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Thread: Folding fabric for best storage?

  1. #1
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    Folding fabric for best storage?

    I have a lot of fabric and not sure how to fold it for a uniform storage solution. I have a lot of fat quarters and a lot of various size pieces. I have a friend that use to be a sales rep and she gave me a lot of the samples that she took around to different shops. So far the ones that can be stored flat, I have done so, but not sure if this is the best way. I would like some ideas on folding these so when I go to pick them for a project and need to audition for a certain color, I can find it without going thru a whole pile. Any ideas you can give me will be great. Thanks for all your help.

  2. #2
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    You could either fold as they do in the store, then put in a clear container - stacked up and down so you can see the edges. Or you could wrap them. To get a consistent size, wrap it around a ruler. If you have small pieces, then use a smaller ruler - maybe 3-4" or so. Fold the FQ in half first, then wrap. I do this with 1/2-1 yd pieces. Larger pieces I wrap on the comic book boards.

  3. #3
    Super Member paulswalia's Avatar
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    Samples are usually not very big. Can you use a skirt hanger and sort by color per hanger?
    We are here to learn how to live in heaven - I'm still learning.

  4. #4
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    Take a look at Alaskasunshine's QB tutorial on folding fabric onto boards for the larger pieces. I like to store fat quarters folded into squares and I stand them on their ends in a drawer. I can just walk my fingers through them when looking for a certain one.

  5. #5
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    I ruler fold my larger pieces, my FQ I am like tartan and fold them square , I store these on edge in a small plastic bin, all my smaller scraps
    That I would use for applique I iron them and fold them so they are tidy and these are stored in a cupboard by colour, don't iron them after you have folded them, I am a scrap quilter, so there fore I have shoe box's for different width strips, same for charm squares. I also have boxes for seasonal fabric, and children's fabric. Hope this is of some help to you
    Happy quilting

  6. #6
    Super Member BuzzinBumble's Avatar
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    Tartan is right - Alaska Sunshine's tutorial is great for folding yardage! Plus you can drool over the photos that show her neatly organized stash. I like to use magazine size boards for mine, because they are the right size for most fabrics (1/4 the width). For fat quarters I fold them like they do at JoAnn's and sort them by color and then place them on end in clear plastic CD storage boxes.

  7. #7
    Super Member kathymarie's Avatar
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    I fold my yardage around a 6 x 24 ruler. Then fold in half and store on shelving....I have LOTS of fabric stored this way. It's easy to see what I have and I don't have a problem pulling one piece out of even the bottom of the stack. Wrapping the fabric around the ruler keeps it all in uniforms widths. I store fat quarters in cd storage racks and scraps in plastic bins sorted by color. It works for me.
    Kathy

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  8. #8
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    Ruler folder here!
    If you don't work on it you'll never finish it.

  9. #9
    Super Member Country1's Avatar
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    Sew many ways to do. My problem is I do it one way and then get a wild hair to try something else! Maybe someday I'll quit confusing myself! LOL.
    Country 1

  10. #10
    Super Member leaha's Avatar
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    I use "polar notions" boards and clips, sure keeps fabric nice and neat, and as the U-tube shows you can put several fabrics and even pattern on one board for a project. So easy to keep together that way, no more " where is that fabric that goes with this one." Nice and sturdy too. Love them!
    dare to dream

  11. #11
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    I, also, ruler fold anything 1 yard & under. All larger I wrap on the blot boards I get from the fabric stores. They just toss them anyway, so I always ask if I can take them off their hands. They are always eager to give them as they don't have to fill up their trash bins with them.

  12. #12
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    I originally used the comic book boards and folded my fabric onto these. At that Time I did not have any shelves/cabinets to place the folded fabric in, so I store it in bins - folded on the boards. When I finally got around to buying cabinets (my husband wanted it hidden from view). My cabinets were much deeper thatn the comic book boards. So I started over.

