Sewing without opposable thumbs

Hand sewing without thumbs is not possible. Last night I learned that the little gizmo that holds vegetables in place on a mandoline (fancy food slicer for the non-cooks out there) isn’t just for looks. And, you better use one if you are going to get carried away with the speed you can slice an onion because before you know it you’ve sliced a piece of your thumb. Yowza! Damage was minimal but I still have three bandaids around the tip and can no longer hand sew my red basket handles or piece little houses from scraps or make tumbling blocks. All of that is what I’ve been working on since I can’t seem to find time spend at my sewing machine.

What to do if you have an itch to quilt but can’t? You dream. Ever since I saw the indigo and brown double nine patch by Betsy Chutchian in the “History Repeated” book I knew it was “the one” for DS #2. He’s the one that moved out last summer and asked me when I was going to make him a quilt. Quilt=guilt…funny how close those words are. I am still tussling with myself over which indigoes to use. It seems I have very little of the prints I prefer and plenty of the ones that aren’t quite right. If you happen to be a fabric manufacturer I have some ideas. Call me.

Being limited to quilt dreaming for now, I also pulled out one of my favorite state quilt project books. This is an oldie I bought from a friend who found she had duplicates. Does that ever happen to you? Have you ever bought a book more than once? Yeah, me too.

It is full of eye candy and quilt/women’s history. I have even more ideas now for when I get my thumb back.

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  1. OUCH!
    You poor thing. I have a mandolin and I love it, but I tend to toss the last bit of something to save my skin. I've been there – it's painful.
    I just got that first book and love it so much.
    When we can't sew, looking at quilt books is the next best thing!
    hope you heal soon

  2. Hope your thumb is healing well! My Dad did that making sauerkraut when we were little (several decades ago).
    Ouch! I feel it in my heart, everytime I think about it. Hope you are back to sewing soon! Take care.
    Cathy vJ in MA

  3. I feel your pain, my sister did the exact same thing but took the tip of her finger off, it was incredibly painful and she threw the mandolin out. I hope you heal soon.
    I bought the same book twice, I didn't even realise for ages. I should give it away.

  4. OMG! Just the thought of it makes me shiver! Bought a mandoline a couple of months ago and everytime I use it I looks at least twice before starting, pffff, gives me the creeps! But …. great results on the veggies! Yep, bought a book twice: yours!!!!! hihihihi, Hope you can quilt soon! Hugs, Daniëlle

  5. I took the end of my ring finger with a broom that snapped last Easter, just as I was preparing to gets lots of sewing done. It sure slowed me up I'd hate to think of not being able to use my thumbs. I love your little house blocks, it's inspired my to try some, but maybe a little larger and machine pieced I don't think I've got the patience for those little cuties. Hope the thumbs is better soon.

  6. Totally can sympathize – was cutting up a roast the other night – did a number on my left index finger – maybe we should stay out of the kitchen and just stick to quilting:o)

    What is more enticing than a quilt book loaded with inspiration and history – your selection looks great! I ordered the new Pam Weeks Civil War Quilts book and it should arrive any day…

  7. Poor thing! Hope your fingers are doing better by now. I want you to quilt. Love Betsy's that book as much as her first one. And look at your yummy fabrics!!

  8. Ouch taryn! Hope you heal quickly. Love the post with History Repeated and that you want to make my Inigo Double Nine Patch. We need more indigos on the market! I'll add a few when my line Wrappers comes out May/June. Take care.

  9. Sure hope your thumb is feeling better now. Can't have your sewing machine looking for a new home where she will be loved now can we? l too love Betsy's quilt. l made a green and blue version of it many years ago, inspired by an antique quilt, and its still one of my favorite quilts. So l would love to make a blue and brown version. l look forward to seeing your progress on this quilt.

  10. So sorry about the owie.. Not fun! I too have the California state book. A good friend and fellow member of my small group at the time was also one of the many that worked on the book. Gee that goes back a few years.

  11. Not a lot of fun to be out of sewing action when a small domestic incident occurs, it kinda made my skin crawl just thinking about it LOL! I hope it heals fast for you! I have the History Repeated book too and there is one that captured my heart! I love to look through my old books as well, to revisit old inspirations, someday one of them might just come to life!!!!!

  12. Oh ouch Taryn, not fun. A Fons and Porter glove would be better put to use in the kitchen! lol
    Recently picked up History Repeated, it's sitting on my coffee table calling to me everyday. Trying to resist while getting ufos under control. Ho for California looks like a fabulous book, love lone stars. Happy dreaming until your thumb is back in action!

  13. I'm sorry you hurt yourself and do hope you heal quickly! It just proves my belief though, quilting first, cooking and housework…whenever… (and can't someone else do those chores anyway?!) Lol.
    Maybe quilters should have special insurance policies on our fingers like movie stars have on other body parts.

  14. You never know how much you depend on something until you don't have it.

    Yes, I have bought a book/pattern more than once. Sometimes by mistake. Sometimes because I gave one away and then got interested in it again.

  15. Yikes! More hazardous than a rotary cutter. Hope your thumb heals quickly. I do like the indigos you have chosen, but I rarely see them that intense. All mine are more greyed out. I have picked a few of the quilts from that book to add to my list once it gets to a manageable level!

  16. Right there with you! I did the exact same thing Monday night! I know we quilters share a lot of things but this should not be one of them! (And in defense of Mandolins–that's what the guards are for.)

    Know that I am *really* feeling your pain and have a DWR that will make very slow progress because of it. Thank god for having another project that doesn't need thumbs to work on!

  17. So sorry about your wounded thumb, Taryn! But now you can visit your quilt books like old friends and not feel guilty (but still feel quilty)!
    Wonderful little monkey wrench quilt in the background of your photos. Oops! I got off track there. Love the blue and brown–I actually have a few 9-patch blocks in those colors I have made recently as leader/enders.

  18. Hope you can heal quickly. I did the same thing about 20 years ago…..took off a side piece of thumb and nail. Hurt so bad! But it all grew back and looks fine. I still have the mandolin but never use it due to my memory of how gross it was.

  19. Oh, you poor thing. I have done the same and now have an angle on the outside of my right thumb nail lol. Happy I just took off some skin when it happened. Hope you heal soon!!
    History Repeated sounds like a wonderful book.

  20. Sorry about the accident! Maybe it's serendipity – more time to peruse books to come up with a stunner. Thanks for the post – just ordered the CA book.

  21. I saw a host on a morning show slice his fingers with a mandolin……I've always thought they were the most dangerous thing in the kitchen. I just can't bring myself to have one, cuz I KNOW I'd do the same thing.

    Those little 9-patches are sweet!

  22. Oh dear. Digits are so important but I know you will heal quickly enough. I've never seen the second book and will now look for it. The first is one of my favourites too. The colours and patterns are so wonderful that I get pleasure every time I look through it.

  23. Oh, Taryn, my stomach turned when I read what you did. I sliced my thumb the same way about a dozen years ago and had to have 16 stitches. When I got home from the hospital I put the mandoline in the trash. I'm sorry you can't stitch, but dreaming is the next best thing. I love the History Repeated book and will have to look out for the California one. I hope you heal quickly. The liquid bandage stuff works pretty well on fingers and thumbs. Stings like the dickens, but last through a few hand washings.

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