One of our ever thoughtful students dropped off a copy of an article in the December 2006 issue of Quilters Newsletter Magazine. The article was written by Ann Fahl and advocates an interesting method of folding quilts on the bias to avoid permanent creases. I knew that folding quilts the same way, in halves at each fold, would damage the fibers over time and the creases would be permanent, but I had never seen this method.
Prior to reading this article, I made a point of folding differently every quilt I take out for a lecture or show to a client. Some I fold in thirds, then random proportions. Others I’d fold in different proportions for storage.
But invariably as I am hurrying to pack up after a trunk show or lecture I’d end up folding a lot in half so only the back of the quilt is exposed because it’s faster. While I like this new technique and will use it once the quilts are back in the studio it does take a little practice to master. If you have some special quilts that you want to keep for future generations, try wrapping them in a clean sheet on the bias. Small pieces work well on an acid-free cardboard tube that is covered. Be sure to give your quilts plenty of air to breathe and avoid keeping them in plastic bags or containers for long. For more details about quilt conservation click here for an excellent article from the Canadian Conservation Institute.