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Fabric Folding

February 26th, 2007

This is the fabric folding method I used in my re-do (BTW, not quite yet a re-DONE… but I’m getting there!). Anyhoo… I’m not sure if this is the exact way Lois Hallock does it (I have her book… I guess it’s time I read the words instead of just looking at the pictures!). This is how I learned it from my friend Karen when we folded her fabric in her new studio (and Karen learned it from Lois). So here’s what I do:

1) Place folded yardage with selvedge to your left, the fold to your right. Line up your ruler on the fold. I use a 6½” ruler, but you can use what ever size you like. You can also let your shelf size/space dictate what size you want to make it.

2) Next just start rolling up. Flipping over and over until you get to the end. Let the ruler be your guide. It doesn’t have to be super tightly wound, but you don’t want it to slip and slide either.

3) When you reach the end, your last flap my need to be turned under just a bit. Kind of like how you do when you wrap something in tissue paper.

4) Slide out your ruler and now fold the folded end to the selvedge end. Stack your fabrics with the fold facing you. I use the same method with fatquarters, but with a skinnier ruler (I used a 3½” ruler). I let my shelves dictate how I was going to roll/fold my FQ’s, and rolled them on the 18” width of the fabric so they’d rest nicely on my narrow shelves.

My yardage cupboards have deeper shelves so finishing with an 10”/11” final unit worked perfect for me. If you don’t have a neat piece of yardage to begin with (and boy do I have a lot of those), just fiddle with your piece so you and up with a nice folded unit with now raw edges visible.

I hope I made sense of this! If you’re like me - the pictures tell the story and not the words. Drink the fabric folding Kool-aid… you won’t regret it!   Some before and after photos here.

Posted in Quilty n Crafty, Fabric Folding, Tips & Trix |

45 Responses

  1. The fabulous Pam allegedly said:

    That picture says to me, man Pam, why can’t you be more like Monica.

    Ok, then I say, Pam, its because you use the old skool rulers because you can’t handle those clear rulers. That’s why.

    And thats the story of why my fabric is a mess. I know, it makes no sense. But today I’m a celebrity and I don’t to make sense, or wear underpants, if I don’t want to.

    (but I am.)

  2. The fabulous Claire allegedly said:

    THANKYOU for posting this! I was wondering yesterday how you did this.

    LOL, Pam is killin me softly!

  3. The fabulous Anne Heidi allegedly said:

    Oh no,
    after seeing how neat it can be done I guess I’d better dive into my fabric and start folding it neatly…. After washing all my fabric in January it just didn’t go back into the shelves as neatly as I’d like…

  4. The fabulous Cindy allegedly said:

    Pam, you’re so crazy…I love it! :) Monica, I’m with you. I look at the pictures. I hate reading directions, just show me! Also, wanted to let you know (in case you want to), the words on #2 and #4 are next to the pictures, kind of running into your archives and links. Now, I have to go fold fabric so I can tell everyone, “this is how Monica does it!”. ;)

    Thanks for telling me Cindy! I’ve got the flu, and apparently so does my blog! I think I fixed it, but it looked fine to on my Mac before - so I’m not sure. Can you let me know how it looks now? xoxoxoxoxox - M

  5. The fabulous Autum allegedly said:

    I’m sending you a big fat cyber-smooch!!! Thank you!!!
    Pam, I bet you could cut a piece of cardboard the size you want your fabric and use it instead of a ruler. (But only if you are wearing underpants)

  6. The fabulous Kathy allegedly said:

    Genius idea! I never read instructions either, unless something disasterous happens. Hmm… :)

  7. The fabulous Wende allegedly said:

    Oh, wow. Can I just come shop at your house, Monica? Can’t wait to see you and your Aqualicious (I think we have the same Pratt and Lambert paint!) room! :D

  8. The fabulous Cindy allegedly said:

    Nope, now the pictures are all lined up across the top. Try again. I’m sorry you have flu cooties. Sara has it too. She’s had a fever all day, cough, runny nose and eyes, and just feeling like poop. I hope you’re feeling better soon!! Chicken noodle hugs…

  9. The fabulous Cindy allegedly said:

    Oh, also, thre are no bumps on the left side (white border). And there are little lines of the yellow coming into the white part, kind of looks like the white part got little slices taken out of it and you can see the yellow underneath.

