Monday, April 4, 2016

Quilt Folding

Have you ever been dismayed to find folds in your stored quilts? Or even on a quilt that's been folded across the back of a sofa? We're all in the habit of folding a quilt across it's length and width, and if a quilt is stored this way, those fold marks can appear almost permanent.

About ten years ago I changed the way I fold my quilts. I've done it so often that I don't even think about it, so when I'm among quilters who happen to see me fold a quilt, I'm inevitably asked, "What did you just do?!" Let me explain and demonstrate.

The reason this method is better for a quilt goes back to an understanding of fabric weave.
Length of grain fabric has the strongest tension.
Cross grain fabric has a mid-strong tension.
And fabric bias has the least tension, meaning it's stretchier.
The fabric stretchiness is what we're taking advantage of when we fold a quilt on the bias.

How to Fold a Quilt on the Bias
The quilt I'm demonstrating with is my recently-finished "Which Way?" quilt. Since I want the front of the quilt to show when I'm done folding, I'm beginning with the back facing up. If you think of this quilt like a clock, it might help you better understand the process.

Step 1
Beginning at one corner - the 5:00 position - fold a 45-degree angle. 

Step 2
Choose the next corner to the left, folding the first fold onto itself. You're lifting the 7:00 corner and moving it to the 2:00 position.

Step 3
Choose the next corner to the left - the 11:00 position - folding it toward 4:00, overlapping to make the quilt bundle the size you wish.
Step 4
Fold that little corner back onto itself.

Step 5 - Fold to the Size You Desire
Choose the 1:00 position and fold it toward the bundle.

Fold all of it in half to complete your quilt bundle.

If you don't like the way the binding shows, after Step 4 simply fold, fold, and fold the quilt onto itself. 

All my quilts are folded this way, including those that are stored in pillowcases in the top of the closet. It's also how I fold a quilt that's being boxed and shipped to a quilt show.

By the way, I don't take credit for this quilt-folding method. It appeared as a single page article in a long-ago issue of Quilter's Newsletter Magazine.

Isn't it worth sharing again? Linda


  1. oh yeah. Very interesting. I roll my 'show quilts' that are stored on a shelf, but all of the family quilts are folded on the grain. Thanks for sharing, Linda!

  2. Pretty pertinent information! I'm so glad you thought to post about this. Thanks for taking the time! XO

  3. This is great! I remember reading about it long ago and then forgot about it. I really need to fold my show quilts this way! Thanks for the reminder :-)

  4. What a great post! I usually roll my quilts with the front facing out, which drives my friends crazy but they hang so much better that way! This is great for those larger pieces and I will book mark!! Thanks so much!

  5. How did you read my mind? I just finished a quilt that is perfectly square and smooth and although I plan on hanging it up, I will be bringing it to a few quilt guilds and shows and dread the folds appearing. I will give this a try! Thanks!!

  6. I have a stack of quilts in my bedroom that need to be put away and was planning on doing this. Thanks for the reminder and tutorial.

  7. Looks very interesting...have to give it a try. Thanks for the tutorial, jill

    1. Lovely to receive your comment, Jill! I hope you find this information useful. Sorry I couldn't reply to you directly. You're a "no-reply commenter," and I no longer have your email address, nor Marny's.

  8. Thanks so much for this great hint and the good photos. I especially appreciate the reasons why, so now it makes sense to me and is worth the little extra care. I have a whole collection of antique quilts to refold now.

  9. Thanks for sharing this. I try to store most quilts flat on a bed, but worry about lines appearing when folding them to be shipped. I'm definitely giving this a try!



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