Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mystery Monday...on Tuesday...5 Fat Quarters giveaway

In the middle 1970's when quilting began a revival of
sorts...there were no rotary cutters, special quilting marked
rulers...and no cutting mats.  There were only a handful
of books...none, that I recall, had any colored pages.
It could be a MYSTERY to some...how quilting could've
been all that fun...without many of the modern tools that are
  now used to make quilts. But, to me...back then, it was still
great fun to make quilts!  It was learning something new.
It was taking classes and meeting other great quilting friends.
And sharing creativity with family and others that we love.
One of the early books in print was
Trip Around the World, a New Approach
by Blanche and Helen Young


If you notice, the second paragraph...talking about sharp
scissors?  It mentions Gingher scissors.  They were a bit of
 "revolution" in the early 1970's, as they would cut thru 6-8
layers of cotton fabric at once.  Wow! We didn't have to cut
each strip separately.  We can mark the top layer of a stack
of fabrics and cut thru them all at once!  A FAR CRY from
cutting each square out individually!

Inside the book were thin cardboard templates for
different size of strips, different size quilts. 

There were notches that eventually would mark where
to cut squares.  But, no squares were individually cut.



You can see in this illustration, the scissors are
cutting thru several layers of fabric. 

(this particular shape was for Sunshine and Shadow)

One interesting idea to separate the rows and keep
the fabrics in order to sew...was to use toilet paper
strips to lay between the fabric stacks. 
I used this book and method to make my very first quilt.
They were quilted by hand.  I'm sad that I can't share pics of
them.  But, our 37 year old daughter has the first one.  And,
our 34 year old son has the second.   Maybe I can get pics and
share on a later post.
Blanche and Helen wrote many of the early quilt books.
A picture of Helen Young Frost (standing) and her mom
Blanche Young

Their Lone Star quilt book
 .... was also quite revolutionary
in the way it was cut and sewn.  Much quicker method
than cutting all the diamonds.
====
 
This is how I remember Blanche...I took
a class from her in the early days when she was in
Southern California teaching.

So...this is leetle walk in the "olden" days of quilting. 
(P.S.  I'm sorry this post was late)
===============

To Enter Win this week's
 Mystery Monday,
please...leave a comment...
--Any quilting experiences without rotary cutter, mat and ruler?
If so, what was your method?  (must be a follower to win)
======================

This is a big note to last week's Mystery Monday
IDA from Texas

You can visit her in blogland....

58 comments:

Hilachas said...

I think I have that pamphlet about the Lone Star Quilt. I remember those days when my mother would cut out her fabric pieces from templates. As a matter of fact, that is still the way she cuts her fabric unless my sister or I are around to cut the pieces for her with a rotary cutter. My mother also cut out the pieces for my Dresden Plate Quilt. She was cutting the pieces for her quilt as she watched her soap opera and just got carried away. She ended up cutting enough pieces for both our queen-sized Dresden Plate and still had some left over for shams, pillows, and more.

Belinda said...

The first quilt I ever made, I used a ruler, a sharpie and scissors to cut all of the 4" squares. It took me quite some time but I managed to get it done. Thank goodness I found out about a rotary cutter and mat soon after that!!

I am a follower. :)

Patti said...

I have always used a rotary cutter when quilting. I did come across some cardboard templates that I used to make ornaments many years ago. Thanks for a chance.

Swedish Scrapper said...

I was scared to death to use a rotary cutter for the longest time-- because all my fabrics slid! I used my mom's Gingher's to cut out pieces for nine patch pillows, and the half done quilt I started 14 years ago Eek! I like looking back, but I like a bunch of the changes too! Man, those Gingher's were awesome though!

Sallie said...

Mu first quilt, a sampler, was made using graph paper, plastic templates and scissors. Thanks for the giveaway!

Teresa in Music City said...

I made my first quilt with a sandpaper hexagon template, traced around it with a pencil on the fabrics and cut each one individually for a grandmother's flower garden! That was in the early 80's. When I found quilting again in 2006 I was stunned at the tools that were available - the most unusual (and scary!) was the rotary cutter!!!

B Greene said...

This is so funny because just last night I found my fabric stash from the early nineties when I took my first stab at quilting (We have moved within the last year and I am still exploring containers that have been in the attic for years!). I found a bunch a fabric pieces that I had cut out using a handmade plastic template from an X-ray film! It had three holes punched in that had to be marked on each piece to match seams. No wonder I gave up quilting for twenty years. Things are MUCH easier now!!!

