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Thread: Managing 40 6-yard fabric pieces - Help!

  1. #1
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    Managing 40 6-yard fabric pieces - Help!

    Hello!

    It's me the inquisitive newbie again!

    You have all been so extremely helpful in all my posts. My studio is so well organized thanks to you.

    I am in full production, completing 40 patchwork cushions in the next three weeks, and will be selling them on Etsy end of July. I'm so excited there are no words.

    Pictures forthcoming!

    I love you and this board SO MUCH! I wish I could something to express my appreciation.

    Now for the subject of my post.

    African Wax fabric only comes in 6 folded yards.

    The way they are folded is insane. The cuttable end of the fabric is nested deep inside, and to get at it, you have to unfold an origami-like structure.

    Please tell me how I can unfold and refold the fabric so that the cuttable end is neatly accessible?

    I have used your suggestions of a stiff cardboard folding form (A4) for all my 1-2-3 yard pieces and they're neatly stacked in a shelf, vertically like books. It's AMAZING the difference this has made. It was YOUR suggestion!

    Looking forward to your brilliant suggestions.

  2. #2
    Super Member Snooze2978's Avatar
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    This is when you go to your local fabric store and ask to get their empty bolt boards. They're normally happy to give them away instead of having to toss them into the trash can. I get their backing boards which are a bit taller as well as their normal sized ones as fabric apparel fabrics are usually wider and I tend to order at least 5yds of them each.
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    I doubt there are bolt boards, as the fabric is folded flat in shops.

    OP, I am not sure if you have access to a large quilting ruler or a thin board that is 6x24 inches? Open your fabric on a table. When you get to one cut end, wrap it around the ruler or thin board until you get to the other cut end. Slide the ruler out. You can at this point fold the fabric so the short ends meet. Or leave it in a long thin rectangle.

    The technique is called ruler folding.

    You can find YouTube videos showing this technique.

  4. #4
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    You might try hanging up large piece instead of refolding. Skirt hangers work quite well.

  5. #5
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    It will take a bit of time, but I would continue with the cardboard form system you have in place. You don't say how wide the fabric is, so I'm going to assume that it is around 42" wide. Unfold the entire piece, then fold in half length wise, then in half again and wrap around the card. I think you are planning on cutting the yardage into small squares (?) there's really no reason to keep it in the whole uncut length. So if it's too cumbersome to wrap the whole 6 yards, cut it into 2 3-yard pieces.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zozee View Post
    you might try hanging up large piece instead of refolding. Skirt hangers work quite well.
    fantastic!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tothill View Post
    I doubt there are bolt boards, as the fabric is folded flat in shops.

    OP, I am not sure if you have access to a large quilting ruler or a thin board that is 6x24 inches? Open your fabric on a table. When you get to one cut end, wrap it around the ruler or thin board until you get to the other cut end. Slide the ruler out. You can at this point fold the fabric so the short ends meet. Or leave it in a long thin rectangle.

    The technique is called ruler folding.

    You can find YouTube videos showing this technique.
    I do have a ruler! What a great idea. Will do this ASAP. Thanks! The hanger idea is also so appealing.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snooze2978 View Post
    This is when you go to your local fabric store and ask to get their empty bolt boards. They're normally happy to give them away instead of having to toss them into the trash can. I get their backing boards which are a bit taller as well as their normal sized ones as fabric apparel fabrics are usually wider and I tend to order at least 5yds of them each.
    People here can't give anything away (money is so tight). But also, we don't have bolt boards for wax fabric, it's origami-folded from the factory.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tothill View Post
    I doubt there are bolt boards, as the fabric is folded flat in shops.

    OP, I am not sure if you have access to a large quilting ruler or a thin board that is 6x24 inches? Open your fabric on a table. When you get to one cut end, wrap it around the ruler or thin board until you get to the other cut end. Slide the ruler out. You can at this point fold the fabric so the short ends meet. Or leave it in a long thin rectangle.

    The technique is called ruler folding.

    You can find YouTube videos showing this technique.
    *touching finger to nose* You're on the nose, Tothill! :-)

    Perfect suggestion, thanks! Another poster suggested the same thing I think. Will do this!!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Jo Belmont's Avatar
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    For years I have used the ruler method of folding which requires no added supplies, is totally consistent and fits nicely on most shelves. I use a 6" wide x 24" long ruler.

    Open fabric. Most is 40-odd inches wide and folded in half (= 20" wide +/-). Let fabric lay with the uncut end atop a table and the rest over the edge to the floor. Place ruler across the width of the fabric at the uncut end about 2-3" down. Fold over ruler. Hold fold in place and flip ruler over. Now do it again. Repeat to the end of the fabric piece, regardless how long it might be. You now have a folded piece of fabric 6-8" wide x WOF.

    If it's even up to 5 yards (think backings), it can be folded in half so now the piece is only about 10-12" long x 6-8" wide. It will stack beautifully with the folded end exposed showing its color, print, etc. By it's very thickness, you can get an idea of about how much you have. If you're really counting inches, count the layers on the other end, divide by two, then times 6" (just to be very conservative; you'll likely have more if it's thick). That's about how many inches are in that folded pack.

    This method also exposes the cut end first, so waste is a bit more controlled. Additionally, it keeps all the fabric pretty well flattened out, so after washing, I just get it right out of the dryer, fold in half lengthwise, then ruler fold. Cut off only the length you need and leave the rest folded to go back on the shelf. Now is when you iron what you're going to use.

    I stack mine by main color groups with separate piles for stripes and borders, panels, large florals, kits, etc., and label them accordingly. That way, I can tell at a glance if I'm way overstocked on any one item/color or need to beef it up some.

