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Thread: Do you put your thimble on your pointer or middle finger when hand quilting

  1. #1
    Super Member shaverg's Avatar
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    I just wonder how many of you use your pointer finger vs middle finger for hand quilting. And what type of thimble do you prefer? I keep hearing that once you get the knack, the pointer finger is easier. But old habits die hard, I have always used my middle finger. I still use the metal thimbles that have a brass cap. But thought about buying a Roxanne thimble if I can find a local shop to fit it properly.

    Since I have not hand quilted in a while and haven't built up a calous, my finger underneath gets really sore, johnson and johnson use to make a tape I could use to protect the finger underneath for an hour or so before it wore through,they don't make it anymore and now the new tapes leave residue on the needle, any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Piedmont Quilter's Avatar
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    I use my middle finger when hand quilting. And - like you - a metal thimble. I don't use anything on the "underside" fingers. They just get sore!! Have you tried athletic tape? Maybe that would work. My DD uses it for tumbling in cheerleading, and it doesn't leave any sticky residue.

  3. #3
    Super Member shaverg's Avatar
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    Thanks, I will look for it.

  4. #4

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    I too use my middle finger. It's all I have ever used and don't think I could switch if I wanted to. Anything else would feel uncomfortable.

    i can't help with the tape thing. I don't use anything other than the thimble. I just let my fingers get sore to build the calouses back up.

    Lynette

  5. #5
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    I use my middle finger with a metal thimble with a lip. I have tried masking tape, the little round metal piece that has tape to hold it on, but mostly I use nothing and prick my finger and build up my callous. :? I do hand quilt for 6 hours on Monday and Thursday at my church and my fingers are pretty tough by now. :?

  6. #6
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    thimble with a lip on middle finger and try to be gentle on the underneath finger! have you heard of spoon quilting? I can't remember where I saw a video , it's a tool that looks like a short spoon , you use it underneath, the woman demonstrating it was very fast.

  7. #7
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I use my pointer finger and my thumb when hand quilting. I always start my stitches by pushing the needle with my fingernail. When I am quilting towards me it is the pointer finger, away from me it is the thumb. When I use my pointer finger I have a thimble that has an opening on it where my fingernail is. I don't use anything on my thumb and I end up "drilling" a hole in the nail. I can usually maneuver the needle to another spot on my thumbnail until there is another hole. Then I just have to wait until my thumbnail grows out enough or perform contortions with my hoop so I am always using my thimble protected pointer.

    I don't know the brand of the thimble but it was REALLY expensive. I got it at a quilt show and nearly choked spending over $50 on a thimble but because it works so well I don't feel near as bad as when I purchased it. The reason it was so expensive is because it is coated it sterling silver and has some really pretty scroll work on it. You could really hang it from a chain and use it as jewelery if you wanted but better yet it is a functional thimble and the only one I have mastered using. I have toyed with the idea of getting another one for my thumb as well.

    I don't use anything on my underneath finger either and just develop the callous.

    FF

  8. #8
    Super Member shaverg's Avatar
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    I have seen the short spoon tool you are talking about, but I really need to feel the needle when it comes through to the backside. I thought about trying the soft deer skin thimble underneath to see if I could still feel the needle. Just need to build up that callus again.

    I am going to try to switch off using middle and pointer just to see if I can get the hang of using the pointer finger too. I know I can forget the thumb that just doesn't work for me, I don't know why, I will just have to keep turning the quilt.

  9. #9
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    I use my middle finger for my thimble, I use a leather thimble with a metal insert in it. I have 2 of them and both have been super glued several times ,
    and I switch between my middle and pointer underneath the quilt. If I haven't been hand quilting for awhile, I know they are going to be sore for awhile. I do get callouses on them, and sometimes have to take a emery board to them and file them down some. I have tried everything for them, but in the end , I just have to feel that needle. LOL

  10. #10
    Senior Member SuzyM's Avatar
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    Hand quilting point finger - for sewing middle finger. I am just a freaky girl :lol:

    I also use the Roxanne thimble, they are quite pricey but worth every penny.


  11. #11
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    I use my middle finger and Roxannes thimble. It took me quite awhile to get used to a thimble, I started with a leather one because it felt the most like wearing nothing, but they also eventually get holes in them. After getting used to the leather one, I was then able to switch to the skin colored pastic one with the open side. Roxannes is the best so far. I too have tried alot of things to protect my underhand. Hugos amazing tape has no "sticky" it only sticks to itself. I also tried "Aunt Beckys" the little metal thing, I never could get that to work. Jinny Beyer suggests T.J. quilting spoon, I was sceptical because of "Aunt Becky" not working. I didn't want to spend more money for something that wasn't going to work. I had my DH cut the handle off an old spoon, file down the sharp edge, and it worked!!!! I have always felt like I needed to feel the needle, but I could use the spoon, and I do get tiny even stitches. To use the spoon you must have some kind of hoop on a stand, a lap or floor stand. I don't see how you could hold the spoon and hold the hoop too. Hope some of this helps.

  12. #12
    Senior Member motomom's Avatar
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    Shaverg, I use my middle finger, and a special thimble from the Thimblelady. You can find her website if you google "thimblelady". I use her method for quilting, and if you try it you will never have problems with your under hand fingers hurting or getting callouses again. It is a very pain-free method of hand quilting, and I find it to be absolutely glorious!

    Not only does my under finger not hurt anymore, my right wrist has stopped hurting from the stress and my hand quilting is much more even and small.

    I can't really say enough good things about the method, it is wonderful. I even sprang for the sterling silver thimble she sells, after I tried the plastic ones to get the right size. She sends you a complete size selection so you can try them all out, and they were well worth it. I gave one to my daughter after I tried them, and now she is using the new method and loves it. I'm gonna get her a silver one for Christmas this year.

  13. #13
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    I use my middle finger on the right hand and my thumb on the left. Both thimbles are leather the right hand brown and the left black. I quilt with both hands when I am using a frame. It is much easier to work from both directions than twisting my wrists so badly. It took a little getting used to but being both a touch typyist and a piano player made it feel more natural. As for the underneath fingers I just let the skin get tough.

  14. #14
    Super Member Quilting Aggi's Avatar
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    I use my middle finger. I can't work without a thimble. At work I am forever using those rubber fingers and they go on my middle finger too... I find myself forgetting to take the rubber finger off at the end of the work day. It fits just like a thimble to me. lol.... I guess the thimble/rubber finger has become part of my anatomy!! LOL

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