After a few minutes umming and ahhing, the answer I gave was, "the instructions are for using a machine, but no, you don't have to do it that way." Yes, it did mean I had to rethink it a bit, but a couple of videos later and the hand sewing has been demonstrated.
So why have we become so dependent on the sewing machine?
I know it hasn't always been that way, and I know my feelings about it have changed over the years. It was not that long ago that I'd much rather hand sew something than use the machine. So what has changed? Is it to do with how the world has changed? With all the advances in technology, we have got used to getting instant results. Using the sewing machine fulfills that need to see instant results. If it's a quilt, the tops come together quickly and the quilting is definetly finished quicker by machine than by hand. Within minutes the binding is on, and hey presto, in a fraction of the time compared to hand sewing, you have a finished quilt.
As I sat doing the hand sewing for the videos, I could feel that old love for hand sewing coming back. I know I hand stitch binding to quilts, but that desire to actually sew something entirely by hand was back.
What are the reasons to love hand sewing?
2-it's inexpensive, buying needles and thread is much less expensive than having to buy a sewing machine. This is great if you are just starting out. You can try first before investing in expensive equipment.
3-You have more control, your placement of stitches can be more precise and it's much kinder to delicate fabrics.
4-it's relaxing, you don't have to feel guilty about sitting down, you are being creative and can just take some time to switch off from the hustle and bustle of life around you.
5-it's quiet, there is no noise from the machine to interfere with your thoughts and you can still have a meaningful conversation with your friends and family and they won't be complaining they can't hear the television.
Of course, there's nothing quite so satisfying as being able to say your masterpiece is totally hand made. So, will you join me in making more time for hand sewing? I'm going to get my next project prepared today.
Patchwork For Beginners-updated to include instructions for hand sewing