Tuesday, 29 April 2014

a cautionary tale

This past weekend I was trying to get some sewing on, because having a proper job for the first time in 15 years is making me extremely tired and I still haven't managed to get into a routine. I will, and I am not complaining at all - I'm loving work, it's amazing to be able to say you get paid for something you love to do but the commute of around 2 hours there and back each time is tiring. I'm not much use when I get home.

So, I had my fabrics cut out for another giant star quilt (these are so quick and easy that it's the perfect instant gratification project) and they'd be sat on my table in the sewing room waiting for me to grab the occasional 5 minutes to sew another half square triangle unit together (here's an action shot to prove I am doing some sewing at the minute, even if it may seem like I'm permanently AWOL)





I got them all done, and was pressing them when I noticed this.....





WHAT THE WHAAAAAT???? A burn hole? First I blamed the iron (it wasn't the iron), then I blamed a candle that was nowhere near the stack of fabrics I was pressing. Finally I realised the culprit was these.....



I have these 2 glass paperweights that I use to hold down patterns or fabric, they're great, they do their job awesomely, but they're glass and they live on the window ledge, where the sun comes through and that whole science thing happens that I learned back in school where you can start a fire with a magnifying glass.


Scary, huh? It made me think and now the weights live away from the sunlight on a shelf, my blinds are staying firmly shut through the day, and I went through the whole house to see if there were any more potential firestarters lurking about.


Luckily I have enough of the 2 fabrics to replace those bits that have burns right through them, and I'm going to call myself super lucky that I didn't burn the whole house down. It gave me a jolt, that's for sure.

So, the moral of this tale is - check you don't have any beautiful glass or crystal pretties sat on your window ledge refracting sunlight and quietly plotting to burn your house down.

41 comments:

pennydog said...

Woah!

Craftysquirrel said...

Scary finding, must do a quick scan of window ledges as often jars full or marbles etc lying around here. Like the idea of instant gratification - have lost my sewing mojo a bit and need to get it back - big easy quilt sounds good.

marilla freemantle said...

Wow, that is scary! Good job you found it before anything terrible happened! 2 hour commute sounds gruelling, but I'm sure it will get easier! X

Sunnybec said...

Wow I use to have all sorts of glass on my windowsills when I lived in the UK. Here, in France we don't have windowsills (windows open inwards) so no risk of doing that, which is probably just as well when I think how hot the sun gets here in the summer. x

Reene@Nellie's Niceties said...

Holy crap Batman! That was lucky!

Sharon said...

I never would have anticipated that the glass weights could have done that. So lucky you figured that out. Your commute sounds crazy. You are such a trooper.

Sarah said...

"Crikey Charlie!!" (does anyone else even say this, or is it just me?)

Darcy said...

That is crazy! I would never have given those a second thought (like you) glad you caught them in time!! And that you had replacement fabric. Oh and it makes me so happy for you every time you post about how much you like your new job :-)

Charlotte said...

bloody hell!

Kim said...

That is amazing, and you are lucky to have caught that. I had a similar incident years ago with a magnifier attached to my Ott light...it burned a groove into the wooden floor in a line following the sun's path. Luckily, like you, I found it in time - after a few hours of smelling wood burning! Who knew quilting could be so dangerous ;)

Karen said...

Oh my gosh! Worst fear of mine is fire - you are truly lucky! I too travel 2 hours every so often each way to work - luckily not as often as you. It is very tiring indeed!

Archie the wonder dog said...

Thank goodness you found it in time!

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

Wow lucky you figured it out and it wasn't worse! I don't have much glass, too many wee ones!

Sharon said...

You are one lucky duck! Glad that didn't catch your home on fire. Thanks for sharing the tale so we can all be more cautious.

CathyK said...

Holy smokes! (Did I really just go there with that phrase?!) I am so glad that there was no fire! Talk about a scare...

Jess (a.k.a. Rosie) said...

Wow!! That is scary!!! Glad you figured it out and prevented an even bigger catastrophe!

Beky B said...