    It's a system that has proven itself for me year after year. You might want to consider it.

  11. #11
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    I have 2 large closets one of which has double rods. I hang all of my yardage in these grouped by color. It's easy to see what I have. If I'm feeling organized and have time when I hang them, I pin a small piece of paper with the amount on it so I know how much I have without measuring it.
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    This lady used "boards" for folding her fabric, but you might be able to adapt her techniques for handling fabric to ruler folding.

    https://www.quiltingboard.com/tutori...om-t43871.html

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vandamme View Post
    .........I have used your suggestions of a stiff cardboard folding form (A4) for all my 1-2-3 yard pieces and they're neatly stacked in a shelf, vertically like books. It's AMAZING the difference this has made. It was YOUR suggestion!..........
    You know that this has worked already for you, so do the same with your larger fabrics too.
    Just change the side of your cardboards and continue on!

    As already said, we don't know how wide your fabric is. However, because of the bulk of the yardage, the same sizes are not going to work you. You might want to consider the full depth of the shelf and 1/2 WOF. You're really re-creating the types of boards that bolts of regular fabric are wrapped onto.

    Good Luck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jo Belmont View Post
    For years I have used the ruler method of folding which requires no added supplies, is totally consistent and fits nicely on most shelves. I use a 6" wide x 24" long ruler.

    Open fabric. Most is 40-odd inches wide and folded in half (= 20" wide +/-). Let fabric lay with the uncut end atop a table and the rest over the edge to the floor. Place ruler across the width of the fabric at the uncut end about 2-3" down. Fold over ruler. Hold fold in place and flip ruler over. Now do it again. Repeat to the end of the fabric piece, regardless how long it might be. You now have a folded piece of fabric 6-8" wide x WOF.

    If it's even up to 5 yards (think backings), it can be folded in half so now the piece is only about 10-12" long x 6-8" wide. It will stack beautifully with the folded end exposed showing its color, print, etc. By it's very thickness, you can get an idea of about how much you have. If you're really counting inches, count the layers on the other end, divide by two, then times 6" (just to be very conservative; you'll likely have more if it's thick). That's about how many inches are in that folded pack.

    This method also exposes the cut end first, so waste is a bit more controlled. Additionally, it keeps all the fabric pretty well flattened out, so after washing, I just get it right out of the dryer, fold in half lengthwise, then ruler fold. Cut off only the length you need and leave the rest folded to go back on the shelf. Now is when you iron what you're going to use.

    I stack mine by main color groups with separate piles for stripes and borders, panels, large florals, kits, etc., and label them accordingly. That way, I can tell at a glance if I'm way overstocked on any one item/color or need to beef it up some.

    It's a system that has proven itself for me year after year. You might want to consider it.
    This is how I folded all my fabrics. It works very well for me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    This lady used "boards" for folding her fabric, but you might be able to adapt her techniques for handling fabric to ruler folding.

    https://www.quiltingboard.com/tutori...om-t43871.html
    That's exactly what I want to do! I may not find enough cardboard though. But I'll look! This is exactly how I want to organize my stash! She's awesome, thanks for the link! So helpful.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jo Belmont View Post
    For years I have used the ruler method of folding which requires no added supplies, is totally consistent and fits nicely on most shelves. I use a 6" wide x 24" long ruler.

    Open fabric. Most is 40-odd inches wide and folded in half (= 20" wide +/-). Let fabric lay with the uncut end atop a table and the rest over the edge to the floor. Place ruler across the width of the fabric at the uncut end about 2-3" down. Fold over ruler. Hold fold in place and flip ruler over. Now do it again. Repeat to the end of the fabric piece, regardless how long it might be. You now have a folded piece of fabric 6-8" wide x WOF.
    So I do this, but I fold the fabric in half first, because I can't manage to fold the entire length of the fabric, even though it's 40 inches, I get my feet trapped in it. It's easier for me to fold it in half to about 20" and use the ruler method. Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cashs_mom View Post
    I have 2 large closets one of which has double rods. I hang all of my yardage in these grouped by color. It's easy to see what I have. If I'm feeling organized and have time when I hang them, I pin a small piece of paper with the amount on it so I know how much I have without measuring it.
    That's a cool system!

  18. #18
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    Oh my I just saw a video on ruler folding and wonder why I never thought of that. LOL I love it and can't wait to get started in my sewing room.

  19. #19
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    My 1-2 yard cuts of fabric I fold into 1 yard lengths. Then I fold in half to 18", then into thirds. I fold the top down 2/3 way, fold the other half up and secure that inside the 2/3 folded edge. Stack so neat on my shelves.
    For larger cuts, 3 yards and over, I prefer "fanning" the folds. 6-7" is face up, the next 6-7" folded the other way, Fold next 6-7" the other way, etc. That way, I can lay the fabric with the long fold to my left and take off the top only what I need. They still stack the same, but each fabric is just a 'taller' stack of fabric.
    I have never used the cardboard. When I fold every piece of fabric like this, I have neat folds of fabric every time, all very close in width. The fabric sits in stacks in closed cabinets-5 stacks to a shelf. I don't fret (anymore) if a fabric folded is an inch or so larger than the others on the shelf. I have learned to let that go.

  20. #20
    Super Member quilting cat's Avatar
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    The only fabrics I leave uncut in 6 or more yards are ones I plan to use for backs of quilts. Others store more easily in shorter pieces.
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  21. #21
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    Honestly I like pool noodles for fabric that I have ironed. Very cheap at Dollar stores.

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