Monday, February 20, 2012

How to Fold and Store Quilts!

It's been quite awhile since I taught at a guild in Virginia.  Before my lecture, I had dinner with about 6 women, and one of them mentioned how she folded and packed her quilts.  She folded her quilts on the bias instead of the the straight of the grain.  The bells and whistles went off in my brain--this was the answer on how to safely pack quilts when I teach and send them to exhibits.  Of course it also works when quilts are stored in a closet somewhere.
One of Ann's quilts folded and ready to pack, ship or store in the closet
Everyone loves "show and tell" at their quilt meetings, I've probably been to hundreds.  I could just cry when someone opens up their quilt and there is a hard crease right down the middle in two directions.  Once that crease is set, over time, it will never come out.

With the consent of that quilter in Virginia, I wrote and published a short article on folding for Quilter's Newsletter Magazine in the January 2006 issue.  This little article has gotten more comments, feedback and requests to reprint in local newsletters, than anything I have ever written.  So if you are tired of having heavy creases down the middle of your quilts, this is what you should do:
Lay your quilt on a table, bed or on the floor.  Fold one 
corner across the quilt on the bias.
Fold up the next corner, the same way.
Fold the third corner, the same way.

 Then fold the last corner as shown.
 The finished package should look something like this.
If the package still needs to be made smaller, fold again much the same way.  Or open it up and refold.

When you open up the quilt after it has been folded like this, the folds will soften and disappear in a very short time.  Why?  Because every fold that has been made is a soft one, the fibers aren't folded or crimped  on top of each other--always at an angle.

All quilts should be folded on the bias, or rolled to prevent permanent creasing. I heartily recommend this method.  When sending to a show, it will arrive without the big crease in the middle, it will look much better.  The same goes for antique quilts, it may be too late to "save" some of them from heavy creasing because the damage has already been done.  In general even old quilts will be happier folded this way.

Practice this a couple of times and you'll figure out how to do this.  Even blankets and bedspreads can be folded and stored this way too.  Go to your closet and find something to fold!  You will be impressed.

For a more recent post please see this blog.

Ann Fahl


Roolen said...

Thank you for sharing,Ann!

Cornwoman said...

What a great way to fold a quilt! I dislike those creases and bends in my quilts too, and will have to go refold them right now!

Rachel said...

Thank you, Ann, I've been folding my quilts this way since I learned it from you. I refolded all the old quilts I have stored on shelves and pass this tip along to everyone I know.

annieQ said...

Quilters everywhere need to share this tip with everyone they know!

Fabrics N Quilts said...

Great tips! Saw it on your facebook & shared your link!

Lorri D said...

Great post! I've always folded my quilts to "look pretty" when opened. I guess I'll have to get creative while folding on the bias. Thanks for this info.

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

Doesn't this just produce a crease on the bias fold??

annieQ said...

When a fiber isn't folded on top of itself, the fold or crease is much softer. That's why the bias folding works.

Auntie Nettie said...

This is great, will be sharing with all my patchwork friends. Thank you

Carin Wijnand said...

Thanks for sharing, I posted your link on Pinterest.

Christine S said...

Thank you!!

Terry Palardy said...

Wonderful of you to share this nugget of valuable knowledge. Thank you so much ~ I've shared a link to your blog on Facebook's Quilters Show and Tell page. And I will tell all of my shop customers and students why folding on the bias is important!

Coosje Helder said...

Thank you! I have just finished my first very big quilt and it took me a year and a bit! It's wonderful to know now already, the proper way to fold!

Diana Wilson said...

Thank you Ann. Would it be possible, as long as I mention your name, to pass this on to my quilting guild. I would like to make copies and pass them out. Great information!

Joan Smith said...

This is such great information I would like to paraphrase it as a "tip", with your permission, in a perpetual calendar book I'm putting together with photos of some of my quilts.
Thank you for your kind attention to this matter.
Joan Smith

Kelly said...

Thanks for sharing. I still am not able to do this perfectly every time, but I'm getting the hang of it! :) In any case, I've pinned this tip to my "Quilty Goodness" board on Pinterest (with proper credit, of course!). Feel free to follow me if you'd like: