The Agony and the Ecstacy

The Ecstacy
Receiving the Japan Prize at Quilt National was absolutely wonderful- perhaps the second best moment of the week after discovering the miracle of color. But I can not say that I spent the week walking on air.

The Agony
As many of you know I have very limited wall space. I had an opportunity to hang two of my quilts in the beginning of the week and when they went up I saw there was an immediate problem- not only were they not squared up- but they were very very wavy. I had not seen this before and I knew that it would effect the quality of the piece. So in typical fashion I let it eat at me all week. Luckily I was surrounded by cadres of accomplished quilters and my time at Quilt National was spent bending the ear of everyone who passed to see what techniques they used, what batting produced successful results and which binding techniques I needed to try. Honestly, I was so focused and actually fearful that I would not be able to solve this problem that I did not fully enjoy the delight in winning the Japan prize. My bad.
But here is what I learned.
1. Two layers of batting is probably not a good idea. 
2. Heavy backing will help reduce some of the bulging I am getting
3. Do a zig zag stitch about a 1/4" from each edge and pull the cording until the piece lays flat
4. Iron the hell out of the quilt from the reverse side
5. Stitch a piece of gross grain ribbon into the seam to stabilize the quilt
6. Make sure you have a bottom sleeve, weight it down and let it hang.
7. Flannel sheets, army blankets, felt (although not commercial felt) can all be used as batting.

The list goes on.... 
I also spoke to every long arm quilter that would listen to me. And I need to look into that possibility- even though it might mean that I have to rethink the way I quilt  my pieces.
Shout outs to Marina Baudoin, Karen Schultz, Denise Roberts, Kathy Loomis, Paula Kovarik, Betty Busby, Kit Vincent, Shelley Brenner Baird, and probably dozens of others that I cornered. Thanks for your knowledge and willingness to share information.
It was both a wonderful and a rough week- and I will feel so much happier when I know I have this problem licked.