I just finished quilting one of these quilts. In this case, it was made by the woman's grandmother 50 or 60 years ago, and she wanted to give it to her mother. It had been pretty stained and she washed it to get out the stains, which ended up shrinking the centers of the pieced blocks, which puckered all the alternating applique blocks. It was a true rescue effort with a lot of tugging and pulling, a lot of stitching in the ditch, and a lot of "quilting it out." And now, it's truly a family treasure.
Just an update here: I posted this blog on an online Quilter's Board, asking opinions regarding machine-quilting vs hand-quilting antique quilts. I am amazed at the response! http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-48137-1.htm