Lesson #1: Always be aware of your fingers (not for the squeamish)

When thinking about what I’ve learned so far from quilting, there is enough material to fill several volumes. There is one incident that comes to mind, since we’re always told ‘Safety first!’, for the first lesson I suggest that you are always aware of where you have fingers (and thumbs!) in relation to all your tools like rotary cutters, sewing machine needles or anything else that could cause injury.

There are two stories that back up this lesson. On one occasion, M found herself missing the tip of her finger during an intense cutting session. Rotary cutters are very sharp and can cut quite deep before you realize what has happened. Fortunately not too much damage had been done and I think she consider herself recovered and (mostly) whole. The next occasion happened to me on Christmas Eve. In my mad rush to finish last-minute gifts, my thumb got caught in a pocket of a bag I was sewing. After assessing this situation, I determined that the needle has gone through my thumb and had to unscrew the needle from the machine. Not quite sure what to do, SB and I stabilized it and went to the ER. Given I was in pretty good spirits and in not too much pain, the nurses all thought it was a pretty funny injury. The needle and thread were soon removed and I got early Christmas gifts of a tetanus shot and a lovely portrait of my thumb bones (see below).

We have been lucky that our injuries have been pretty minor, but our experiences serve as a reminder that we do use potentially dangerous equipment and that it’s important to be conscientious of our surroundings. Lesson learned!




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