I’ve realized that there was another suggestion I could have made in the previous post on this issue, but didn’t think of it until just a short while ago:
It struck me that although I have never had to do this, it would be an easy thing to place a few extra horizontal sleeves on the back of a quilt, from just inside the binding edge on each side, and into these slide fine, light rods of either acrylic, wood or even very fine metal, to help curb that tendency to curl forward. The exact same principle as those little stays you can find in some men’s shirt collars. Now, how close should the sleeves be? I have no idea, and facing this problem I’d have to wing it myself !! Initially, I’d think about 8″ or 9″ apart would do it, but it might depend on the weights of the fabrics, and if the problem didn’t seem entirely solved, I’d be prepared to move them a bit closer and add another one.
I’m sure that the wavy edges I saw are solely due to the pressures of heavy machining producing slippage and distortions between the layers of the quilt. I don’t believe in the process of blocking quilts as a permanent fix for bubbling and distortions that do arise with large variations of quilting density from one part of a quilt to another. Believe me, the fine gathering line will work wonders in a bumpy area surrounded by ‘flat’ quilted areas. And if one of those bumpy areas goes out to the edge somewhere, the gathering and re-applying that bit of binding will work, too – you might have an 1/2″ or 1″ or so of binding spare to remove. Of course these little processes are fiddly, but they worth doing; they do work, and can make all the difference to your final result, so that in addition to being a marvelous assembly of colour and design it appears well and professionally executed. Remember, once a quilt leaves the maker’s control it should be flat, and stay stable in that condition, whatever the atmospheric conditions in its new home.
Finally, I must say that every exhibition I saw was carefully presented, the pieces hung level, and were attractively and sympathetically grouped for a good overall impression. There was no sloppy presentation anywhere, as one commentator suggested might have been the case. The works I observed were all machine quilted, and I don’t believe this edge distortion was due to any rolling the works on the vertical axis for shipping, as logically most people wouldn’t do for a portrait oriented work.