When the sewing machine became available the possession of one was quite a status symbol. Piecing was often done by sewing machine and a few women even machine stitched their quilting or appliqué. Considering how much harder it must have been to do this compared to using modern sewing machines it certainly wasn't out of laziness but because of a desire to use the sewing machine. These visible stitches advertised that the quilter was a proud owner of a sewing machine. Sewing the binding by machine was another way to show off machine stitching.
During the Colonial Revival around the turn of the last century hand quilting was valued more but this was a part of a movement toward going back to fine handcrafts. During the earlier years when the sewing machine was first available we do not find that most people considered hand piecing and quilting to be the superior method.