Go Back  Quiltingboard Forums > Main
How did you manage?! (before rotary cutters) >

How did you manage?! (before rotary cutters)

How did you manage?! (before rotary cutters)

Old 06-20-2014, 05:19 PM
  #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 174
Default How did you manage?! (before rotary cutters)

It's something I hadn't really thought about before but I read recently that rotary cutters didn't really come into existence until about 1979. It is my understanding then that scissors were used (or maybe tearing?) So my question to all those quilting before the rotary cutter (and for those who choose not to use one) how on earth did you get such nice seams? I find I struggle WITH the rotary tool haha. And looking at quilts from the 1800's and such - amazing. Color me impressed!

(Just something I was thinking about while struggling to get nice, even cuts).

I fully admit I am likely missing something obvious here...
Skylark53 is offline  
Old 06-20-2014, 05:26 PM
  #2  
Super Member
 
117becca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: dayton OH
Posts: 1,911
Default

they took their time and they were accurate! I was totally amazed a few years back when i used a bunch of 60 degree diamonds that my grandmother had cut out before she passed away in 1945. I thought i'd have to square them up - but didn't!! They were all perfect. Looked like she had a cardboard template maybe and used a pencil to draw lines to cut.
117becca is offline  
Old 06-20-2014, 05:30 PM
  #3  
Super Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: SC
Posts: 1,909
Default

I used electric scissors and templates...sew thankful we have rotary cutters (not to mention Accu-Quilt....)
momto5 is offline  
Old 06-20-2014, 05:34 PM
  #4  
Super Member
 
AliKat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 2,943
Default

Taking the time to make templates to draw on the back of the fabric took a LOT of time. At least we could do the cutting out while watching the kids, cooking, or watching in the evening. Sewing well made the seams so good.
AliKat is offline  
Old 06-20-2014, 05:35 PM
  #5  
Super Member
 
athomenow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Pataskala, OH
Posts: 1,452
Default

My mother used cardboard templates and pinking shears. Talk about tedious. But these women were patient and worked on their quilting at odd times, at least in my house. I'm surprised she ever got any sewing done but we all had the best clothes and doll clothes and sometimes these were without a proper pattern. Amazing.
I wouldn't sew if I had to use scissors!
athomenow is offline  
Old 06-20-2014, 05:40 PM
  #6  
Super Member
 
117becca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: dayton OH
Posts: 1,911
Default

Originally Posted by athomenow View Post
........I wouldn't sew if I had to use scissors!
i can't live w/out a good pair of scissors!!! LOL!!
117becca is offline  
Old 06-20-2014, 05:42 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
cmrenno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 428
Default

We used to trace around homemade templates. I used to make mine from old file folders. I still have the first rotary cutter that my mother bought me. It still works great. Believe it or not when they first came out there wasn't any rotary cutter mat. You would cut on old magazines. Thankfully that didn't last long. It dulled the blades pretty fast!
I think I have been quilting for about 35 years.

Colleen
cmrenno is offline  
Old 06-20-2014, 06:25 PM
  #8  
Power Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 38,618
Default

If you wanted to cut pieces, you used templates and scissors. It was what you had at the time but I certainly wouldn't give up my rotary cutter and ruler now.
Tartan is offline  
Old 06-20-2014, 06:41 PM
  #9  
Super Member
 
AngeliaNR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: SW Missouri
Posts: 2,987
Default

I used to cut templates from old cereal boxes. I stopped quilting for years, and when I came back to it, I was amazed at the new tools and techniques--I felt like I had discovered America!

Originally Posted by cmrenno View Post
We used to trace around homemade templates. I used to make mine from old file folders. I still have the first rotary cutter that my mother bought me. It still works great. Believe it or not when they first came out there wasn't any rotary cutter mat. You would cut on old magazines. Thankfully that didn't last long. It dulled the blades pretty fast!
I think I have been quilting for about 35 years.

Colleen
AngeliaNR is offline  
Old 06-20-2014, 06:46 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
CherryPie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: OKC, OK
Posts: 861
Default

I can remember using templates (MIL used whatever she could find) and scissors to cut her quilt blocks out for her. The last blocks that I cut out for her, she made me a quilt out of them. That was her last one she ever made. That one is pretty special to me.
CherryPie is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Fabricgator
Main
10
08-31-2014 05:36 PM
jillmc
Main
16
07-15-2012 07:32 AM
Quilterfay
General Chit-Chat (non-quilting talk)
132
09-16-2011 04:47 PM
manley
Main
61
09-06-2011 08:00 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


FREE Quilting Newsletter


SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.