Monday, June 4, 2012

Fabric Folding Tutorial {Cheap & Simple}

Think of your favorite quilt shop, doesn't the image of all those neatly folded and stored bolts of fabric make you dreamy? Get that look for yourself!
But hey, folding your fabric in a uniform and consistent manner does more than just look pretty! It tends to store easier - and when folded with the technique shown below you can even tell approximately how much yardage you may have at a glance.

There are several ways you can fold your fabrics, I'm going to show you the 2 ways I've used. (Actually, they are just 2 variations of the same method) They both have their benefits, hopefully one way will work for you too!

Using the Comic book backing boards is the method I currently use in my own studio. 

I prefer the fabric stacked vertically - it does take up more space, but I feel like I can see each print easier.
Backer boards are a cheap alternative to specific fabric boards - I mean like 10 bucks for a pack of 100 at my local shop! (Wondering where you can find some near you? Check out the Comic Book Shop Locator. NAYY) And hey, I figure  if they're good enough for die-hard comic book collectors they're good enough for me.

The alternative method is using the same basic technique, but using a 6 inch quilting ruler (or any size, really) to fold your fabric around. When you reach the end, simply slide your ruler out. Then you can stack your fabrics on you shelves. The benefit here is you can fit more fabric on your shelves this way.


 Just a note before you start: When squaring up your fabric, align the selvedge edges as pictured below, don't worry if your cut edges do not match.

Do not try to square up your fabric by lining up the cut edges - chances are your fabric was not cut on grain and it will lay wonky like pictured below.

Okay, lets start!
Fold your fabric in half selvedge edges together - I like to do this with the manufacturers info facing down.

And then fold in half again, bringing the folded edge to meet the selvedge edges.

Next, using a comic book backing board, fold the edge of the fabric over the board.

Continue folding the fabric around the board until you reach the end.

You can pin the loose edge if you like (and if you began with the manufacturer info face down you can now see it without having to unfold your fabric) 

Okay, so you may be wondering how all this helps you know how much yardage you have?
Simple! Just count the folded layers on the edge, and multiply by 6 (or what ever size ruler/board you folded with) So, if you used a 6 inch ruler and had 6  folded layers, you'd know you have about 1 yard. 
*This isn't an exact science, and the more yardage you have the more you'll be "off"

Tell us! Do you bother to refold your fabric when you bring it home from the quilt shop, or do you just toss it on the shelf how ever the girl at the cutting counter gave it to you?

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