laurahere.jpgWhen you work with sharp needles as often as I do, you are bound to draw blood occasionally. I hope I am not overly clumsy, surely other hand stitchers out there jab themselves now and then.


I really poked myself recently, and as I waited for my finger to stop bleeding, I remembered an inopportune time this happened....
Several years ago when I had a studio and gallery space, I was asked to help create footage for a TV program on the craft artists of Kentucky. The intro of the show was to feature closeups of all different hands, busily working away. The producers had weavers, woodworkers, potters (Who's hands can compete with a potter's anyway? Its absolutely hypnotic to watch a potter at work at the wheel. When we visit my mother in law, Teresa, and she is at the wheel, I can't tear my eyes away...It isn't like I've never seen someone make pots before...), anyway, mine were to be another set of hands. I was making art quilts at the time and was to do some hand quilting for the program. I DO use a thimble when I stitch, but I wear it on my left hand, which is the hand I work the needle through the fabric with. My right hand is under the piece, naked and vulnerable, but necessarily so, so I can feel when the needle has made it through all three layers and I can tilt the point of the needle back up to the top layer. Well, of course I jabbed myself really hard while the camera was inches from my working hands. Somehow I dripped blood on the quilt, which only added to my distress. The camera man was in a hurry to get to the  glassblower's or somebody's, so I waited a bit, and tried to continue stitching, only for my poor finger to start bleeding again. I remember being particularly stressed because I had just read an uptight book full of "rules" about hand quilting which labeled poking yourself as a novice mistake. Between the cameraman's tight schedule and my injured digit, we never were successful in getting the footage. So much for (my hand's) 5 seconds of fame!