Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's time - Fold that Fabric!

You have an idea for a new quilt. You have a vision of what color fabrics you want to use. You have a theme fabric in mind for the border and main squares. You're excited to start a new project! You know just the person this will be the perfect gift for! You can't wait to get those squares cut out and start sewing. This project will be your masterpiece, you can just feel it!

So you head to your quilt room, all ready to go. You open the door and...

Is there anything that can stop a quilter's production in it's tracks faster than not being able to find "just the right fabric" in your stash? You remember buying it. You know it's there SOMEWHERE. But where? In THAT tupperware container? Or in the closet over THERE? In the fabric you have stored in the basement? Or perhaps under your guest bed?

How much time do you waste hunting for fabric? Could you make better use of this time? Could you be a more productive quilter if your fabric was uniformly folded and sorted?

Close your eyes and envision your fabric folded neatly and put in order by color and/or theme. Imagine starting a new project and having your fabric shelved so you can visually see the colors of each piece, or perhaps with a special line of fabrics bundled together.


This week we are going to fold our fabric in a uniform manner. You may use whatever method of folding that works for you, but do try to get all pieces folded to the same size to allow them to be shelved or stored so you can view them at a glance. Here is what my fabric looked like once it was sorted and uniformly folded:

I found a great tutorial on The Happy Zombie's blog explaining how to use your cutting ruler for folding fabric uniformly. She offers great step-by-step easy to understand instructions. I chose to use this method on any fabric 1/2 yard to 4 yards in length. Ask at your favorite fabric store for empty cardboard bolts and use them for fabrics over 4 yards in length. In the photo below, look in the lower left hand corner. You can see my fabric on bolts standing up on the bottom shelf.

Use a smaller ruler to fold your fat quarters -- a 3.5 inch wide ruler works well. Fold them on the ruler as described in the tutorial, then fold the length in thirds. Store your fat quarters separately, but in open boxes so you can view them easily.

Whether you store fabric on shelves, in drawers, in plastic containers or in boxes, you will definitely benefit from having all pieces uniformly folded and sorted as we discussed previously!

This may seem like an overwhelming task, but break it down into smaller tasks. Take just one box or bag of the fabric you sorted for the last assignment, grab your ruler and plop down in front of the TV or turn on some favorite music and promise yourself you will get through that one box. Depending on how many boxes you have, try and accomplish at least one box a day. Make the time. Be proud that you're a quilter and know that you will be more productive if the tools of your trade are organized and visually pleasing. Make the time to do this for YOU!

"Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein." — H. Jackson Brown

See you next week!