Hard Lessons

Xray Sewing Machine Needle in Index Finger

Inattentive Quilting-A Cautionary Tale

Good Morning, Quilters,

As I planned my syllabus for the five-day class I’m teaching (as you read this) at The John C. Campbell Folk School, I knew I had to include a lesson on sewing safety.

It’s been almost three years since my sewing accident. (Read about HERE:  Inattentive Stitching:  A Cautionary Tale)  I stitched through my finger (while sewing a Tuesday Tutorial) and required surgery to have the needle, shards, and thread removed.  While the wound has long since healed, my finger has never been the same.  It doesn’t have full range of motion and it always feels a little stiff.

Xray Sewing Machine Needle in Index Finger

After the bandages were removed, I was forced to analyze how I work and why it happened.

I came to the following conclusions:

  • A sewing machine is a power tool and deserves respect.
  • When using a darning foot for free motion quilting, the needle is more exposed than in regular sewing.
  • My hands were frequently under the needle to reach short threads.
  • The foot pedal on my sewing machine is very sensitive…a small tap-and DOWN comes the needle.

Xray Sewing Machine Needle in Index Finger


I recommend everyone adopt these two safety precautions:

  • Use  tweezers to reach the threads under the needle.
  • Train yourself to remove your foot from the pedal every time you stop sewing.

Three years have passes, and I can honestly say, I have adopted both of these habits.  I ALWAYS have a pair of tweezers next to my sewing machine, and I move my sewing foot to the rung of my chair every time I stop sewing.

If I every forget, I’ll just look at these X-rays again and get a cold shudder reminder.

What about YOU?

Ever have a run-in with your sewing machine?

What safety measures to you take in YOUR sewing room?

We’d LOVE to hear!

Happy, Safe Sewing!


PS…All tutorials, images (including X-rays) and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!

For more quilting tips, machine quilting, doodling and inspiration, check out my Craftsy videos- 50% off for readers of The Inbox Jaunt!

Lori Kennedy Craftsy