Sunday, March 4, 2007

Near tragedy!

OK - I guess I'm being a bit melodramatic - though I am typing this post with only nine fingers.

Ladies, please be careful when using those rotary cutters! All it takes is a moment of inattention - a moment of looking up - a moment of having your mind on something else. I'm always so careful when I cut - rotary cutter safety is one of the very first things I teach new quilters. Now I know - it takes only a moment for an accident to happen.

Cher and I were having a great time and making good inroads on our scraps at our "cutting party". Shortly after lunch I managed to lose my attention to the task at hand for just a moment - I think I looked up at Cher. That was all it took for the rotary cutter to slip up onto the ruler and slice deeply into the side my left index index finger at the base of my fingernail - almost to the bone. Of course I'd put in a new blade in honor of our cutting party. I applied pressure immediately and Fred drove me to Urgency Care. Now I have three big stitches in my finger that I can see - there may be more inside - and a huge gauze dressing. The young, very good looking PA (why are they always young and good looking when I've done something stupid?) who stitched me up said it could have been so much worse considering everything. So for the next few days I may be limited on what I can do. Certainly no hand stitching and probably no rotary cutting. The stitches will come out in 10 days.

Since I couldn't cut last night I used the time to sort through all the rest of the scraps in the big white bin. Most of what was left were either crumbs or strings that I didn't bother to press. I set aside the ones big enough to press and trim and then trashed all the littlest scraps. (I don't know what I was thinking - didn't I have a garbage can in my early days of quilting? What possessed me to save scraps 1/2" on a side?)
I can't begin to describe the great sense of accomplishment I felt when I reached the bottom of that bin! Now I've transferred all the rest of my scraps - which are large and will cut into nice usable shapes - from a big cardboard box into the white bin. (These are the scraps that are in the bag in the picture.) This gave me the big cardboard box for strings so I could combine three string containers into one. This in turn gave me a plastic box big enough to dump the two smaller crumb boxes into. I now have only one box or bin for each size scrap. All that's left is to press the ones I set aside for trimming, then actually trim them all. It's the trimming that takes the longest time. Hopefully in the next couple weeks I can finish that task.

Once I do that I'm going to have to make quilts with scraps until I make a significant inroad into all the bins and boxes. No point in starting to trim the other box full as I have no space in any of the sorting bins and boxes for any more pieces! I see several more string quilts and a whole bunch of mile-a-minute blocks in my near future. Just perfect for the charity sewing I need to be doing. And that will be only the beginning of sewing up the scraps. I think I can make quilts for the next two years without cutting into any of my big pieces of fabric!
Now that is a sobering thought.
************
Gratitudes:
1. My finger is going to be OK
2. My new iron
3. Urgency care
4. An extensive collection of scraps
5. Wool socks
************

27 comments:

The Chicken Lady said...

I need to go through my scraps too. I think it's just a thing....it's hard to throw fabric away, even the TINIEST scraps. I'm glad your finger is going to be ok, and yes, those rotary cutters can be nasty. I've just grazed my fingers a few times. My worst sewing accident, tho, was sewing through my finger while quilting with my new sewing machine. At least I know the machine is a good one. It can sew through anything! :)

Fiona said...

Oh Patti, that's really given me pause for thought, I guess we should all be more careful around rotary cutters. At least you managed to get some sorting done.

Nadine said...

Oh, my God ! Patti, you're giving me "chicken skin", as we say here ! Thank God, you're OK, and your finger is saved ! I'm always a little scary, when using my rotary cutter but, as you say, it only takes a second... Take care, dear !

Good job on your scraps, however !

Big hugs & smiles !
NADINE

Norma said...

That was just too close a call! I am so glad you are going to be ok! I think many of us have an explosion of scraps in our studios. I am also looking to reduce the containers upon containers of scraps that I own.

Tina said...

I did exactly the same thing on my left hand finger, same place too! I lost feeling in that spot for several months. The feeling is back and I have a lovely scar. But, grateful that is wasn't worse! I feel for you..

anne bebbington said...

OUCH!!! - hope it heals well and quickly

Terri said...

Oh my! That hurts me just reading about it! Happy healing thoughts headed your way.

Beth said...

