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Thread: Is quilting becoming to modernized?

  1. #1
    davidwent's Avatar
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    I'm just beginning this topic to see what you all think.
    As a child I remember watching my grandmother make me a quilt, that I still have some 50 years later. She had a treadle sew matching a pair of scissors and a fabric tape measure. Her quilts were/are amazing.
    Are we now depending on gidgets and gadgets and modern machines too much?
    I know we can whip out amazing quilts in days instead of weeks/months, I am just wondering if new is always better?
    David

  2. #2
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    I feel like I have blended the old and the new. I do some hand quilting but I must have my rotary cutter. To me the best of both worlds:)

  3. #3
    Senior Member Happy Treadler's Avatar
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    I really love the 'old way of doing things', and I actually only quilt on treadles and hand cranks. There ARE some things I won't give up, like my rotary cutter.

    I still think anything hand made rather than bought is very special indeed, no matter how it's made.

  4. #4
    Super Member hobo2000's Avatar
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    David, I have thought about that too. G'ma used to draw her pattern on cardboard cut it out, stack up fabrics and draw around each template then sit at night and cut them out. She used a treadle, which I now use. I think it would be great fun to get a bunch of us to each make a small quilt not using anything but paper, cardboard, treadle, scissors, etc. We would learn to really appreciate what we have but would know how to do it without the frills.

  5. #5
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    David, I agree with you. The majority of quilts I love were made decades ago without the assistance of the 'tools' we have today. However, with that being said, I think the abundance of patterns and designs is a factor in using the 'tools' -- they provide quilters with the desire and the ability to try making something new and different. I find I have to work very hard to keep myself in check from: buying every 'tool' and from starting too many quilts. My favorite quilts (that I've made) have taken time and a lot of thought, were not rushed, and did not include the use of many new 'tools' (the newest 'tools' used were a rotary cutter, cutting mat, and ruler).

  6. #6
    Super Member ConnieF's Avatar
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    I know all the older ways to quilt but love all the new ways too. I have my DH's grandmother old treddle and I used to be in a sopping/ gift place and I was up stairs and just electric lights no electricity ad I sewed on a treddle and everyone was so amazd....
    I will also forever keep the rotary cutter and a few of the rulers... Smile
    ConnieF

  7. #7
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    As far as I'm concerned the answer is a great big YES!!!!

    If I had to do it the old-fashioned way I'd never do it. While I know how to do it that way and know that I can if need be I also like the option of not having to.

    When you think about it, it isn't all that different.

    What used to be cardboard templates are now acrylic.

    What used to be scissors are now rotary cutters
    and best of all .....

    What used to be day long quilting bees are now week long quilting retreats.

    Yeah, for me I'll take the new stuff.

  8. #8
    Super Member Quilter7x's Avatar
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    Nope, I don't think quilting has become too modernized at all. I think it's all personal preference. I would not have taken up quilting if I had to do everything by hand and use a treadle machine. I absolutely love my computerized embroidery sewing machines and all the tools, patterns and gadgets I have.

    I do agree that to make a quilt entirely the old fashioned way would give people appreciation for what they have today.

  9. #9
    Senior Member lvaughan's Avatar
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    Just think a treadle machine was a modern convenience at one time. I have no idea how long scissors have been around and exactly how fabric was cut previously, but they were a new invention or a luxury to some at one time and they still sewed and I'm sure quilted.

  10. #10
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    Your grandmother probably made one quilt at a time. Quilters now have several quilts in progress at the same time. Right now I have at least 12 I'm working on. We want to be quicker so we can use all our stash up before we die !!!

  11. #11
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raptureready
    As far as I'm concerned the answer is a great big YES!!!!

    If I had to do it the old-fashioned way I'd never do it. While I know how to do it that way and know that I can if need be I also like the option of not having to.

    When you think about it, it isn't all that different.

    What used to be cardboard templates are now acrylic.

    What used to be scissors are now rotary cutters
    and best of all .....

    What used to be day long quilting bees are now week long quilting retreats.

    Yeah, for me I'll take the new stuff.
    Me too!!!!! Well said!