Love Of Quilts said...

Went I started quilting... I would cut a square block out of new paper... sew my fabric pieces in strippes on it by hand then cut it out around the paper.

Rosa said...

I use rotatory cutter to cut my strips and my fabrics and a ruler,plastic templetes to draw my blocks.Thanks for the chance!

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

I've seen forever, but didn't start quilting until after the rotary cutter came along.

April said...

I've been quilting for less than a year and I am delightfully addicted. I began sewing about a year ago when my 4 year old daughter said she wanted a pretty dress. I would do anything for that beautiful little face. One project led to another until I found myself surfing the internet to learn to quilt. My first quilt was a dresden flower pattern. There are numerous errors in the quilt, but I love it just the same. From small beginnings come the richness of life. I've made dozens now and have several 'in progress'. I have found my place.

Deb said...

I remember cutting out quilt squares with a cardboard template and scissors. When the cardboard got chewed up or wobbly I measured out a new one. This was the late 70s, never dreamed of rotary cutters, it was often tempting to cut more than 4 pieces of fabric at a time but my scissors couldn't handle anything that thick.

Gill said...

I can remember cutting shapes with a cardboard template and scissors but I never want to go back to that!
Rotary cutters have to be the best invention ever!!

Rebeckah Austin said...

The first quilt I ever made was out of old sheets, curtains and some dresses. I had cut out 10" (ish) squares and started to hand sew them to gether. I ended up machine finishing them together. I did not know to use batting (I was about 13 and Had no one around to teach me about quilting) and made a large pillow case object and attached a long zipper to the open end. I then stuffed one of my duvets inside and that was my quilt!

The Village Queen said...

My first was english paper peiced, with cardboard templet to press the edges and hand sewn. Im still quilting it 20 years later. Much prefer todays methods!

Jennyroo said...

I've only quilted with rotary cutter, ruler and self healing mat. I took a 'learn to quilt' class one weekend at a local quilt store and they gave me a great foundation in basics!

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

Gosh; it is only the past few years...say 5-7 that I've used anything besides scissors and templates. I was taught by mother-in-law; it was all hand pieced too. no machine involved what so ever. and I'm not all that old...haha. Things are much faster now; thank heavens. I greatly appreciate the rotary cutters, mats, Go!Baby..lol and the sewing machines. I still hand quilt my quilts; except for little items, like cushions, wallhangings...runners. Large quilts and hand quilted; which I love to do. But I am learning to FMQ a bit...have to try to keep up you know..lol

Sheila said...

I think I have that book. My first few attempts to make quilts ... many years ago, and I only made a few, were flannel Trip Around The World quilts. Cardboard square templates, scissors and blisters! High loft batting. Tied them with yarn. No wonder I gave up the hobby for years. Glad the rotary cutter and cutting mat was invented! If not, I would never have made another quilt.

Jen said...

Sew without a rotary cutter? Wha....?? I'm so confused! How could you do that? Is it possible to cut a straight line with scissors? Ha! Next you're gonna tell me they sewed without a sewing machine, right?

Patti said...

I've only been quilting for a couple of years, but I can't even imagine not having a cutting mat and rotary cutter! Those were some seriously dedicated quilters! I really enjoyed reading your blog today. Thanks for the look back and the giveaway.

Diann said...

Oh my. I started in the late 1970's. I picked a block design from a picture in a book and planned it out using graph paper. I made graph paper templates and then traced them to make cardboard templates. Then I traced around the cardboard templates using magic marker on the fabric. That quilt still isn't finished, but I think it's in the attic somewhere.

Marcia W. said...

Long before I ever quilted, I would help my mother by tracing out pieces using a pencil or ball point pen, cut them one-by-one with scissors, as well as iron the scraps. Quilts were made of scraps leftover from making clothing and household items. Templates were drawn on cereal box cardboard. Directions came from Mountain Mist batting. Quilt magazines were black and white newsprint and hand stapled. By the time I started making my own quilts, rotary cutters, mats, rulers, etc. were all available (I used my mother's). I am a follower.

JustPam said...

