Believe it or not, there is a right way to fold your quilt for long-term storage! Quilts should be folded on the bias to help avoid permanent creases in your fabric. Folding on the bias means folding the quilt at an angle. Because the bias has more give, it will help keep your quilt crease-free.
Why Should you Fold a Quilt on the Bias?
The bias of your fabric is the area that falls between the straight and cross grains. The bias stretches and is much more forgiving than the straight grains when your quilt is complete. If you fold your quilt on the straight grains, permanent creases can form in your quilts.
While folding them on the straight grain for short periods of time is okay, if you fold them this way long term it can be detrimental to the life of your quilt.
Once permanent creases form, those creases will weaken the fabric and batting in your quilt and can lead to tears and holes. Tears will happen more quickly if there are seams where the quilt creases.
Because bias folding reduces creases, it will in turn lengthen the life of your quilt and help your quilt keep its structural integrity.
This is why folding on the bias is best for storage and trust me, folding a quilt on the bias is way easier than it sounds!
How to Fold a Quilt on the Bias
Here’s a quick step by step tutorial to show you exactly how to fold your quilt on the bias for long term storage:
Step 1: Lay your quilt face down on a flat surface.
Step 2: Take the bottom corner of your quilt and fold it up onto your quilt. This will form a triangle if your quilt is square. If your quilt is a rectangle, it should look like the photo pictured below.
Step 3: Take the unfolded corner of your quilt and fold it in on itself. If your quilt is larger, you will need to fold the quilt in on itself one more time to make it a smaller size.
Step 4: Fold one side of the quilt into the center
Step 5: Fold the other side into the center
Step 6: Fold the quilt over onto itself one more time
Now you have a nicely folded quilt that is ready for storage.
How Should you Store your Quilts?
Storing your quilts in the right environment can help preserve them and lengthen their life. There are several things to keep in mind when you are looking for quilt storage solutions.
Here are a few quilt storage do’s and don’ts:
Do: Store your quilt flat. The best way to store your quilt is flat on a bed. This is the only way that your quilt can “breathe” and have no fold lines. However, this isn’t a realistic storage solution for everyone, so if you must fold your quilt to store it, use the bias folding technique mentioned earlier.
Do: Store your quilt in a temperature-controlled space. Storing a quilt in extreme conditions can shorten the overall lifespan of the quilt. Try to store your quilts in your home instead of an attic or garage if possible.
Do: Store your quilt out of direct sunlight. If a quilt is stored in direct sunlight, it will fade the fabric and lead to a more overall dull-looking quilt. Seasonal display on a quilt ladder or in a sunny bedroom is not much to worry about, but you definitely don’t want your long-term storage solution to be within a shot of the sun’s rays.
Don’t: Store your quilt in airtight plastic containers or bags. You may use vacuum-sealed bags for seasonal storage of household items like bedding or winter coats, but this is not a good storage solution for quilts. The lack of air can damage your quilt if it’s stored in these types of containers long-term.
Quilts keep best with regular use and airing out. If you rotate your quilts with the seasons, this is a great way to ensure that your quilts are getting some air and can be re-folded from time to time.
My favorite way to “air out” my quilts is to display them in my home and rotate them with the seasons. Utilize a windowed cabinet or a quilt ladder to help your quilts last the test of time.
You can use the bias folding method to neatly stack your quilts in a folded pile and store them beautifully in a cabinet. If you like the look of a quilt ladder, learn how to fold a quilt for a quilt ladder here!
I’d love to see your storage solutions for your quilts! Tag me on Instagram @haileystitches so I can see what methods you use to display and store your quilts!
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