Sorry about the dark and weirdly blotchy quality of the photo--you all know by now that I truly suck at photography. Kind of looks like I tried to slash my wrist, though, doesn't it? Maybe when I was trying to decide which quilts I wanted to make this year and realized just how hopeless the idea that I could make all the quilts I really, really, really like is?! Nah! Just an overly enthusiastic but inaccurate grab for a hot iron the other day. It got me thinking, though, what a dangerous "sport" quilting is.
Burns. Aching muscles. Upper and lower back pain. Cuts from rotary cutter mishaps. Failing eyesight from peering at tiny applique stitches. Arthritis in the joints of the hands. Serious stuff.
I always say that exercising is dangerous. It seems that most of the people I know who get injured, do it while engaging in some form of strenuous physical exercise. That's why I don't exercise--it's just too darn dangerous.
But think about how dangerous quilting is! The last time I visited the emergency room was a few years ago when my rotary cutter flipped out of my hand and up into the air, coming back down on my finger. Yep, that hurt! And spending a Sunday night in the emergency room getting stitches was no picnic either. But you know what? The doctor didn't seem at all surprised when I explained how the accident happened, which leads me to believe it was no freak occurrence. There are probably hundreds of quilters out there getting injured every day.
I remember exchanging stories with a group of women about quilting accidents awhile back. One woman told us about the time she was in a class with another quilter whose boyfriend came in. He asked about the rotary cutters and was skeptical that they could be so sharp. In a "here, let me prove my point" testosterone-enhanced display, he ran the blade down the pant leg of his denim jeans, slicing open his leg. (Probably one reason more men don't quilt--our tools are just too dangerous!)
Despite the physical dangers involved, though, the thing that really scares me most about quilting is its addictive properties. I used to have a life. My lifestyle involved varied activities. My husband and I occasionally went out to dinner or a movie. We saw friends. We spent time with our kids. Now I quilt. Well, I go to work, and then I quilt. Most of the time, I can manage to refrain from quilting on the job, but some days, I just need that little bit of quilting on my lunch hour to get me through the work day. Hello. My name is Kim. And I'm a quilt addict.
No, I don't think so. I don't think I need a 12-step program or an intervention. I think maybe it's possible to taper off a little bit at a time without going cold turkey. I think I just need a little self-control. Maybe an occasional evening away from the sewing machine, going to a movie or reading a book.
Or maybe quilting's really not that bad after all. Most of the physical stuff can be cured--or at least improved--with a little ibuprofen. And what could be so bad about doing something you really love to do, even if you do it ALL THE TIME?! After all, I DO manage to get out at least a couple times a month for a little social interaction with other quilters. It's not like I'm a closet quilter or anything!
Do me a favor, though, okay? If you ever catch me stealing stash from other quilters to support my habit, please arrange an intervention. If I start lying about all the quilting I do, encourage me to attend a 12-step program. And if I start acting crazy, shave my head bald, and neglect my family so I can keep on quilting, call Dr. Phil.