For a while, every evening I would enter my bedroom and smell smoke, and for the longest time, I couldn't figure out what it was. One day I moved my bedside table and saw a huge charred spot underneath. I finally figured out that the vanity mirror I kept under the table directed sunlight to the underside and burnt a hole in the bottom of it. Scared the dickens out of me too. I now keep that mirror in the bathroom, away from windows.

Yvonne@Nellie's Niceties said...

Yikes Katy thank goodness you found it in time!! I hope the commute is less onerous when you get used to it! Xxx

Lucykate Crafts... said...

this happened to my mother in law, we were sat in her living room and all of a sudden, there was a burning smell. a paperweight reflecting the sun onto the book shelf had made a book start to smoulder. i dread to think what would have happened if the house had been empty at the time.

Twinkle Toes said...

A friend of ours had a similar issue but wasn't so lucky. They went on holidya and left a lemonade bottle on the windowsill in their kitchen... exactly the same thing happened, but onto wooden cupboards... they did lose their house! Scary isn't it!!!

Martha Tsihlas said...

A friend had a fire caused by the sun reflecting on her magnifying glass which was left over her cross stitch. Fortunately no one was hurt.

diane said...

What a scary thought. I'm glad you didn't make it into the headlines, "woman burns down house..."

Nicky said...

Lots of glass but no direct sun as I'm North facing! Hope that is good enough! Science lessons do have a purpose then!?? Who knew!?

giddy99 said...

YIKES! Scary! Does 2 hours commute time equal nearly 2 hours paper-piece time?!? :)

Hannlib said...

Yikes!! And reading the comments so many similar tales :-/ no direct sunlight in our dingy little house, phew!

DIane Warburton said...

oo errr missus! That's a bit scary and I've just quickly moved my glass paper weight off my window sill. Glad to see you still like to do a bit of sewing! ;-)

Flying Blind... said...

wtf!!!! What are you doing having sunshine in 'the 'North'!????

Debra said...

Oh, my goodness! Thanks for the warning. I never would have thought of that either.

Katy Cameron said...

Eeek! Who'd have thunk there was ever enough sun...

Deborah said...

I know I'm not supposed to laugh uproariously at this, but it totally made me LOL. Out loud. My grandmother blows glass, so we have scads of these babies around the house--will watch their daily fire-starting trajectory more closely from now on!! Hee!

threadtime said...

Wow, Katy That is scary! I think of a fire starting in my sewing room…there's enough fuel in there it would bring down the whole house. So glad you caught that.
Ramona

Mary said...

It's like spontaneous combustion! Have you heard the tales of people who just disintegrate! Scary stuff!

Byrd said...

Wow! That is something - glad you're okay! Take care, Byrd

margaret said...

how lucky were you and the family that the sun went in, like you we learnt about glass and fires, we have a girl at school who was nearly blind and can remember a few of us got together with her glasses in the school grounds and started a fire using them,needless to say we stamped it out right away and a lesson was learnt. Keep safe

Liz said...

Scary. But on a completely different note, I have the same bunny and mushroom. All the way down here in NZ. Clearly you are a person of good taste and distinction. Just saying ;-)

myBearpaw said...

We had this problem in our shop years ago when there was a big fashion for crystal candle holders and the like. We had them on a wooden table in our window and ended up with big scorch marks but luckily noticed them before we started a fire! Don't be so hard on yourself Katy, all the sewing stuff can wait a while.

Elsa said...

So glad you discovered the culprits and moved them away from the sunlight. A burned down home would be no good!

liz said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing your cautionary tale! I'm very glad that you didn't have a worse issue!

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I am Just One Mom said...

after telling a friend about this happening to you, she told me about her friend in SoCal having a hole burned in the leather upholstery of her car while she was driving because of light refracting through a water bottle in the middle console...

Sarah said...

Scary! Glad you found the source of the burn. The paper weights are really pretty. My sewing room is a little sunroom built on the back of our house. My main problem is storing fabric because with our strong Australian sun I've found so much fading on bits that have been exposed.

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