Sometimes, the right person steps into your life at the right time. Serendipity in moments like those has been something I have been savoring over the past few weeks. A local woman, a friend of a friend, approached me about quilting a vintage quilt for her. We bartered for payment, and in return I am getting a meditation session with her a few times a week, fantastic suggested reading lists, and I am happy to say that my daily meditation practice is back and better than ever.
So when I laid out the quilt top last week, I took a few deep breaths and stepped back to ponder the puzzle in front of me. She had a hard time squaring the quilt top, and she added some borders to bring it up to near king size. We knew ahead of time that there would likely be some fullness in the vintage quilt and she was OK with a few pleats if necessary.
I was not prepared for just how much fullness there would be, however.
Spending a morning on my hands and knees is not my favorite activity, but after getting up close with the vintage quilt top, I realized that the four-patch blocks are very inconsistently sized. The red sashing is better, but it, too has varying widths across the quilt top. Thankfully, with 8 strategically placed pleats that run side to side, the fullness was pretty much all removed and side to side, the quilt was much more forgiving.
My barter partner opted to take the quilt home to hand sew the pleats closed (like hand finishing a binding).
I expect she will be bringing the quilt back to me later this week. It will be much easier to quilt with the fullness and bulk tidily tucked away.
We opted for the pleats based on how the quilt is intended to be used. Have you ever worked with a vintage quilt and had this issue? How did you choose to solve the problem?