  10. The fabulous Pam allegedly said:

    Wow you’re blog is out of control. You turned away to puke and look what happens.

    Hope today you’re feeling better.

  11. The fabulous Monica allegedly said:

    I am feeling better today! Not the best… but better! Thanks to everyone for pointing out my out of control blog (and the chicken soup for me)! I just loaded up DH’s laptop (a PC) and everything seemed fine (in Firefox). Then I dug out the IE and there it was… HZ run amuck! It looks like it’s just this post. I hope.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the heads up! My blog is feeling like Paris or Brittney getting out of the car. I’m gonna try to find some panties for HZ asap!

  12. The fabulous Sarah allegedly said:

    Oh man, Pam is killing me over here. LOL My husband used to work in retail, and I used to tell him it drove me crazy when he folded the laundry like this. However, *now* you tell me this would be useful in my gigantic mess of a sewing room!

  13. The fabulous Cyndi allegedly said:

    I drank the folding kool-aid last summer and went crazy in my stash. The lady who wrote the book on the perfect sewing space came and spoke at our guild and showed us this amazing folding trick! I have thus become an folding evangelist mysefl!

    Surprisingly MOST of my fabric is still folded nice and neat! Just more in piles than in my drawers… *sigh*

  14. The fabulous beverly allegedly said:

    I’m visiting your blog via Creative Little Daisy, and I can see why she was inspired to fold her fabric. Now I know what I will do on my spring break next week! Thanks for a lovely, practical lesson.

  15. The fabulous Tanya allegedly said:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE. I am soooo inspired to fold (sounds bizarre I know) but very true!

  16. The fabulous Alison allegedly said:

    Wow! Thanks! I love it! I love your fabrics in the photos, too!

  17. The fabulous nutmeg allegedly said:

    Wonderful instructions, thanks! I’m going to include a link in my upcoming podcast, I hope that’s okay with you. :)

    Nutmeg @ Material Mama Podcast

  18. The fabulous Lisa allegedly said:

    How well does this technique work with longer pieces of fabric? (Say 10 yards or so)

  19. The fabulous Monica allegedly said:

    Ten yards? Me I’d leave that on the bolt. And if I had 10 yards of something - it must mean that it’s something I love, so I’d put it on a pedestal with a museum glass case around it and a spotlight shining down on it. :)

  20. The fabulous Cassi allegedly said:

    This is perfect timing for me! I’m in the process of going through my fabrics and could really use a standardized way to fold. Thank you!!

  21. The fabulous Miss Sassy allegedly said:

    Brilliant! How nice of you to share. Speaking of 10 yards–how would you pre-wash, say, a bolt?

    I can’t wait to organize my stash.

    I’m not a pre-washer, so I don’t know. Maybe at a laundromat in one of those big washers? Anyone done that before? - Monica

  22. The fabulous Deanna allegedly said:

    I just saw this button! I did this with my own puny stash and it only takes up half a basket now! Thanks for the handy dandy tut!

  23. The fabulous Becca allegedly said:

    Thanks so much for this! I just finished up a huge cleaning in my sewing room and was searching for some fabric folding tips. Lovely fabrics, blog, and folding job!!

  24. The fabulous Badecca allegedly said:

    I read this yesterday, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. AGGGGHHH! Must fold fabric, must fold fabric…

  25. The fabulous maggieb! allegedly said:

    Your site inspired me to fold fabric. And fold, and fold. I have more to fold, but my novelty section looks lovely!

    Thanks a bunch! maggieb!~

  26. The fabulous SewSassyCreations allegedly said:

    What a nice blog and a very nice way to display and store your fabric! I would like to put a link from my blog to yours if this is OK.

  27. The fabulous Anita allegedly said:

    Oh those shelves look so nice. I need to do this. Thanks for sharing!

  28. The fabulous maggieb! allegedly said:

    I have FINALLY finished folding. It literally took me WEEKS to fold my fabrics. I now am in higher awe of your collection as I can now understand just how much fabric you really have! I am amazed at the quantity of yardage you can store when it is uniformly folded.
    THANK YOU for the inspiration!

