Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Killing yourself quilting
Earlier this week Maria Shell had a post on her blog called "Killing myself with deadlines" in which she discussed the toll on the body from quilting many hours to get ready for a show. I can sympathize, remembering vividly the aches in the back and shoulders, and one that surprised me -- the disabled knee from the sewing machine pedal once when I had to sew the last 15% of the quilt with the left foot. (Amazing how difficult that is -- like writing with your wrong hand.)
But yesterday I almost killed myself not with repetitive stress injuries but a more direct form of suicide. I had to assemble a bunch of quilts to take to a guild lecture, and located one roll on a bed in the guest room, way over in the corner. I reached over awkwardly to grab it and discovered that it was a lot heavier than I was anticipating. I got off balance and started going over backwards.
In that endless moment when you realize you're doomed but the axe hasn't fallen yet, I looked around and tried to find something I could hang on to. Grabbed onto a chest of drawers, which turned out to be a really bad decision. Instead of the chest providing me with support, it seized the opportunity to fall down too. Since it was full of fabric, it had lots of weight behind it to knock me down and keep me pinned there.
Fortunately my husband was at home and heard the crash, then my call for help. He got the chest off me and set it upright, then spent ten minutes picking up pieces of broken glass from my shirt and hair while I lay in place, because there had been a set of my grandmother's lead-crystal glasses decoratively arranged on top of the chest. Finally I managed to get up, and spent most of an hour dealing with broken glass in the rest of the room.
It could have been worse, of course, had my head or neck hit the wooden chair behind me instead of just going down onto the floor, or had the heavy chest caught my leg in a slightly worse position. And if my husband had been out, I might have had to lie there until he got back.
When I tally the ways quilting has tried to kill me, this probably is number three on the hit parade. One and two were the times I sliced the edge of my thumb with the rotary cutter and ran a sewing machine needle into my finger. More blood with number one, but considerable pain from both. I got off easy this time.
What's the worst you've ever done to yourself in the name of quilting??