I've had a few conversations with some friends where we were talking about gathering fabric and making ruffles. And they were complaining about how it takes so long to gather and it's just a pain. I felt so sad for them! They hadn't learned how to cheat yet!
About two years ago there were all sorts of tutorials on how to do a gather stitch by increasing your stitch length and increasing your tension to the highest setting. But now I can't seem to find them! I did end up finding one from MADE though.
May you never suffer through hand gathering again! :)