Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Quilting 101 - watch out - rotary cutters are SHARP!!!

Well, I finally gave myself a serious wound with my rotary cutter..... took off a sliver of my left index finger, 'cause it was too close to the groove in my June Tailor cutting ruler - sometimes the hardest advice to follow is my own.  Shame on me!  I know better, I really do!  If you are curious about the right way to use these rulers, check out their videos here.

The first lesson in quilting is "SAFETY FIRST" - never underestimate the rotary cutter - don't leave it open when you put it down, even for a moment!  The second is to keep your fingers away from the edge of the ruler.

I sound like a broken record (does anyone remember records?) sometimes I feel like I'm boring my students with this constant lecture, but it just cannot be overemphasized - you MUST respect those sharp things!

....because if you don't - you could end up with one of these on your finger! 

Now don't worry - it's healing fine - but oh my did it ever bleed! 

Thankfully, I was able to keep the fabric clean, and went back to cutting after it was bandaged.

The worst after effect is.... typing w/o a left index finger is SO challenging!  So, after this monster bandage comes off, I'll be blogging again.  Watch for my "Quilting for Beginners" lessons to start soon.



  1. Sorry to hear about your accident. Only takes a second. I now use the rotary cutters which close up the moment you put them down. It is cutting the tiny shapes where I have had any accidents. Been to slow moving the fingers when getting to the ends.

  2. oh ouch ..... hope it gets better soon. I too am known to leave the RC open but I really do try.

  3. Ow, ow, ow, ow, owie! I'm so sorry about your finger but mostly because it hampers your quilting! When I teach new quilters I always tell them there is no right or wrong because we all do things differently--except when it comes to rotary cutter safety! I am very strict about no injuries in my classes!

  4. update on finger... it is healing, but it will be several weeks before I can go without a bandage - it hasn't slowed me down much, and I'm no longer in pain. thanks for your concerns and well wishes - it is deeply appreciated!

  5. I love and can relate to your concern about keeping the fabric clean. :-)

  6. @RBB/Ladybug - oh yes... I have my priorities straight!

  7. Terry Thayer's first mystery - Wild Goose Chase, I think, has a character whose death is attributed to sitting on an open rotary cutter. I sliced my finger the day before I was scheduled to appear on Simply Quilts. I decided since the camera was going to focus on my hands I would use it as a teaching moment. Luckily, Alex Anderson agreed!

  8. Ouch!!! I did that myself a few years ago, got seven stitches, and still have a doozie of a scar to show for it! My problem, I think, was a combination of careless technique and failure to change the rotary blade when I should have. It was just dull enough to jump around on the fabric, but certainly sharp enough to slice right into my finger! Hope you're doing OK now.


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