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Thread: Old Way vs New Way

  1. #1
    Junior Member goosepoint's Avatar
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    About 30 years ago I made my first quilt. A huge grandma fan in candy apple red. Then the kids distracted me and it was 27 years later I started sewing again. Now I used to do everything with scissors - cut, cut, cut. Patterns made out of old cereal boxes and a pair of hand scissors were tools of the trade. There were no such things as rotary cutters, fancy rulers, cutting mats and the such. And no one had a self threading - machine that did a zillion different stitches. If you had one that would go forward and backward you really had a killer machine back then. Lord I am so glad things have improved. Zip zip zip and we can have an entire quilt cut out in an evening. And in a weekend we can have the top done. I love tradition as much as anyone and I marvel at the patience and skill that it took to put a quilt together so many years ago. But I love progress. The complicated "looking" designs that we can do now could not have been done by the average quilter back then. So my hat is off to all those teachers and designers who make our love of quilting a shear joy - keep up the good work and thanks for making things so much easier. :thumbup:

  2. #2
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Interesting!!! I'm a lover of traditional quilting although I didn't make quilts before rotary cutters,but the way quilting has evolved as we have is just fantastic!!
    I learned quilting much the way you describe so if I really want to make something the old way I can (but I don't lol)
    :D:D

  3. #3
    Super Member jillnjo's Avatar
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    Watched my mom make many quilts with cardboard and scissors! I'm thankful for all my tools,too.Cuts the time way down and is easier,too.

  4. #4
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    Some of us still do it that way :)

  5. #5
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    You are so very true.
    Kat

  6. #6
    Super Member TonnieLoree's Avatar
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    I would not give up my rotary tools for anything. I do remember the cardboard templates. It was amazing that anything matched at all. As our creativity evolves so do our tools. I don't think I put any less value on my work than someone did 100 years ago. We would all be stitching by the light of oil lanterns or candles. I welcome any tool that will make my craft more enjoyable. I will not take two steps backwards after advancing only one. I like it that I can go to a store to purchase fabric and do not have to skin a deer or elk to make something warm to wear. I'm not into shearing sheep for the wool to spin into yarn or weave into cloth either. I admit, I am spoiled by technology and I love it! :-)

  7. #7
    Senior Member yellowsnow55's Avatar
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    Fully agree with what you are saying, but I still like doing it the old way at times. Templates, pencil, scissors and hand piecing. I still find that more relaxing and have usually one on the go at all times. The new way is good too, use it quite a lot, but it's more like actual work for me.

  8. #8
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I remember the old ways, made lots of quilts like that. No more, it is progress for me now and I have made lots more quilts in a much shorter amount of time. At almost 66 I just want to make as many quilts as possible and use up some of my fabrics.

  9. #9
    Senior Member kheliwud's Avatar
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    I learned to quilt by hand, using an embroidery hoop. Would take me months to finish a quilt. Now, I free-motion and I can make a quilt-a-week! And I work full-time! Just think how many I could make if I didn't have to work.....

  10. #10
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    I do hand quilting because I like the tradition of it and I feel there is more of "me" in the thousands of tiny stitches I made.

    But if our mothers and grandmothers had all the modern conveniences we have you can be sure they would have used them. They reveled in every new thing that came out in their time. Think how excited they were with their first electric sewing machine. Our our great grandmothers with their first treadle machine - a real "modern marvel" back then. They were thrilled with electric refrigeration and gas vs. wood stoves. They would expect us to use anything that makes our job easier.

    There would be a lot less "comfort quilts" in the world if we were still tracing cardboard templates and cutting with scissors and hand stitching....a lot less comfort.

  11. #11
    Super Member kathdavis's Avatar
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    I started quilting at the right time (almost 2 years ago).

  12. #12
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    I wish my mom and grandmother was here to see the new ways of quilting. To be able to see the new designs of quilts! I want to hope that they were the ones to lead me in this direction.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Hen3rietta's Avatar
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    I admire the "old" ways but am glad that we have access to rotary cutters and machines large enough to free motion quilt with. Depending on what I'm doing I can mix and match what gives me most satisfaction. Sometimes it is the actual handwork, sometimes it is the artistic aspect of the design, where the accuracy of machine piecing is desirable. It depends on what I am doing and what the final intention of the piece is.