  12. #12
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    Well -- that's like saying cooking is a dying art because we use electric stoves instead of a wood burning fireplace! I, for one, believe my GGgrandmother would say I'm an idiot for not using the most modern convenience!!!! Okay - so I WILL admit that I'm trying to learn how to hand quilt so I can play while camping. :)

  13. #13
    Senior Member dpparris's Avatar
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    I think the old way is fun, the new "tools" make things alot faster for us to get projects done. I still like to hand quilt, but that is just me. I am teaching the children at work to hand sew and then after they learn to do this well, I will teach them to use the sewing machine. Either way the quilts are handmade and made with LOVE!

  14. #14
    Super Member Izaquilter's Avatar
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    I know I'm reallllly gonna ruffle some feathers here with this reply but I do think modernazation (is that a word) is taking alot out of quilting. Not so much the tools & the sewing machines because that is all I have ever known but the long arms. Sure I'd love to have one but will not allow myself to go to that extent. If you go to quilt shows now, almost 90% of the quilts are all done by long arms & it really really takes the creativity out of quilting. A really good piecer can put a top together & then send it off to a really good machine quilter but let me tell you, I have been going to quilt shows since 1992 & there is NO comparason to the quilts now & the quilts back in 1992. More of them were done by one persons creativity. Now it's who pays the most to their favorite long arm quilter. I know several long arm quilters & have only had 2 quilts done by them. It's just not the same as if you had done it all yourself. I feel like I'm cheating. I now see how my aunt felt going to the quilt shows. She hated it when machine pieced quilts were first allowed! So the old is the best for me!

  15. #15
    Senior Member QuilterGary's Avatar
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    I think it is nice to remember the old ways or processes of of yester year so we can appreciate what our forefathers and mothers had to do. But I agree with amandasgramma. I am a quilter, construction worker and a farmer and would not like doing these things the "OLD" way. There is much to be said on this subject but for me the good old days are now. I love the light switch.

  16. #16
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I think there are still plenty of quilters who do not take advantage of the modern conveniences. We have many, many members on this board who hand quilt, quite a few who only hand piece and a lot who peice only by treadle or hand crank.

    I embrace the best of both worlds! I love my Bernina and love my new long arm machine. I also hand quilt. I own a treadle but have yet to get her up and running so I can try piecing a top on it. I will not do without my rotary cutter!

    I would like to add as a beginner Longarmer, it does take just as much concentration, skill, practice and talent to operate a longarm and getting an intricately quilted quilt as it does for hand quilting, maybe even more. I am a self taught hand quilter and I was able to pretty much jump into it with both feet and have a nice looking result in the end. I think longarming, at least if you are going to do something other then a basic meander takes as much skill if not more as the less modern techniques. Same goes for FMQ on a domestic machine. I actually think that takes even more talent and skill as it is much more difficult to manipulate the quilt through the DSM then it is to move a machine riding on a carriage over the quilt.

  17. #17
    Super Member charmpacksplus's Avatar
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    I come from a family of carpenters. I sure would hate to see them using hand saws and hand hammers to build a house today when they have all those powerful power tools. Although it's good to know the history of how they used to do things, whether building a house or making a quilt, it's much easier to do them now with all the gidgets and gadgets.

  18. #18

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    well I agree that I want to quilt my own quilt but due to my inability to hand quilt poor fine motor control in my hands I bought my own mid arm machine and I going to learn to use it and be creative will loan to friends if the want to come and play in my play house and do their own quilts . I have retired and turn my living room into my play room

  19. #19
    Super Member Grama Lehr's Avatar
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    I love all of today's toys for quilting. I think the quilt shows should have a couple of sections, one for 100 % hand quilters, a section for folks who work, have a family and quilt for the pure joy of it and another for the professional quilter, who does it for a living.
    Three different brackets, three different set of standards, what do you think?

