This story begins with my very first rotary cutter that I handed over to the TSA on a flight back from Minnesota Quilts after a way fab teaching trip. I miss that rotary cutter. A lot. Okay not so much really, but it was my first 28mm rotary cutter. And it is with this rotary cutter that our tale begins.
I began collecting solid color fabrics to make a quilt for my Sweetie on a really fun road trip in 1994. Sometime in early 1995 I decided that I’d make a Double Irish Chain in Amish Colors ala Eleanor Burns. My supplies: an 18″ x 24″ self-healing mat, fat quarters and 1/3 yard cuts (I have since learned how to purchase fabric differently), the rotary cutter and my Nancy Crow 3″ x 24″ ruler*.
Easy peasy, cut 3 1/2″ strips, stitch them together, cut them apart, stitch them back together into blocks and make a quilt. Simple right.
Finally I have some time to work on the quilt. The supplies are out on the table. I’ve “read” the pattern to know what I’m doing. I get started cutting and for a while it’s going well-ish. Let’s just say that liberties were taken in the cutting of this quilt. I remember thinking that I’d remember that this strip was cut a bit short. Well, then it happened.
I place the fabric down, lined it up, put the ruler down, line it up. Placed my hand down to anchor said 3″ wide ruler. Set the rotary cutter, blade exposed to cut the fabric. And in true quilterly fashion zipped the rotary cutter along the size of the ruler at blazing speed. And then the stars shone so brightly.
The forefinger of my left hand was not quite where it was supposed to be, safely away from the edge of the ruler. Nope, it was over the edge of the ruler. Twas in seeing the stars that I realized that it hurt. I ran to the kitchen sink. Since my sweetie was gone for the weekend my mind started thing what happens if…will I need to go to the ER? It’s right around the corner. Will I need stitches? Where is my insurance card and id? Can I get them quickly? Thankfully I didn’t need to find these thing, nor did I need to get to the ER.
The quilting supplies were put away for a couple of months while my finger healed.
And there ends the tale of The Great Rotary Cutting Incident of 1995.
And now, I’m off to quilt.
Well, think about quilting.
PS – it’s a great cautionary when working with new students. I don’t have to say much, quilters have vivid imaginations.