  14. #14
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    I'm a self taught quilter. Before deciding to jump into this madness and purchase a bunch of tools/things I may never use again I made a table runner exactly as you described. I rationalized it that people 100's of years ago had none of these fancy things so why did I need them. Honestly wasn't impressed with the final results. I came to the conclusion that today's instructions/patterns almost require these implements. 10+ years later I'm happy I have my 'stash' of tools and it really is MUCH easier!

  15. #15
    Senior Member redturtle's Avatar
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    the only thing i will complain about is that with all the new stuff that makes quilting faster/easier.........

    the old ways are being forgotten

  16. #16
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    I think there was a lot more needlework done before TV started getting our attention. As a child I embroidered, crocheted & made my own clothes.

  17. #17
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    I have done quilting both ways..the old and the new! And you can choose which ever way you want to work. Or you can use both.

  18. #18
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    I am so very glad for the "new and improved" way of quilting. I just started a few years ago and was addicted from the first quilt. I can zip thru the piecing in no time and have a beautiful (at least to me)quilt ready to take to the LA. I do not have the patience to sit and hand quilt and my hat is off to all that do!. Sometimes I will wrestle a smaller quilt thru my machine and do some SITD. Needless to say I have 3-4 tops at any given time waiting for attention...lol.

  19. #19
    Senior Member LaurieE's Avatar
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    I learned to quilt in 1973 using cardboard templates and scissors. At that time, there were very few quilt books on the market. Quilters Newsletter was only a few years old and was printed in black and white.

    I must admit I am so very grateful for rotary cutters, mats, and especially the HST method. I could never get my seams to match up before. I'm amazed the seams in the antique quilts do! Unless I get a set of accurate plastic templates, I wouldn't want to go back to the old template method.

    I agree with redturtle that the old ways are being forgotten which is a shame. My LQS owner doesn't know how to calculate the amount of fabric needed based on the size of template & the block being made. I was told "most people usually buy x-number of yards." Knowing how to do the calculations was required in the old days. I guess that's more of a statement to the increase in people's financial status as well as the decline in home clothing construction.

    Some of the modern techniques seem very wasteful to me. Also many of the old names of quilt blocks are being changed. Mainly by pattern book authors and magazine editors all because they want to give a quilt a snazzy name. They don't mention in the article that this quilt was made using such-n-such block.

  20. #20
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    I have been saying this for years. Well stated.
    I marvel at the antique quilts, what they were able to accomplish without the modern gadgets is awesome. I think there is room in the world of quilting for all the techniques.
    Quote Originally Posted by Barb44
    I do hand quilting because I like the tradition of it and I feel there is more of "me" in the thousands of tiny stitches I made.

    But if our mothers and grandmothers had all the modern conveniences we have you can be sure they would have used them. They reveled in every new thing that came out in their time. Think how excited they were with their first electric sewing machine. Our our great grandmothers with their first treadle machine - a real "modern marvel" back then. They were thrilled with electric refrigeration and gas vs. wood stoves. They would expect us to use anything that makes our job easier.

    There would be a lot less "comfort quilts" in the world if we were still tracing cardboard templates and cutting with scissors and hand stitching....a lot less comfort.

  21. #21
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redturtle
    the only thing i will complain about is that with all the new stuff that makes quilting faster/easier.........

    the old ways are being forgotten
    I would disagree with this. Tons of quilters out there still hand piece from template cut pieces and handquilt. I handquilt and machine quilt. I have not hand pieced but I have hand appliqued. I like having hand work around. Regarding templates, if someone wants to reproduce a block from an antique quilt, many of the more complex star designs must be done with template and I know of no way to rotary cut and piece the hexes used in GFG. I do know there are hex templates you can buy and of course there are dye cutters available to precut the hexes but many still do it the old fasioned way. There are so many quilters out there that embrace both new and old technique and some that only embrace new and some that only practice old. I am one of that does both! I do love my rotary cutter and mats as well as my sewing machine and longarm. But I always have some sort of handwork around, be it handquilting, hand applique or hand embroidery.

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