  20. #20
    Super Member Airwick156's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amandasgramma
    Well -- that's like saying cooking is a dying art because we use electric stoves instead of a wood burning fireplace! I, for one, believe my GGgrandmother would say I'm an idiot for not using the most modern convenience!!!! Okay - so I WILL admit that I'm trying to learn how to hand quilt so I can play while camping. :)
    You said, "so I can play while camping" I have to tell you a story. I'll make it short.
    Last summer my husband and I went camping. Thats our favorite thing to do together. Anyways, my husband has a habit of going to bed for the night BEFORE DARK. And I think it is because its just so relaxing to just be outside with no worries. But after "many many" nights of being the only one awake (no one ever camps with us) I decided the next time we go camping, I am bringing my laptop computer so that I can listen to music, or I can play a couple hidden object games I have downloaded on it since he goes to sleep so early. And I am going to bring a quilt that I was putting binding on. (We camp at state parks and theres always alot of people there) So this one particular night, I grabbed a tablecloth, covered the picnic table with it, set up my sewing machine, grabbed my quilt, turned on the music and sat there and sewed out on the picnic table. We camp in a tent, with cots, and we have a table that fits in the tent that we use when its dark out and play games on. But anyways, across the drive in another camp spot, was this elderly woman and her husband, they were just sitting there watching me sew and there were other campers that were watching me, and all of a sudden, several people came over to where I was and started talking to me. The one elderly lady says to me "what possessed you to bring your sewing machine camping with you". And I told her, well, its like this. My husband gets so relaxed that he goes to bed at about 6:00pm when we go camping and that its too early for me to go to bed, so I had to come up with something to pass the time with and so I chose to bring my sewing to keep my hands occupied, my computer so that I can relax and "think" that I am not sitting out here all alone as long as the music doesnt stop. I did complete the binding on that quilt. I just thought you would like to hear that story. LOL. I can't wait to be able to go camping again this year.

  21. #21
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    LOL.. my opinion is that quilting has advanced only as far as YOU want to advance it..
    No rules say you have to use rotary cutters, machines or anything else. I still cut templates.. draw them onto fabric and cut them out with scissors.. then stitch together with a needle and thread. I also use rotary cutter, mat and electric machine on others. It is just more variety.. and more options.. and therefore open the avocation (it's more than a hobby for me) to more folks.. also with my RA the "machines" make it so that I can still "play" when I'm having a flare.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Dandish's Avatar
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    I'm very grateful that we have such a wide range of processes and techniques available to us. If we want to go completely "old school" we can, and if we want to use the most modern updated gadgets, we can. I disagree the the creativity has been taken out of quilting - I mostly see more opportunities to be creative. Having said that, my personal line seems to be the new fabric cutters (the Go! et al) and especially computerized quilting guidance. But, my lines have been known to move occasionally...lol.

  23. #23
    Super Member merry's Avatar
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    [quote=raptureready]As far as I'm concerned the answer is a great big YES!!!!

    If I had to do it the old-fashioned way I'd never do it. While I know how to do it that way and know that I can if need be I also like the option of not having to.

    When you think about it, it isn't all that different.

    What used to be cardboard templates are now acrylic.

    What used to be scissors are now rotary cutters
    and best of all .....

    What used to be day long quilting bees are now week long quilting retreats.

    Yeah, for me I'll take the new stuff.[/quot


    Agree 100%

  24. #24
    Senior Member Happy Treadler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airwick156
    Quote Originally Posted by amandasgramma
    Well -- that's like saying cooking is a dying art because we use electric stoves instead of a wood burning fireplace! I, for one, believe my GGgrandmother would say I'm an idiot for not using the most modern convenience!!!! Okay - so I WILL admit that I'm trying to learn how to hand quilt so I can play while camping. :)
    You said, "so I can play while camping" I have to tell you a story. I'll make it short.
    So this one particular night, I grabbed a tablecloth, covered the picnic table with it, set up my sewing machine, grabbed my quilt, turned on the music and sat there and sewed out on the picnic table. The one elderly lady says to me "what possessed you to bring your sewing machine camping with you".
    You should see the looks I get when I'm sitting at the table quilting on an old hand crank! :)

    BTW, that's one of the great joys with hand crank sewing machines, I take them camping all the time and I don't need to run an electrical cord to the picnic table. Oh what fun!

  25. #25
    Super Member SherriB's Avatar
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    Being a quilter for only a short time, I am grateful for some of the modern quilting tools we have available. I have arthritis in my hands and would not be able to do very much handquilting at all. The rotary cutter and acrylic rulers are a godsend for me.

    I do appreciate and love handquiled quilts. They are a true work of love and art.

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