Monday, February 20, 2012

Thimble UP!

Quote for the Day:
"If the only tool you have is a hammer,
 you tend to see every problem as a nail."
~Abraham Maslow 

Scrap quilt designer extraordinaire, Bonnie Hunter over at has asked her readers who are bloggers to write about their thimbles and to link up to her blog.  How could one resist an invitation like that, I ask you???  :)

Anybody who has ever started a new hobby or job knows that they learn what they need and works for them only after a lot of trial and error.

When I started hand quilting back in the mid 1990's, I purchased what I was told I would "need".  Over the years, when those items didn't work for me, I gradually learned what *did* work for me.  

One of those things that I've worked my way through is THIMBLES!  :)  I have since gotten rid of all the ones that DIDN'T work for me, so I don't have that long linage to share with you, so I'll just show you what I currently use day in and day out!  :) 

After trying...and buying... just about every thimble on the market, except for the Roxanne thimble which I found I couldn't use when I tried it at the store, I have finally found one that I LOVE!  It is a "raised edge" thimble and costs about $8.00.  

Since I use the tip of my finger to push the needle through, the high edge around the top keeps the needle from slipping off of the thimble.  :)

As you can see, I also wear a finger cot on my index finger to help pull the needle through.  I found that without wearing one of these, the needle just slides through my fingers, causing me to have to keep trying to pull the needle through repeatedly, making my fingers sore.  :(   

For quilting AWAY from my body, after much trial and error with leather thumb thimbles, I finally found Ted's Thumb Thimble.   It is an adjustable thimble that fits on your thumb and has a large "dimple" to hold the needle.  

In the top picture, you can actually see the spot where my needle always hits because it creates a little indention there over time.  This is actually my second Ted's Thumb Thimble because my needle did, eventually, wear the hole all the way through my last one.  That meant that every time I used it the needle went straight through to my thumb.  OUCH!  

I thought I'd go ahead and show you the rest of my hand quilting tools...

This little thread and thimble holder was made for me by a friend that does woodworking.  I had asked for something to hold a thimble and 2 spools of thread (since sometimes I've been known to use 2 different colors of thread on a quilt).  When I'm not using the second spool holder for thread, I use it to hold my second thimble.  :) 

The plastic dish on the left is to collect my thread snippets.  The silver tray in the middle holds various stuff...extra needles, thread wax, marking pencils, liquid bandage (for my underneath finger when it starts getting too sore), and the Splenda container holds my discarded bent/broken needles so they don't go in the trash unprotected.  :)   Simply hold the container upside down and push the lever to open the "bottom"...and insert the needle!  When it gets full, I just toss it!  And, of course, the pin cushion on the right is self explanatory...I think!  LOL

We can't forget the reading glasses :), the snipping scissors, or the ever important...REMOTE CONTROL!!!  LOL   I wouldn't get too far without any of these!  :O

And last, but not adjustable chair, Ott-lite (for these poor old eyes) and my 3-roll floor frame that tilts and adjusts to just the right ergonomic position for me!

Hope you've enjoyed this visit to my sewing room and maybe, just maybe, I've given you some good information about tools that you can try in your own hand quilting adventure!  :)



  1. Your cross stitch quilt top is lovely. I've wanted to try one of those ted's thimbles but have only found them on-line so far. Maybe one day I'll find one in real life to try on :-)

  2. That Ted's thimble looks interesting. It seems folks who stitch in a frame, (as you and I do) need a thimble for your thumb too.
    I use a leatehr one, but it gets worn out so quickly.
    What type of three rail floor frame do you have? I have a Grace frame that I've been using now for about 13 years. I love it!
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Looks like you have a great system for quilting! I stopped by from Bonnie's thimble link up.

    These thimbles are easiest for me to find.
    But my favoritests are brass, with the edge on the tip.
    I need several sizes, because of occasional swelling of my fingers.

  5. Would you be interested in a cutting party? I want to invite quilters to have a cutting party. For myself, I need to cut, 6.5 squares, 2.5 x 6.5, and 2.5 x 2.5. More than willing to press, cut or whatever someone else needs. :)