I made a mini quilt cut with scissors and a pillow top also cut with scissors. I didn't enjoy the experience so much. Then about 10 years ago a friend re-introduced me to quilting with rotary cutters and I fell in love.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I too am in the age of quilters starting recent with all the bells and whistles - but my mother (and granny) are old school and have taught quilting for year. Any cardboard box was saved - for template making, marking quilting lines and for making storage boxes for patterns. Plates, bottle caps, anything circles - used for making those - you knew what was in your kitchen! And you learned how to break down almost any clothing item to be re-purposed into something new. (and saved all buttons)

c said...

cardboard squares to make "perfect" squares out of asstd fabrics, cookie cutters used for applique patterns, plates for cirdles to sew down to fabric, glasses to make a circle for a yoyo
and that was in 2002 for me-LOL. I knew nothing, just tried to recall what my grannie used in the 1960's when I began, then the world opened when I watched a show on tv.

robin said...

My husband, a carpenter, cut templates out of 1/4 inch board material of some kind, attached a knob, and I drew around it with a pen and cut on the lines. Made a couple baby blankets that way.

LimeRiot said...

I do enjoyed reading this post, Annie! You were truly a quilting pioneer! It makes me wonder what new crafty inventions will be created in the next 20 years. What will we look back on and think... I can't believe we didn't have ___ back then?! :)

quilt happy said...

i have been sewing for 50 something years so i guess i have done it all

Mary said...

I had the book and made the quilt. That is how we did all of our quilting. I remember this well. I had met Blanche Young too, a long time ago. What memories!! I made cardboard templates and cut my quilts using them!

quiltmania said...

I still have both those books. My children's baby quilts were made from them. I remember buying my first rotary cutter 24 years ago, so prior to that it was pencil and scissors. LOL. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

~Kelie~ said...

Never made a quilt w/o modern tools, I'm almost completely done with my first one, got the top done, it's basted, and now...I'm trying to actually quilt it! Thanks for the chance to win!!!

Kathy said...

I am addicted to Accuquilt. No scissors, no rotory cutter, no special rulers. I look at my fabric, RIP it to the width of my cutting mat, and crank. LOVE it. Waste you ask? I do use my scissors on what scraps that are left. When I rip the fabric the width of the cutting mat it leaves awesome "strips" that I can use for string quilts. Whohoo! Those get stored in a different shoebox. Teehee.

Maxine said...

I've used the same 5" piece of cardboard with a pen to cut charm squares for over 30 years.

Mhairi said...

I have used scissors and template plastic for a lot of my patterns before getting a cutting mat. As I like appliqué I still use this method and just use my mat and cutter for straight lines.
What a great book that looks like - thanks for sharing.

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

I started quilting in the mid 80's and the first quilting class I took we learned about scissors, templates, and being accurate, or else your whole quilt would be wrong. By the end of the class, the teacher brought out this pizza cutter and said it was the latest invention for quilters. We all laughed!! Better then scissors???!!?!! Well YES they are better then scissors. The Rotary cutter is by best quilting tool!

shez said...

lovely post Annie,no i have only used a rotary cutter and rulers,its all very interesting though.xx

PJ said...

I've always used my ruler, rotary cutter and mat. I imagine if I ever used only sissors my hands would be os so tired and sore.

Sis-O said...

Thank you for the history lesson. I am a fairly new quilter (since about 2006 and slow starting). The only non rotary cutting I have done is fussy cutting and circle cutting. I have purchased many antique and vintage quilt tops and blocks that were hand cut and hand sewn. so much time invested. Thank You for the giveaway.

tubilinha tiacarminha said...

Eu estou nos retalhos mais ou menos 10 anos,basicamente só trabalho com sucatas.Faço todos os meus moldes com papalão,risco com giz de alfaiate,corto com tesoura e costuro com uma Singer dos anos 80.Novidade para mim é tesoura nova.A pouco tempo conheci uma coisa chamada placa de dresden,adorei.Quebrei cabeça,errei e acertei(obá)tenho 300 prontas.Sou viciada em hexágonos e tudo que vai papel e costura a mão.Claro que até gostaria de ter algumas dessas ferramentas que vocês usam,mas fico sempre com um certo medo.Um grande beijo e sou seguidora.

Cecilia said...

The first time I tried to quilt I cut squares from different fabrics my Mother had. The squares were not the same size, so they didn't go together very well. I finally gave up and threw them away and didn't try again until just 4 years ago. Thank you for the history lesson.

Carla G said...

I'm new to quilting, and I've never used anything other than my rotary cutter with a ruler & mat. It's interesting to hear what use to be used before these modern items were invented. :)

quiltgrammy said...

