When I started quilting in 1984, it was a crime and a sin to use a sewing machine in the quilt-making process. You did not piece by machine, you did not applique by machine, you did not quilt by machine. It was all done by hand. Additionally, rotary cutters, mats, and acrylic rulers did not exist.
If you were going to make a nine-patch block (checkerboard design) using squares that were 3” X 3”, you cut that shape out of cardboard and then traced around it on the back side of your fabric and then you eye-balled the ¼” seam allowance and cut there. Using pins to line up your stitching line, you sewed that 3” seam by hand. Suffice it to say, it was time consuming.
I wish all women had the opportunity to make a quilt – or even just a quilt block – by this method because it would give them an appreciation of how fast they are creating quilts when they use sewing machines and modern cutting tools. Understanding this, perhaps they would S-L-O-W down and be precise, perhaps they would S-L-O-W down and press each section of each block as they stitched along.
If you slow down in this manner, you will see the quality of your quilts improve dramatically. And that’s a promise.
Please visit my Etsy shop! You will find 5 quilt patterns for sale. (I also offer lots of quilt-related giftware.)
And, just for the record, here is that first quilt I made. It’s a king size sampler quilt and it is entirely hand pieced and hand quilted!