    I have two cabinets of different depths. one is about 18 1/2 inches deep and one is 23 1/3 inches deep. I decided to start loading the 18 1/2 inch deep cabinet first. I folded my fabric with selvedges together. Then I folded in half (fold to selvedge) - making it about 11 inches X length of fabric. I then folded one more time - fold to selvege. This makes it about 5 1/2 inches wide X length of fabric. I then start folding the length at about 17 1/2 inches (one inch less than cabinet depth).

    I then stacked it in the cabinet by color - 1 fabric on top of the other. The comic book board method was a little more convenient for getting to an individual fabric. However, it did not utilize my space as well. Also the depth of the cabinet allows me to store more stuff. I have an embarassing amount of sewing related stuff. Including some WIP's which are stored in bins - so that I do not use up those fabrics before the project is completed.

    I bought both my cabinets at IKEA. They were both wardrobe cabinets. I customized the inside by adding 2 wooden drawers on one cabinet and 3 wire drawers on the other.

    I will try to load pictures of my organization later. Just wish I had room for 1 more cabinet. I still have odds and ends in the garage - including unquilted tops.

    By the way I now have a lot of comic book boards if anyone is interested - probably 300-400.

  13. #13
    Super Member Colbaltjars62's Avatar
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    The problem with the Alaskasunshines tute is that not everyone has that much room to waste. I admit I started out with those and quickly found that they we not cheap to buy then take the time to cut, nor did I have that much room to waste. Even if each one was a 1/4 of an inch that was one inch of wasted space for every 4 boards.
    The Comic book boards are thin enough to not use up very much space and they are also Acid Free. That means that no chemical reactions will go on between your fabric and the boards. I asked the Co. I got the foam/cardboard-like boards from and they couldn't answer that question. You can get the Comic book boards in 3 sizes and for a package of 100 is less than $11.00 a package. If you want smaller boards for FQ's they can be easily cut with an old Rotary blade. JMHO
    Lack of planning on your part does NOT nessessitate an emergency on my part.
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  14. #14
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    I really like the comic book boards. I had so much fabric and now that it's wrapped around the boards, I have put them on shelves and I can actually see what I have! For smaller pieces that are too big for "scraps" but not big enough for the full sized boards, I cut the boards in half and wrapped the smaller pieces around that. They are shorter than the regular boards, but again I can see what I have.

  15. #15
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    I use the comic book boards for yardage 2 or less. I purchase some foamcore boards from Uline for larger yardages. I have two closets with shelves. I stack the fabric like library books. I can organize by project or my color. Best idea I've ever used and I found out about it here on this board. The problem is I keep running out of boards. Hmmmmmmmm..yep there's an addiction problem.

  16. #16
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    I have learned to fold like I do my regular laundry which is pretty much the same as the tutorial mentioned. I don't use a ruler but I get the same effect. I have categories. I have charm, fat qtr, then 1/2-1yd and up goes on comic book boards. BUT I have 1yd +, then 2yds +, then 3yds+ which are all wrapped on comic boards. The + is the extra piece attached. Depending on the + determines if it goes into the scrap bin. The + may be a strip that I need and is the right length. Works for me.

  17. #17
    Super Member IBQUILTIN's Avatar
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    If you find that pulling a fabric from a stack makes it fall over, just slide a ruler between the one you want and the one above it. They slide right out

  18. #18
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    I put mine on comic boards and write the yardage on the board. I store them in a file cabinet by project. Need another cabinet soon. I would love to get a two legal size.
    Indiana Diana

  19. #19
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    lakekids, I am interested in the comic boards! I did a search to see where I could find comic boards at and this post came up. I have a mess and a half in my sewing room!

  20. #20
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    I also use a 6" ruler to fold up to 3 Yards. If over 3 yards I use my smallest cutting mat.

  21. #21
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    However you fold your fabric, it is important to have the fabrics avoid exposure to light.

    I do not have any proof or evidence for the following opinion. I think fabrics need to be refolded every so often to minimize permanent creasing or distortion.

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