Don’t use those scissors!


Tomorrow my husband and I will celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary. We’ve been together for nearly eight years when you include our dating and engagement, and I’ve been a quilter for the majority of that time. Which means for the better part of a decade, he has been receiving proper scissor usage education.

I really got serious about quilting within a few months of our marriage. I joined my local quilt guild and took my first quilting class, in which I figured out how to finally sew a consistent quarter-inch seam. I went from having projects that turned out kind of OK, to being able to get all my points where I wanted them to be and beginning to design my own original patterns.

As two underpaid newspaper reporters living in a run down duplex, I concocted a scheme in which I would make quilts, sell them for a profit on Etsy and we’d have some extra income. This blog was born out of a very early marketing attempt for that business. A business that failed miserably I might add.

I would spend hours at our tiny little hand-me-down table, in my tiny little kitchen, sewing table runners, quilted Christmas stockings, baby quilts and more. And my scissors, a cheap pair of Fiskars at the time, would usually be out and readily accessible.

Then one day my husband used them to open plastic electronic packaging. You know the type, the kind you wonder how anyone opens without going to the hospital for stitches. My scissors were never the same after. I took apart the blades, put them back together, tried to cut. It was no good. They were resigned to live in the kitchen junk drawer and my husband was resigned to live in the dog house.

Then I bought my set of Ginghers, a dressmaker shears and embroidery set I purchased for a ridiculously low price before the sun rose on Black Friday. Pretty much the only place you’ll find me on Black Friday is the fabric store by the way. And those babies are still working great five years and Lord knows how many yards later. I’ve collected other scissors over the years, but those are my go-tos.

So what is inspiring this post about scissors? Well after five years and 364 days of marriage my husband has officially been officially brainwashed into the belief that my scissors are never to be touched under any circumstances. Period.

Unfortunately there’s a downside to this accomplishment.

Angela, our 15-month-old daughter and future quilter, has a kitty stuffed animal she has become attached to. She now sleeps with it in her crib at night. Concerned for her safety, my husband decided he should remove a small ribbon that served as a collar for “Kitty Kitty” as it is affectionately called.

Rather than grab my scissors, which could have been properly used to cut ribbon, a soft fiber, he decided to cut the ribbon using a kitchen knife. Trying to be cautious, he chose a paring knife. The problem? The paring knife’s blade curved in the opposite direction as our regular steak knives, and instead of cutting the ribbon, he sliced his knuckle open instead. For a week he’s been running around covered in butterfly bandages, healing ointments and sports wrap to keep his finger immobilized enough to heal, all because I taught him a little too well that my sewing scissors are off limits.

Oh the husbands of quilters. They have it rough.

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Comment (5)

  1. Why didn’t he use the kitchen scissors? U need to Embroider little tags for your scissors so he knows which ones to use for what. That is tragic about his knuckle, I know that had to hurt.

  2. When my children were growing up I did a lot of sewing, so I know they had been told my Fiskars were off-limits. Nevertheless I started a new project one Saturday and couldn’t find them. Looking for my husband in the shed, I discovered my scissors on the workbench, nextto some small pieces of sandpaper! That was 25 years ago, and they all still ask for a pair of scissors when they need some!

    1. According to several articles I have read, cutting through fine grit sandpaper or aluminum foil is supposed to sharpen scissors… Google ” sharpen scissors with sandpaper” and you will find several articles.

  3. I tie a piece of material to one handle of my fabric shears. It makes it easy to tell that they are for FABRIC only!

  4. I found my scissors in the garage one too many times. Once they were used for cutting sandpaper. Once they were used to cut a piece of rubber inter tube. The final nail in the scissor casket was when they were used to cut wire. GONE. My oldest son heard my screams. On my birthday, he bought me a pair of Gingher shears with the money he made from delivering papers. I cried and hugged him almost to death. NO ONE EVER USED THESE BUT ME. 24 years later they are wonderfully sharp. They are my favorite. We have a drawer in the kitchen for the scissors that I can no longer use for various reasons…They are the ONLY sewing scissors anyone is permitted to touch. I now am training the grandchildren to appreciate the need to NOT TOUCH GRANNY’S SCISSORS’.


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