Have you ever lost something and never, ever found it again?
I guess that’s the definition of “lost”.
Yesterday I sat at my desk with my needles, thread and scissors to hand stitch a label onto a quilt I’d been trying to finish for a very long time.
The night before while watching football I’d finished the binding, but I’d been too tired to stitch those last five inches of the label. Before leaving my chair I’d carefully removed my two special needles from the magnetized holder and popped them into their bag.
I sat in my office chair with the quilt on my lap, label face up, and shook the little bag so a needle would drop out.
It did. It dropped and bounced into the sleeve of the turtleneck I wore underneath my sweater. I said a bad word and reached inside to retrieve it.
It was not on the floor. Or in my chair. Or on the table. I took off my turtleneck and my sweater and turned them inside out.
I found my magnetized wand, designed for picking up pins and needles, and waved it over the floor and rug and chair.
A few months ago daughter Nancy told us a story about one of her patients at the assisted living home who was an avid seamstress. While sitting in her recliner and happily sewing, she lost a needle. Days later she found it–deeply embedded in her thigh, under the skin, and of course infected. She went to the hospital for surgery.
This story came back to me.
I didn’t want a needle wiggling its way into my body, so I took off all of my clothes. Turned everything inside out and right side out and inside out again and shook them. I examined my right arm. I examined my thighs.
I got down on my hands and knees with a flashlight and examined every inch of my carpet.
Was it in the quilt? I couldn’t see anything, so I hung it up in front of the windows so the sun could shine through. Surely if there was a needle inside the quilt it would show up, right? I examined every block.
It was time to call in someone with much better eyesight: Banjo Man. I donned a fresh set of clothing and headed downstairs to ask for help. He did his best, but neither of us could find the needle.
Surely you can get another needle on Amazon, he said, eyeing the snow-covered driveway. I think the truck can make it in.
Um, that’s not the point. I reminded him of the scary needle-in-the-thigh story. He grabbed the flashlight and searched the carpet and my chair once again.
We went downstairs and looked on the carpet and in the chair just in case I only thought I put both needles in their bag and one had slipped to the floor.
We never found the damn needle. Was I upset? Understatement.
Banjo Man started to ask things like “Are you sure you had two needles?”
Yes. Last night I had both needles on their little magnet holder so I wouldn’t lose them. That’s what I always do, with any kind of needle. I am careful like that.
He gave up and returned to work.
I had to take a time out and hike down the driveway to retrieve the car and get the mail. I had to fix a mug of green tea and eat two Milano cookies before I tried sewing on the label again. It didn’t help that my television, on which I was going to watch a relaxing dvr’d episode of ESCAPE TO THE COUNTRY while I stitched, had an issue with its volume–as in not having any sound– and I had to change three cords and unplug the damn thing before I could get it to work.
I did sew the label on and the quilt is officially finished.
Today I’m still twitchy about that missing needle. I hope I don’t step on it. I really hope I don’t sit on it.
And I hope the Quilting Gods will be kind and the needle will appear in a benign and odd place, leaving me free to get on with my life without worrying about damaging a body part as we navigate through the winter of 2022.