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Thread: How did you learn to use a thimble?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Sturbridge, Ma

    How did you learn to use a thimble?

    There are some in my hand quilting classes who seem to not be able to use a thimble. I am wondering how others learned. I learned many years ago trying to hand sew patches on my military uniforms. Had to. How did you learn. Please don't tell me you you didn't have to learn because you don't use one..lol

  2. #2
    Junior Member BDawn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Everyone who sewed in my family used a thimble so I started using one when I was about 10 years old embroidering napkins and this was a long time ago. I cannot pick up a needle without picking up a thimble also. Leather thimbles are my favorite though I have different style and types.

  3. #3
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Winston-Salem NC
    I'm not sure my answer will be enlightening...

    I learned out of sheer necessity after I had poked so many holes in the tip of my finger that I had to wait a week to do any more quilting! The first half dozen thimbles I tried didn't feel right (too small, too large, dimples on top not deep enough to "hold" the needle). As I was about to despair I found a cheapo plastic one that fit perfectly, and I could finally stop concentrating on keeping it on my finger and focus on my stitches. That worked for about a year, then the plastic wore through (unbeknownst to me) and I put a really deep hole in my finger, and was right back where I started...I now have a metal thimble wrapped on the outside with several layers of masking tape to stop it wearing blisters into the neighboring fingers.

    I also learned to thumb quilt, with a thumb thimble, for when my hands got too sore from regular quilting.

    Synopsis: maybe provide a really wide range of thimbles for your students to try (metal, plastic, leather, all different sizes) and have them focus on what they feel is the issue with any given thimble (is it sliding around? is it pinching? is it rubbing the inside of the fingers beside your thimble finger?) For me, if the thimble isn't so comfortable that I forget I'm wearing it, it just isn't going to work.


  4. #4
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Riverside Washington
    I was taught hand work by my great grandmother and my 2 grandmothers, all 3 used thimbles, don't know at what age I started, I was too young to remember. LOL I do remember them wrapping white first aid tape around my finger until the thimble fit. Still use it every time I pick up a needle. (the thimble, not the tape, LOL)

  5. #5
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    West Coast
    binding. It was a must.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    My DMIL use to fuss at me because I didn't use a thimble. We kept trying all kinds. I finally found one that is metal on the end and rubber or silcone on the base that goes on the finger. I don't know if I would have ever learned if we hadn't found that thimble. I had a tough callous on the first finger of my right hand from sewing without one. It has finally gone away. I still have to remember to get the thimble when hand sewing. But it brings back happy memories of my DMIL who passed away a little over a year ago.
    Last edited by Vera39760; 07-20-2013 at 04:26 PM.

  7. #7
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    You said please don't tell you... so I won't...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Billings Mt
    I like the others learned to use one because of the holes in my finger. I started with metal but now I am seriously in love with the stick on leather or plastic ones. I keep many styles in my store so that people have options as we all have different needs when sewing. Great question!

  9. #9
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Mechanicsville, IA
    My grandmother was a tailor and she always sewed with one on those heavy men's fabrics. She taught my mother to sew and they taught me at the age of 10. Had my own treadle sewing machine. To quote Grandma Demory "if you can't use a thimble you aren't sewing". But I must admit although I can hand quilt I hate poking my finger on the underside, but I love hand binding. If you want something hand bound send it over. PS I prefer leather thimbles
    Cheryl Robinson
    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  10. #10
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Blog Entries
    I made up my mind...I'm a doc and couldn't run the risk of loss of fingertip sensation. I put a thimble on and wore it 24/7 until. It didn't feel weird anymore.
    Life may not be the party we planned for,but while we are here we should dance!

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