Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Notorious Advent Calendar

I have never in my life sewn over my finger. One time, after making a trunk show presentation for the guild in Markham ON, I was answering questions while the ladies had a break and socialized. One lady approached me and said have you ever sewn your finger? I replied, no, and I hope I never do. Her response was, "You're not a TRUE quilter until you have experienced that." And I thought to myself, well...I know a few people who have either sewn their finger or cut their hand with the rotary cutter, but I don't think that makes you a 'TRUE' quilter I think it just makes you a careless one. But instead I smiled and said, "I'll let you know if I ever do".


Today after teaching my sewing classes, I began feverishly working away at all the items I need for my upcoming craft show. I was going through my "stash" and I excitedly came across some Christmas panels. One of them was for a beautiful Advent Calendar. I suddenly remembered purchasing it, several years ago, but it probably worked it's way down to the bottom of my priority list. I decided to make it today.

I glanced briefly at the instructions that came with it, (I usually don't follow them, because I hate following instructions that come with panels) and I began to cut out the pieces. The strips of numbered squares, that are to act as the pockets to put your treats in, are to be hemmed and then stitched onto the main piece of the wall hanging. I disagree with this part of the instructions. I like to line my pockets, it makes it look so much more complete. So I cut out all the strips of the pockets, with a coordinating solid to be the backing (or the lining of the pockets.)

Then, to give the pockets a little "puff" in order to be able to fit a nice bulgy piece of chocolate, the bottoms of the pockets are to be sewn on with little pleats, which make the opening of the pockets puff out, so that you can ideally fit more into the pocket. This sounds like a brilliant idea to me, what quilter doesn't love a nice bulgy piece of chocolate during the Holiday season?

While sewing on the longest of the strips, which has 6 tiny pockets all attached, one of the pleats was absolutely not agreeing with the rest. I took out the pin I was using to hold it together, and decided just to pinch it together with my fingers, while lowering the pressure foot with the other hand. But then, I started to sew, not realizing that my fingers were still practically under the needle.... Don't worry, I snatched my hand out of the way very quickly, so the needle only got a chance to make a tiny hole in my nail.

Today was the day I ALMOST sewed over my finger....and I will never, EVER forget it.

E-mail me if you've ever had a sewing related accident, I'm looking forward to some stories!


  1. I sewed into my finger once when I was sewing with two grandkids on my lap asking questions non-stop. Now when we sew together they aren't allowed to ask questions while the machine is running. :)

  2. oh my goodness! LOL I can imagine how distracting that would be!

  3. My worst accidents always happen with the iron. I can't even count the times I have burnt fingers while working with a stubborn seam, or trying to get bias strips to cooperate. I haven't sewn over my finger yet, but I think this is one time I am grateful to have big hands!

  4. ohh yes, many ironing injuries! I have a lot of tiny scars on my hands from burns, many of which are actually not self-inflicted. Sometimes when I'm instructing some of my young students how I want them to iron something specifically, they'll accidentally hit my hand with the iron. But, definitely rather my hand than theirs!