Sunshine Quilts

Friday, May 12, 2006

Folding the Fabric

Folding the stash has turned into an obsession. I've been folding it into 9" (1/4 yard) sections so that in theory, I can look at any piece of fabric and make a good guess as to how much fabric is there. The one thing that kept causing my stash to be such a mess was trying to pull out a piece of fabric for a project (usually the piece I needed was on the bottom of the stack), finding I didn't have enough and then just chunking it back in the pile. I'm sure others use this system too but I wanted to share it for any who might be interested. With it folded into 9" sections, I can safely figure that 2 folds means I have 18", 10 folds means I have 90". I fold it accordian style so that it doesn't make the folds bigger as I go and I have found it to be pretty accurate. Here's a lesson in folding fabric! :) Because I wash all the fabric before it goes into the stash and because I really do enjoy the ironing process, after the fabric has been washed and ironed, I lay it out folded in half just as it came off the bolt. I do this on my big cutting table but it's a mess now so for the purposes of the picture, it's all being done on the floor. By the way, I do not press the fold in the fabric because I've found that in some fabrics, that crease line stays forever. Next, I bring the folded edge up to the selvage edge. If fabric is 44" wide (it isn't!), I would now have a piece that is 22" by the length. Then I lay a ruler (Creative Grids is my favorite ruler!) and I begin folding into 9" sections. Once it's all neatly folded, it goes into the stash closet. I could now look at this piece and see that it has 10 folds plus a couple of inches and can know right off the bat, without pulling it out and disrupting the whole stack, that there should be about 92" of fabric here. Suppose I need 1.5 yards of a piece of fabric. I know I need something with at least 5 or 6 folds. Sounds pretty easy, huh? And here's one neat little stack of leftovers from my last few projects (and a little fabric shopping) waiting to go into the stash. Once in there, it is stacked according to color. For the fabrics that have over 5 yards, I do not use this process. It just stays folded like this: Happy Folding! :) Judy L.


  • Great system, thanks for sharing!

    By Blogger Laurie Ann, at 5/12/2006 09:05:00 AM  

  • Great idea, thanks!

    You said:

    " I really do enjoy the ironing process..."

    *ahem* can I ship you MY ironing? That's my least favorite part of quilting. :)

    By Blogger ForestJane, at 5/12/2006 11:03:00 AM  

  • Wow, that is a really awesome idea Judy. Sure beats pulling it out and making the whole pile go crazy!

    I posted my "mess" from shopping in my stash a while back. I can see you system working awhole lot better than what I do now, thanks for sharing.*VBS*

    By Blogger Finn, at 5/12/2006 11:37:00 AM  

  • Clever system !

    By Blogger Hanne, at 5/12/2006 02:15:00 PM  

  • Judy,
    wanna come to my house and fold fabric? LOL
    who knows in theory this is a GREAT idea, but she won't do it! ;o)

    By Blogger Laurie, at 5/12/2006 07:03:00 PM  

  • I am very impressed !

    By Blogger Patty, at 5/12/2006 08:55:00 PM  

  • The thought of refolding all that fabric is overwhelming, but I'm going to do it with new purchases. This is much better than the piece of paper with the yardage written on it that I have pinned to the fabric. I have to pull it out to see the paper. Makes a total mess when I'm pulling fabric! LOL

    You're so smart, Judy. I'm glad we're friends!! :)

    By Blogger Vicky, at 5/13/2006 07:48:00 AM  

  • I agree with folding in such a manner you know how much fabric you have-and your method looks great Judy! thanks for posting it.

    By Blogger cher, at 5/13/2006 07:44:00 PM  

  • Since you appear to use and buy larger pieces of fabric, what size is most useable - for you? I've never gotten into folding 1 way because I tend to buy smaller pieces and go scrappy... (I have heard that 3 yards is a useable amount for a lot of projects... I have also heard, "if you LOVE it buy 5 or more yards." If it makes you think, backing buy 9+...)

    By Blogger The Calico Cat, at 5/15/2006 08:03:00 AM  

  • What an idea. And super directions and pics.

    By Blogger Katie, at 6/30/2006 04:06:00 PM  

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