I used sandpaper for a template and a pencil to trace around it onto the fabric and then cut it with scissors, one layer at a time. Needless to say I only made a four block sampler that away before I learned how to use a rotary cutter and mat. YAY!!!

Hillbilly Tonya said...

No need add me to win. I've got fq's everywhere. Too many. Can that happen??

This was a really interesting post. I am too much of a newbie to have quilted without modern conveniences.

Beth said...

I've always benefited from rotary cutters, self-healing mats, etc. Recently I inherited a box of unfinished quilting projects from my grandmother, and it included cardboard templates cut from advertisements for movies being shown in their small town theater. We looked them up online, and the movies dated to the late 1930's. Fun (for me, at least.)

hueisei said...

I used scissors when I'm sewing a clothing. I'm cutting scraps using a scissors for my GFG quilt.
Thanks for the chance :)

Karen M said...

I have that Trip Around the World book on my shelf. I just pulled it out to look at it again. I have the cardboard templates. The price on it was $9.95. I bought my Gingher scissors in that era too. I have been quilting that long. OMG. Now I feel really old.

Josie McRazie said...

Well I have only been quilting for a year! So for me there is on world without mats and rotary cutters and all those fadangled gadgets! (just like my kids know no world other than the one where the home computer is connected to the whole world!!)

Kim said...

One of the first quilts I ever cut out is a star pattern and all of the pieces were cut using a template. I am also handpiecing it. I started it seven years ago and then stopped quilting until this year. I actually worked on this one this past weekend during our 7 hour drive home and back. (unfortunately, I didn't get many stars complete, since I kept falling asleep! LOL)

jmniffer said...

I have only used rotary cutters...then again, I have only been quilting for two years. I can only imagine how difficult it was before all the tools now available to quiliter came out.

Gwen said...

One of my favorite quilts that I've ever made was a Stack-n-Whack type quilt. I had seen one made on a quilting show on t.v., and wanted one of my own. I didn't own a mat, rulers, or rotary cutter, so I just drew my pattern pieces on paper, layered my fabric pieces, traced the pattern onto the fabric and cut with my scissors. The quilt turned out beautifully, (if I do say so myself ;-). The new tools *do* come in handy, but they're not essential, and for some quilt patterns, I think a good old pair of sharp scissors work just as well.. Thank you for the chance to win! I always enjoy your posts and your giveaways are such fun. I love reading all the responses! :-)

Mike Pearson said...

I've always used a rotary cutter in my short quilting career. I can't imagine cutting out the shapes with scissors... I'd never get anything done and I would be too picky about the lines not being exactly straight! Thanks for sharing. Good read!

Bobbie said...

I started quilting in 1993 with the book- You can be a super quilter- I made a pin cushion ( first lesson) that I still use and a pillow- all with templates and scissors. I also made a couple doll blankets, and I *just* found a stack of four inch squares that I cut out for a quilt that never got finished! In 96 or so my CaMom discovered I wanted to learn quilting and sent me my mat and rotary cutter- the same one I still use today- and I have only had to change the blade but once! She still keeps me in stitches- just received fabric for 4 quilts for my birthday!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I collected fabrics in college and cut them into squares, using scissors. I don't know what happened to those fabrics or pieces.

cq4fun said...

I absolutely have experience pre-rotary cutter, and even pre-Ginghers! I've drawn around templates and cut them out one by one, and sewn by hand. =) I have that book, and I took that class from Blanche at the Quilted Apple way back when. I lived in Show Low when she and her daughter had a quilt shop nearby in Pinetop. Loved going there! Thanks for the chance to win.

dezertsuz at gmail

Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

My very first quilt (and last until the last 5 years) was in the 70's, so I certainly did use a template and scissors to make it. It was a lot of work and not much fun.

I still have it. =)

One Minnesota Quilter said...

Great post - have always liked their books.
Judy

Shelly said...

My first, only, and most special quilt to me is one I made with my grandma when I was 12. We cut everything by hand, pieced it together and quilted it. I love it for the memories it folds up with in and for what it let me see about myself in that I can start and finish even large projects.

quilary said...

My first quilt was made with a cardboard template and I drew around it with a blue biro! - fortunately on the wrong side of the fabric. The cardboard was a bit ratty by the end of each set of blocks! I also hand cut each piece of fabric out individually with scissors...at least it was machine sewn together!