them in place with a water soluble glue – such as Roxanne’s Glue Baste It.  Cuddle does not fray once it’s cut other than the “cuddle dust” that is released after cutting.  You can stitch the applique shapes in place with a straight stitch or other decorative stitch of your choice (more about that later).


1.  Make circle templates from freezer paper using bowls of three different sizes.  Using a fine-tip Sharpie, trace around each bowl onto the dull side of paper.  Press another piece of freezer paper on top so that both pieces are shiny side down.  This will create a sturdier edge for tracing around later.

2.  Carefully cut out freezer paper circle on drawn line.

template collage


3.  Trace circles onto the wrong side of dimple fabric using marking tool of your choice.  I found it easiest to use a fine-tip Sharpie for most of mine – just make sure to cut inside the drawn line.  Cut circles carefully as this will be your finished circle shape.

Cutting Circles


4.  Arrange circles randomly on quilt top square.  (Optional: Cute puppy helper)!

circles placed


Once you’re happy with the arrangement, baste circles in place:  Using basting glue, “draw” a line of glue about 1/4″ in from the raw edge of the circle.  Allow glue to dry (about 1 hour).

circle glue placed


5.  With matching thread, stitch around the edge of circles 1/8″ in from the raw edge using a straight stitch.  Secure stitches at the beginning and end.  Repeat for all circles.

thread choices copy


I tested out different stitches for appliqueing the circles, and I like the straight stitch best.  The blanket stitch looked a bit messy and the satin stitch requires careful attention and wasn’t worth the extra work.  Here’s what the different stitches looked like:

circle sample stitches


This is the finished circle after appliqueing with a straight stitch:

applique stitched


Note added for 2018:  My applique shapes still look great after a dozen washings!


Baste quilt layers together.  I used Hobb’s Heirloom 80/20 batting and I spray basted the layers together.  This basting method works great with Cuddle fabric.  You can find my tutorial for spray basting here.  Here’s a photographic summary of how I basted this quilt using 505 Spray and Fix Basting Spray:

spray basting collae

Draw quilting guidelines using the circle templates and a blue water soluble pen (or other marking tool).  I randomly drew circles between and overlapping the applique shapes.

draw quilting circles copy


Quilt on the marked lines using a walking foot or free motion quilting.  I love the way the quilting shows up on the back of this quilt!

cuddle quilt back corner copy


I love using Cuddle for the binding of a quilt, but it’s typically too thick and difficult to work with as a separate binding.  But, if you have Cuddle on the back of your quilt, you can use it for the binding, too, without having to make a separate binding.  I have a tutorial for this method using the Quick Easy Mitered Binding Tool that you may want to check out.  Basically, I trimmed the batting even with the quilt top (being careful not to cut into the backing fabric).  Then I trimmed the backing 2″ wider than the top all the way around.  Then I folded the backing fabric once (1″) so that it just met the edge of the quilt top and then folded it again so that it landed 1″ over the quilt’s edge.  Lastly, I stitched close to the folded edge:

Binding Stage 1a

The corners are mitered using the technique I demonstrated here.  It looks something like this:

Binding Stage 2

This quilt went together really fast.  The applique is very simple and I think it would look great using other shapes and colors too.  Maybe an “eye spy” quilt – Can you find the orange star?   Any way you make it, I’m sure you’ll enjoy your Cuddly baby quilt!

baby quilt tutorial with minky by The Crafty Quilter for Shannon Fabrics

The current “owner” of this quilt is our biggest baby, Cooper.  He loves to take naps in my sewing room and this is his spot.  We take it on trips, too, to make him feel comfortable.  He is a bit spoiled, right?

7 Tips for working with Cuddle Fabric:

  1. Cuddle fabric is made out of polyester and it has some “stretch” to it.
  2. Cuddle fabric will shed (“cuddle dust”) and this is normal when cutting the material.  You might want to shake it outside, or toss it in a dryer on cool for a few minutes.
  3. Use a 1/2″ seam allowance when stitching or piecing.
  4. Use a Universal (ballpoint) needle to sew with.
  5. Use lots of pins to keep edges together and to match seams.
  6. Use a walking foot when stitching.
  7. Increase your stitch length to 3.0 – 3.5 when quilting.

Have you worked with plush fabrics before?  It’s not bad once you get acquainted with it.  I appreciate you walking down memory lane with me.  We are going to Austin later today to visit our granddaughters (and our daughter).  Amelia just turned 3 and Clara is 4 months old – can you believe it?  I’ll be back with photos and more busy book information.  Have a great weekend!

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  1. Thanks, Julie. I think! Shoot, now I want to go out and BUY more fabric—Cuddle this time!!! This quilt is the cutest, thanks for the information. (Maybe, Lord willing, I will still be sewing in another 10 years–almost 85, and will have most of my stash sewn up and given away, and I can THEN make this quilt!)

  2. Hello Julie; This is an adorable quilt and wow you have once again written a magnificent tutorial! I have made sure to bookmark this post and save it to one of my Pinterest boards. Showing the variety of stitches you used on the fabric applique circle was a splendid idea and helps the individual really see what you are discussing and why you are doing it this way. Thank you again for a marvelous tutorial and pattern. Have a fantastic day!

  3. Thanks so much for addressing the ‘cons’ for using adhesive spray for basting quilts. I also really appreciate your warning about overspray and your recommendation for a product to use for cleaning that up. When I use basting spray, it’s usually outside and on a covered surface (like my patio table). Oh, and I also wear an old shirt to protect my clothing from back spray.

  4. Such a cute baby quilt! We are going to be welcoming a new baby to the family soon, and this will be perfect. Thanks! (Looking forward to the busy book)

  5. Julie-
    I LOVE your blog. I’m always happy when I see it in my email.
    You always have so many bright and refreshing ideas and so many excellent instructional projects.
    Love seeing your dog and seeing your kitchen project, and family goings on.
    You seem like it would be easy for others to be your BFF! With your lovely quilt expertise, it would be over the top.
    If you lived near me (Minnesota), I would surely go to a class of yours.
    Bless you!

  6. Thank you Julie for re-posting this as i have always been interesting in Minky and it was always intimidating to me. I am happy to have your tutorials to refer back to. I also saw some of your tutorials the other day! Thanks for all the educational tips.

  7. LOVE LOVE LOVE This!!! Thank-you SO much! Finally! I have been so disappointed with ALL these “easy” baby blanket tutorials, and none of them ever quilt it, so I am always so puzzled about how the two sides do not seperate and cause issues!?!?!! I super duper was in need of this, THANK-YOU. I now have confidence going forward!

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