I have, for years, folded my quilts on the diagonal and have been pleased with the results. But there are many experienced quilters who feel strongly about folding on the straight of grain and today Bonnie Browning, Executive Show Director for AQS, has convinced me that folding on the straight has merit.
As we looked at quilts in the show (AQS Lancaster 2018), it was easy to see which quilts had been folded on the diagonal because those folds were very obvious. Bonnie said that pressing and/or steaming will usually make straight creases disappear, but it doesn’t help diagonal creases. She added that the weight of quilts folded ‘straight’ helps the creases fade after they are hung.
Quilts hanging in shows are relatively new and crisp, which may have something to do with it. They may not have been folded often, in either direction. I fold my quilts a lot (into and out of suitcases) and never in quite the same way. That softens them up which may be why I don’t see hard diagonal creases in my quilts.
Bonnie also said that diagonal folding can cause the outer edges of the quilt to stretch a bit. That got my attention because I think that is probably true. I have only seen a tiny bit of give in my outer edges, but even a little is too much.
My quilts at home are rolled onto 2″ PVC pipes covered with sleeves cut from cotton fabric — that flattens creases between foldings. Any quilt that stays folded all the time is likely to show creases, no matter which way it is folded. If quilts are stacked on top of each other, that will add to the problem.
I visited with Sue Patton who always washes her quilts (washer and dryer) and reports that creases are not an issue for her. That’s a thought, right? For we hand appliquérs, it’s a scary thought, but still. I’m going to carefully choose some quilts to test this out on. In fact, I have two to share in a blog post, soon.
Sue also recommended the Tuscany Cotton Wool batting from Hobbs for its softness and possible non-crease-worthiness. I’m going to try it, soon I hope.
So, chime in with your thoughts and experiences. It’s how we all learn new things!
I’ll leave you with this photo that has nothing at all to do with the topic at hand, but I like it: Lancaster, in the snow.