Dumb, dumb, dumb!

I’ve been quilting for almost 20 years and have never cut myself with the rotary cutter until today. I was distracted and the blade jumped up over my ruler edge and cut into my finger. It’s deep but not too long thanks to my fingernail stopping it. As long as I keep bandaids wrapped tightly the bleeding stops but I had to loosen them a couple times to let the fingertip get a little circulation and it bled like crazy both times. I’m going to give it a day or two and hope that I don’t have to go have it looked at.

I had Keith run to the drug store for bandages and finger cots so I can sew without worrying about bleeding through and getting blood on anything and decided that Rainbow String blocks would be the perfect thing to work on … it’s my index finger so I’m going to be slow and clumsy for a while I think. I pulled some greens for the first group of blocks cutting some extra strips from scraps for some variety.

I love this rotating mat for trimming the blocks. Trim on two sides, swing the mat around and cut the other two sides without having to lift the ruler.

I got 16 blocks made and found a leftover one from the last time I’d made these so I have 17 green blocks. I do use multi colored fabrics in these as long as the background is the same color I’m working with.

In case you don’t remember seeing the Rainbow HeartStrings quilts, this is where I’m going with these. I’ll make one or two quilts myself and the extra blocks will go to Maine in September to be joined with other blocks into tops that we’ll assemble and tie for donation. I haven’t decided whether to make the smaller or larger version or one of each. If you’re interested in making your own Rainbow HeartStrings blocks I have some brief instructions on my website.

After I finished with the green blocks, I cut the rest of my bolt of muslin into foundations for the blocks. I’m not making any set amount, I’ll just sew one color until I’m ready to move on to another. I need to start looking for a Joann’s 50% off coupon to buy another bolt of muslin but I’ve got plenty to get me started.


  1. Uh oh! So Sorry, Mary. I’ve not done that yet–cut myself with the rotary cutter. But I’ve experienced that type of cut by a kitchen knife, and it usually stops bleeding in a few hours. Glad you can still piece your string blocks, and I love them. Maybe you need to be working on the red ones, just in case. LOL

    Enjoy your posts very much. And you got me started saving strings! I love scrappy quilts the best. :o)

  2. I know you tie these blocks but have you ever used the long arm on them? I have used a thin poly on them which doesn’t get removed and it’s nice. Do you use a batting? I would think the muslin is thick enough.

  3. Sorry to learn of your rotary cutter accident. I bought some cut proof gloves off Amazon several years ago. They are light weight mesh, very economical (less than $10) and very comfortable to cut in plus they come in pairs so no difference if you are left or right handed.

    Love your blog. I have referred other quilters to your pattern library.

    Thank you!

  4. Ouch! Back in 2010, I, too, cut my finger, left ring finger, with the rotary cutter. Mine resulted in a trip to the ER. Didn’t let that slow me down. I am more cautious and use a grip bar on my ruler to prevent accidents.

  5. Hi Mary! Oh, I’m so sorry you cut yourself. Ouch is right. Your string blocks look so bright and happy. You’ve got a nice stack of muslin bases ready to be filled up. That’ll keep you off the street for a day or two maybe. ~smile~ Roseanne

  6. Mary, Are you up to date with your tetanus immunization? If you’re still bleeding today or have any signs of infection (swelling, heat, redness, pus) you really should see your doctor. Infections can be awfully nasty.

  7. Hi Mary…sorry about your finger. Because you stitch to muslin do you also using batting? Have you ever made the string blocks as quilt as you go? Take care…jr

  8. Ouch!! You will have a sore finger for awhile. Hope it heals on its own. I’ve only nicked myself a little with my rotary cutter, but figure it’s only a matter of time.

    I have 16 rainbow string blocks made, and will keep working on them until I decide I have enough for a nice quilt. My plan is to set them like yours with the black sashing and bright cornerstones. I also used up the last of the muslin I had and it’s on my list of things I need next time to go to the quilt shop.

  9. So sorry that rotary cutter got away from you, and got your finger. Neosporin will help heal it quickly. I don’t know whats in that stuff to speed up healing, but it works!

  10. Worst thing ever! I know I feel my self being just a little less precise than I was with my cutter and was thinking just today, may I should get some gloves (saw pretty ones somewhere). To have them on hand is a good thing!

  11. Sorry about your accident. I know it hurts. I was wondering, do you wash your muslin before using it as a foundation? Doesn’t muslin have a high shrinkage? Just being nosy.

  12. I did the exact same thing 33 years ago!! I did exactly what you’re doing (because I was home alone with my 2 little ones and no transportation) and it healed very well. I have been told that it should have had stitches, but…Good luck with it!! I’m sure it will be fine.

  13. So sorry you cut your finger. Makes me cringe just thinking about it. Those rotary cutters can do major damage and I have always been a little intimidated by them. I try hard to stay focused when I pick one up but we do get distracted and that’s when it happens. I hope it heals quickly!!

  14. A reminder to me to keep my eye on the job and slow down. I’m amazed it hasn’t happened to me yet. Maybe I should get some of those gloves that are recommended. Heal quickly.

  15. I know how you feel. Been there, done that. I was at my sewing group when I got distracted and cut my left index finger. There were no bandages where we were at, so I drove home with a paper towel tightly wrapped around my finger. I now carry bandages and neosporin in my purse at all times.
    Hope you heal quickly.

  16. I had another blog friend that cut her finger worse than you. She bought a glove. I thought, nah, I don’t need one. Then I cut MY finger. Then I dropped the cutter almost getting the dog. I bought a glove. Hope your cut heals quickly without medical attention. Love your strings..

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