Monday, 27 August 2012

A "Duck" blanket using Minky!

Moose and Bandit!

It’s no secret that Fall is quickly approaching and I must say I’m really excited.   It’s not that I don’t love Summer...…obviously I do, but there comes a time when a girl wants to dress in faded jeans, boots, sweaters, scarves and watch the leaves change colors. Even if the temperature hasn't dipped too much yet, the evenings are becoming noticeably shorter. It makes me all fuzzy and warm on the inside just thinking about it! Soon the pumpkins and apples will be appearing beside the peaches, corn and tomatoes.....ahhh, and, I just love watching the changing leaves! So much so, that Wee Bear and I are leaving for three weeks to see the East Coast leaves turn. I have loved the West coast color changes, all my life, going on long drives up to Kelowna, British Columbia over the North Cascades Highway, Highway 2 to Leavenworth and down the coast on Hy-way 1  through Oregon. This year we are going to New York, see a few Broadway shows, visit some friends and board a ship to Montreal!! Yippeee! There are multiple stops for eating lobster rolls in Maine, salmon in Nova Scotia and viewing the beautiful East Coast Fall leaves through the St. Laurence seaway to Quebec, then to Montreal and all it has to offer. Wee Bear has been brushing up on his French and I have downloaded a app to my Iphone that translates! Can't wait!!





No worries, Sweet One is going to be posting on the blog and I may come in occasionally with some surprises I gather along the way, you won't even notice I'm gone!!


This Ducky blanket I whipped up for my Grand daughter, Emma. Paul, our son graduated from the University of Oregon, he is a "DUCK"! They have season tickets to all the football games, so, I thought this warm, cuddly Duck themed blanket would be the perfect ticket for little Emma. It is completely washable and made mostly of minky fabrics.

Minky is hell! When you finish a blanket, your room is filled with minky filiment! Minky fabric comes in all sorts of styles, colors and patterns. On fashionfabricsclub.com there are nearly 400 varieties, from prints and patterns of licensed characters to simply raised, dotted styles. Minky fabric is used to construct blankets, typically for small children down to infant age. The texture provides comfort and a smooth surface to cuddle against or lie on. Using minky fabric as a sewing material can be challenging, but there are tips that can help.  I have listed below.

Minky is slippery and has a lot of stretch on the crosswise grain. Because of this, if you are a beginning quilter with no other sewing experience, I would advise not using this fabric, especially if you're working under a close deadline.

Here, I drew the duck shape  and cut out the pieces.


I fused HeatnBond to all pattern pieces with a low iron on Minky.

 Drawing the wing on the duck body, then cutting it out of the orange cotton fabric, that I bonded with the HeatnBond. again with a low iron.

Using minky fabric as a sewing material can be challenging, but there are tips that can help. Cut minky with a rotary cutter to cut down on the inevitable mess of fuzz. If you choose to use Minky these tips should be of help:

  • Pin, and pin frequently (about 1 to 1-1/2 inches apart), to control stretch and slipperiness. That's both for piecing and quilting with minky. This is time consuming, but, worth the time!

  • Because it is thicker, lengthen your usual stitch length a bit and test. If you stitch with a 2.5 to 3.0 stitch length, try a 3.0 to 3.5.

  • Use your walking foot, stitching with the minky on the bottom right next to your feed dogs. I didn't need to do this, but, am experienced with Minky. But, I have friends that have found this helpful.

  • If you are piecing minky, use a larger, 1/2 inch seam allowance as the cut edges will try to curl.

  • Use an 80/12 Universal needle.

  • Do not iron your minky fabric directly. The heat of your iron can 'emboss' it and leave the pattern of your sole plate, forever on the fabric. I used a low iron on the front of the "Ducky" body to fuse to the background Minky.

  • Minky should be washed in cold water and then laid flat to dry, but can go in the dryer. Include washing instructions for the new Mom so she knows exactly what to do.

  • Use a low loft batting, or even forego the batting for a quilt backed with Minky. My appliqued blanket is backed with Minky.
  • Since this fabric is thicker than traditional quilter fabric, you will probably need to cut your binding strips wider.Try 1/2" wider and test on your practice quilt sandwich. Adjust as necessary.
  • Do clean out your bobbin case more frequently to keep your machine running at its best. And while you're at it, brush away any fibers that have accumulated in your feed dogs, too. Keep your vacuum cleaner and lint brush close by.


 After using the HeatnBond to adhere my wing shape, I satin stitched around each applique.


Attaching the head, eye and beak using the HeatnBond. Then using the satin stitch to finish it nicely.

Finishing the blanket, stitching through both layers and adding "Emma"   personalization.

video


I had a lot of fun making this blanket for Emma. Yesterday, I gave it to little Emma who was ecstatic........well she was celebrating her 4th month birthday, so, Mom and Dad were ecstatic for sure....hehehe!  Now, Grandma can relax, Emma will stay warm, while rooting for her Fathers alma mater and Mommy's favorite team!!

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For my Foodies! It's not a recipe, just an idea, I couldn't resist! This weeks trip to the Farmers market in Seattle was so exciting. With all the tomatoes coming into the market, I had to snap a couple of pictures!



These delicious heirloom tomatoes would be delicious, sliced and served with a nice aged Balsamic vinegar, feta or Gorgonzola and some toasted walnuts.....Mmmmmm





Delaurenti at the Seattle Public market, is my favorite place to buy cheese, oil, and vinegar. They have some nice 25 year old vinegars that would be lovely with your Heirloom Tomato salad!


Have a creative week and I will see you on Wednesday with a Mexican dish perfect for dinners during the  football season or for kids going back to school!

Cheers!
JJ

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