I'm glad you are on the road to recover. I did that not long after I started quilting (way back in the 80's! SHHHHH) I have been fussing at quilters ever since that don't close their cutters! (I know that isnt' what you did) You will be happy to have all those scraps sorted when your finger is healed...

Judy said...

You won't have to worry about not paying attention to your rotary cutter from now on!! LOL! I did the same thing to the back knuckle of my thumb, cut the tendon, weeks of therapy. I am very careful now. My surgeon knew what a rotary cutter was too! His wife is a quilter. Hope the recovery is a short one!

Carol said...

Oh Patti, makes my finger hurt. Hope all heals quickly and well. Great job on those scraps. There will be lots of very happy charities.

Quilting Kim said...

Oh, Patti - ouch and with a new blade to boot. Thankfully, your finger will heal, but this is a lesson you won't soon forget. I'm sure you will be trying to iron those scraps, just be careful when the heat from the iron hits that wound.

Pam said...

Patti...ouch!! I did the same thing this week..on a much lighter note...whacked a chunk out of my left index finger...but it did not require medical attention...just pressure and a butterfly bandaid....rest...it will all be there waiting for you when you get back to it.

Linda_J said...

Patti, Cher told Pam and I in IM yesterday afternoon that you had cut yourself and were at the ER. Then the email came that you definitely had to have stitches. Big time OUCH!!

Looks as though you are making some progress in the bins and bag situation and that's good. Just tossing out the stuff that you now know is not usable would help winnow some of it out.

I had told a local friend who has become overwhelmed by all the "stuff" in her sewing room to quit saving anything smaller than 1 1/2 inches and get it into something usable--strips, squares. She called the other day to tell me that she was heeding that advice. We may have a cutting day like you and Cher soon. I would help with hers--mine is under control after last year's sustained scrap cutting and by God, I intended to keep it that way, LOL,

joyce said...

Ouch! I have seen safety gloves for rotary cutting on TV. I think Fons and Porter use them. If I ever see one in a shop I think I will buy it. They only put one on the ruler hand.

Sweet P said...

Double and triple ouch! I hope your finger is better soon. There were way too many cut fingers this weekend.

Vicky said...

Well, you've certainly given new meaning to 'cutting day'! I'm so thankful that you'll be good as new in short order. It's a good reminder to all of us to be careful.

Hugs

Pam said...

Oh my goodness. I hope it heals okay. I cut my finger badly on a broken coffee pot and even after stitches the cut opened up again and took a long time healing. Take care.

DubiQuilts - Debbi said...

Ouch! No matter how careful we are accidents do happen. Take Care.

Tazzie said...

Gosh, I'm so glad your finger is going to be okay, really does give me pause to think about how sharp the tools we're using are.
I love that you're getting thru all the scraps. I'm with you, I'll be working the scraps and stash for some time yet!
*hugs*
Tazzie
:-)

Mary said...

This reminds me of my son. He's a cook and frequently has cuts and burns from working in the kitchen. He's had two serious cuts - one required cauterization to stop the bleeding the other I put pressure bandages on at home for a couple days before it finally stop oozing!

Lily said...

Yeeouch Patti! Glad you're okay!! And so industrious while you're 'off injured'! Well done.

Anne said...

Great job on sorting the scraps! Just to bad it was a cutting accident that made the opportunity rise! Hope your finger heals in no time :o)

Jane Weston said...

I hope you heal up quickly. I lesson to us all not to get complacent when using our tools. Take care!

Darlene - Dazed Quilter said...

Patti - OUCHIE! I'm so sorry you were hurt!

You'll be back at it very soon!

KCQuilter said...

Ohmigosh. That was a close one! Glad you're going to be okay. And thanks for reminding the rest of us how dangerous those little "rolling razor blades" can be!!!

Libby said...

After a good slice a few years back, I have a healthy respect for that rotary cutter. Hope you heal quickly.

Judy said...

Knock on wood, I have never cut myself, but one lady in our guild sliced off 3/8 of an inch...GONE off the sideways tip of her index finger. Not to be sewn back on. Lucky girl you are!! Thanks God! I swear each time I hear one of these tragedy's I say I am getting one of those cutting gloves!! Maybe we should all invest in one!!

Happy you are okay!!