Vintage View–WWYD?

…..what would you do?  Let’s assume this unfinished quilt (top only) was made by one of your now deceased aunts.  She made many quilt tops over the years, even quilted a few, and this log cabin is the one your mother gifted to you, the others went to your siblings and cousins.  

It’s big, King size, about 92 x 110 inches, beautifully laid out, made up of cotton, cotton blends, seersucker, and various other clothing scraps from the first half of the 20th Century.

It would be nice to have it quilted, but there’s a problem.  Auntie worked with fabrics of various weight and stretch, and occasionally she had to “ease” fabric in to get her logs to the correct length.  As a result, there is a pleat or a pucker or two here and there…some tiny, some significant…

The edges of the quilt top aren’t very straight as a result…

Quilting it on a home machine would be a major headache just for the sheer size of the quilt, not to mention the fact that is isn’t flat and straight…

So, what would you do?
a)  Leave it as is, and store it in a drawer or closet?
b)  Tie quilt it with floss, like many were originally finished like in that era?
c)  Attempt to hand quilt a very ripply top?
d) any other ideas….?
It’s not mine, but I agreed to look it over for a friend and give them advice and possibly a quote for finishing it off for her.  I’m really somewhat stumped, so any thoughts you can give me are very much welcome and appreciated!
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9 thoughts on “Vintage View–WWYD?

  1. When I have encountered this problem, I have found that using fusible batting eases the wobbliness of the fabric. So, I tape the backing on the floor or table as usual, put on the fusible batting, loosly fit the top on that and anchor it all down. Then I bring in the iron and press, not iron the sandwich right there on the floor or table. I pin baste it and either tie it with pearl cotton/ yarn or machine wiggle stitch it all in one direction. Good luck with it. Remember that it is not going on the wall, but to be used and it doesnt have to be even.

  2. Definitely “a.” But open to being convinced about “b.” Resistant to anything beyond that. It's a nice documentation of fabrics from that era, but beyond that, I'd question any additional investment of time… unless it was for big bucks!

  3. If I were to quilt it, I'd use a puffy batt and just do a kind of big meander to accomodate any of those “problem” areas. It seems so wasted in a drawer…

  4. i think what sure said, although I have quilted the dog out of an old one by pulling it as I went on my home machine, and I have to say you'd never know… I did hand sew down a few stretchy flaps to get it evenish… but only a few spots needed that… then a nice loop de loop or meander to keep it all down…

  5. Putting it in a drawer would be a shame. I believe a quilt of that size was meant to be used. I'd use a high loft bat and tie it. Then snuggle down in with a good book 🙂

  6. I would bring it to a long arm quilter and see what she says. I believe it can be quilted, so what if there a few puckers and pleats in the quilt , some of it will be eased in , have it quilted densely and I bet it will look great.
    Debs feathers pantograph would be great for this quilt.
    This way she can enjoy it and use it.
    Kathie

  7. I'd tie it with some fluffy batting and let the owners start using it!!
    Or machine quilt it sparingly.
    It looks like a quilt that will be loved and used.

  8. I would have a long arm machine quilt it. She would have ideas on the bat and the density of the quilting – listen – listen real close to what she says and if she is not for quilting it get a different long arm to give her thoughts. Tying a quilt just makes for problems later if said quilt is used and washed as a much loved quilt would be. Sure it is going to cost in time and $$ but there is the family factor that can not be bought/sold.

    There will not be many quilts in the future with such a varity of fabrics – we all turn our noses up unless it is cotton…… so this quilt will be the STAR at some quilt retreat in a couple of decades – so much fabric to “learn” about…. fabric camp here we come.

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