Know When (and How) to Fold ‘Em

by Weeks on November 13, 2006

in Quilting, Whip Up Tutorials

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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.

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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.

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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.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 amy November 13, 2006 at 3:51 am

that’s a flag fold, isn’t it?
or at least quite similar?

2 Caitlin O'Connor November 13, 2006 at 6:58 am

Ahh, thanks for this! One of my quilting HEROES, Jenny Bowker, told us she “puddles” big quilts – therby getting random “folds” that never land in the same place twice – and her quilts certainly hang beautifully, with no ugly crease lines.

3 dorie November 13, 2006 at 10:08 am

Thanks for the tip!

4 Paisley November 13, 2006 at 1:44 pm

Excellent tip. Now I just need to work out what the bias is on an octagonal quilt!

5 gina November 17, 2006 at 1:11 pm

Thanks for the folding tip, Weeks! I am going to try it on hy hubby’s shirts as well.

And I agree with amy, I helped my boy scout son fold a flag recently…same idea.

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