Well, here it is...as promised. Here is my new method for fabric folding. I decided to be all fancy this time and actually labeled the photographs so that you know what is going on in the random pictures of fabric. lol.
I'm going to talk about three different ways to fold fabric, though two of them are pretty darn similar.
First, I want to talk about how to fold a piece of fabric that is approximately a half yard or larger. Here is the look we are going for, just so you have a vision of what your stash could look like:
Notice the less than tidy stack of fabrics on the left...this is what would inevitably happen to all of my fabrics when I stacked them on top of each other. For me, personally, stacking the fabrics on top of each other is generally not the best method to keep my fabric organized. I find that I can not see the fabrics as well and I can't access them as easily. So I began my search for a method that would allow me to organize my fabric vertically. In essence, I wanted to feel like I have my own fabric bolts on the shelf.
And then in the world of flickr and blogland (because I in no way claim intellectual property over this method!), I found a method that looked both tidy, quick and was economical. The solution? Comic Book Backer Boards. Don't know what they are? Well neither did I...and I certainly never thought I would be buying literally hundreds of them, but I believe that they are a fairly heavy weight card stock that comic book owners use to help store the comic books in a flat, straight, non bendy kind of way. So we are essentially going to use them to do the same thing for fabric.
This is the brand that I have used and the size that I am happy using. But there are some varieties out there so feel free to experiment with what works for you best. *ETA: I meant to mention in the post originally, but this really is the most economical method for wrapping fabric around a board. A pack of 100 cost me approximately $9.00 in the store. I think it can be a bit more expensive but perhaps more easy to order them online. I personally did not have any problems finding a local comic book store though.*
Funny Note: I first purchased these at a local comic book store that happened, by coincidence, to be located right next door to a quilt shop. I cautiously entered the store, a place I have never frequented before and inquired about the boards. The man behind the counter told me where they were and I felt the need to tell him why I was looking for them. I personally expected him to be surprised at the ingenuity and new use of his product. But he just nodded and smiled and said he sells a lot more of these to quilters than he does to comic book owners. LOL. So much for thinking it was a fairly unheard of concept. He even told me which type the quilters normally purchased. (I ended up with another one, but that's because I don't like to follow the pack)
But back to fabric folding...
Start with a piece of fabric a half yard or larger, approximately 44" wide (a standard cotton width). Fold the fabric in half from selvage to selvage.
Smooth the fabric from end to end and then fold in half again, matching the mid fold to the selvage edges.
Now place one piece of the comic book backer board on the fabric and fold a couple of inches over the board on one end. There will most likely be a bit of extra fabric overhanging the top of the board. This is fine...we want one end of the board to be flush with the selvage edge of the fabric.
Continue to fold the fabric over the board until you reach the end and then use a small pin to hold the last fold in place.
Easy as pie! (what an odd phrase...pie is NOT easy! But ooohh...my husband makes the BEST cherry pie. Come and visit and I promise I'll sweet talk him into making it!)
So that's great...but we don't always have a half of a yard or more of fabric...or we've done a funny cut on our piece of fabric. Here is how I fold my fabric if I have cut away from the fabric along the selvage edge and the fabric is no longer 44" wide. I'll let pictures do the work here...
So now you have a long piece of fabric with the selvage edge folded over to meet the cut edge.
Next fold the fabric so that the fabric matches the total height of the board.
If your fabric is still intact from selvage to selvage but is less than a 1/2 yard, you can wrap the fabric around board, but you will need to wrap it along the length of the fabric rather than the folded width.
Now folding fat quarters is a matter of preference. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have recently decided to separate all of my fat quarters and put them together in one place. I like the following method for fat quarter folding because of the tidy small square you have in the end. And, as a bonus, this is often the way fabric stores fold fat quarters. So no refolding may be required.
Clear? Not clear? Let me know! I hope that you all soon have beautifully lined shelves of mini bolts of fabric. It makes the fabric feel more like a luxury and less like a mess! Embrace your organized side!