  29. The fabulous Alicia allegedly said:

    This is fabulous! I’m sure it will take me months to re-fold my entire stash but now with this idea, I’m excited to do it. :)

    Great blog, I will definitely be back!

  30. The fabulous amandajean allegedly said:

    I know this is an old post, but I figured that I should let you know that I used this technique and it really has cleaned up my stash. I love that it is several months later and that it is still pretty neat. Thanks for sharing this wonderful tip!!!

  31. The fabulous Hilary allegedly said:

    Thanks for the inspiration! I finally got around to folding mine, and I love it!

  32. The fabulous jene allegedly said:

    ahhhh….I love it. I just started quilting; so glad I found this tip on folding. Thank You:)xoxo

  33. The fabulous RecycleMicol allegedly said:

    Ah…takes me back to the first job I had as a teenager at The Limited. I folded many a ’shirt wall’ with a clipboard and paper laid out over the shirt before folding for added crispness. You know, that’s a thought…lay out a sheet of paper before folding to absorb moisture in your stash and give you crisp edges in even the softest fabrics!


  34. The fabulous amy allegedly said:

    a year later i find this post! i just refolded my entire stash. i love it! i posted about it on my blog. thank you SO MUCH for the tutorial!

  35. The fabulous SkitzoLeezra allegedly said:

    I bow down to your organizational prowess!
    Cannot wait to get home and fold! WooHoo!

  36. The fabulous Shannon allegedly said:

    Wow! Found your blog today. Folded my stash (or most of it) this afternoon. NOw, it look SO nice. Thanks bunches. - Shannon

  37. The fabulous Scrapbooker47 allegedly said:

    I have read about people folding their fabric with a ruler but never saw it done. Thanks for sharing.

  38. The fabulous Annemart allegedly said:

    This is great! The passionate quilter (Karin) wrote about your folding method. This weekend I got 2 new closets in my quilt studio with 4 drawers of a special narrow size, so all my fabric could be put in those. And with your folding method, it all fits and I can see every scrap I own.

    So you can be proud of yourself: you exported the method to Holland, Europe!;-)


  39. The fabulous Sunny allegedly said:

    Neato! I already knew this, but I am too lazy! LOL I wanted to say…yummy piece of fabric. I want that!

  40. The fabulous Melody allegedly said:

    Your blog is so funny and informative. I’m a new blogger and wanted to add a link to your fabric folding instructions in my post today. Let me know if that’s not okay. I’m new to this whole thing and not aware of all the rules.

    Now off to fold fabric. What a job this will be but it will look so good afterwards!

  41. The fabulous Jacque allegedly said:

    Thank you ,, Thank you,,I need all help I can get in my sewing room and this looks like something I HAVE to do. Hey, in comment #13, Cyndi mentioned a book about the perfect sewing room, does anyone know the author? and the correct name for it.?

    Your answers are in my post. Cyndi is referring to Lois Hallock (click on her name for Lois’ website, and click on “book” for her book).

  42. The fabulous Erin K allegedly said:

    I’m sold! I’m going to buy a skinnier ruler just for this. I mean I should have one anyhow right?

  43. The fabulous Erin K allegedly said:

    Me again, I couldn’t wait, I got right up and did one drawer this way. What was full is now only half full! I love it! :)

  44. The fabulous Shari allegedly said:

    Well I’m late to this party, but it looks like a pretty neat way to fold fabric. My question is what happens to larger cuts of fabric? A 1 yd piece rolled like this would be once size, but I think if if I rolled one of my 5 yd pieces, it would be much wider as well as thicker. How do you handle that? Of course I’d need to take a month off just to fold things, but I think this might help at the club I belong to.

  45. The fabulous Karin allegedly said:

    Hi, I’m a little late to the party here, but just wanted to say how much I appreciated this tip! I did about half my fabric this way before Thanksgiving/Christmas, now I have to do the other half (plus redo all the ones that got torn apart during gift sewing…).

Farting around with needle & thread and then blogging about it.

Monica Solorio-Snow
Happy Zombie

Pacific Wonderland
Astoria, Oregon

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