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Thread: Figured out how to break myself from 'fingernail quilting'

  1. #1
    Senior Member Happy Treadler's Avatar
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    Cut your nails too short!!

    Been forced to try out the thimbles again last night when I gave my nails a trim and figured out they're too short to hold my needle! Guess that's one way to break this bad habit. Still really awkward with the thimble, but it's getting there.

  2. #2
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    It took me forever to use a thimble. The leather ones work best for me. Hang in there:)

  3. #3
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    damn those fingernails they are just so eay to find when the thimble rolled under the couch

  4. #4
    Senior Member Kat Sews's Avatar
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    I thought you were going to say the needle slipped and went all the way under your nail.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Happy Treadler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kat Sews
    I thought you were going to say the needle slipped and went all the way under your nail.
    Ooooooh!! I think that's a type of Chinese torture, and I can actually say I did it once or twice and it really hurt but not enough to prevent me from changing my ways.

  6. #6
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Treadler
    Cut your nails too short!!

    Been forced to try out the thimbles again last night when I gave my nails a trim and figured out they're too short to hold my needle! Guess that's one way to break this bad habit. Still really awkward with the thimble, but it's getting there.
    Curious, why do you consider fingernail quilting a "bad habit"? Did the dreaded quilt police tell you this?

    I have been hand quilting for over 20 years and still prefer to use my nail. Born to hand quilt doesn't use a thimble either and her work speaks for itself. I do use a TJ Lane thimble but I have to get my stitches started with my fingernail first before I can use it. I guess it is a pain when I drill a hole in my nail and have to wait for it to grow out but it also slows me down slipping the thimble off and on every needleful. I will admit, when I try to use the thimble more I find I have not drilled a hole in a very long time.

    I say do whatever you are most comfortable with and what produces results you are happy with. Why use a thimble if you are more comfortable not? I do not think it is a bad habit and previous topics have shown there are a lot of us fingernail quilters out there.

  7. #7
    Super Member Scrap Happy's Avatar
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    When I was learning how to hand quilt a thimble felt strange. I started with those little round 'sticky things' and then graduated to a bandaid. Then finally a leather thimble.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Happy Treadler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic
    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Treadler
    Cut your nails too short!!

    Been forced to try out the thimbles again last night when I gave my nails a trim and figured out they're too short to hold my needle! Guess that's one way to break this bad habit. Still really awkward with the thimble, but it's getting there.
    Curious, why do you consider fingernail quilting a "bad habit"? Did the dreaded quilt police tell you this?

    I have been hand quilting for over 20 years and still prefer to use my nail. Born to hand quilt doesn't use a thimble either and her work speaks for itself. I do use a TJ Lane thimble but I have to get my stitches started with my fingernail first before I can use it. I guess it is a pain when I drill a hole in my nail and have to wait for it to grow out but it also slows me down slipping the thimble off and on every needleful. I will admit, when I try to use the thimble more I find I have not drilled a hole in a very long time.

    I say do whatever you are most comfortable with and what produces results you are happy with. Why use a thimble if you are more comfortable not? I do not think it is a bad habit and previous topics have shown there are a lot of us fingernail quilters out there.
    Thank you for making me feel normal!! Book after book I've read says that you really need to use a thimble. I push with my thumb nail, quilting away from me, but I also have worn several holes in my nail causing me to have to stop for awhile. Then there's the dreaded "under the nail stab" every once in awhile. Ouch! I always hoped to be able to train myself to use one for that reason alone.

    Hum... now you've got me thinking again. If I can't break myself of the habit (although I have no other choice to but try this again time!), maybe I'm just going to have to stay being a "naked hand quilter". ha ha

  9. #9
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    I "nail" quilt, too! I have tried every imagineable thimble and other tool on the market (many times!) and still revert to my nail. Have never had the dreaded under nail torture, but do occasionally get a hole in my thumb nail from depressing the fabric in front of the needle at the "out"stroke of a stitch.
    I just wish I had some close-ups of my work to share.

    Jan in VA

  10. #10
    Super Member roseOfsharon's Avatar
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    I would like to see what thumb quilting is and nail quilting pictures. lol I too cannot get used to a thimble as of yet, still trying. I just bought a nice rubbery one by clover with metal tip and it may work out for me. At least it doesn't fall off! :)

  11. #11
    Super Member Iamquilter's Avatar
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    I always use my thumb nail when I quilt away from me and the thimble for other directions.Yes, I have gotten a hole in my thumb nail many times. Just have to remember to use a different spot on the nail.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic
    Curious, why do you consider fingernail quilting a "bad habit"? Did the dreaded quilt police tell you this?


    :) Feline, that is exactly what I thought after reading Happy Treadler's post! You speak right from my heart...

    I think I have read amost every book about hand quilting available and there are as many ways doing this craft as hand quilters in our world! Try out what works best for you. You don't have to use a thimble if you can't get along with it. You don't have to put several stitches on your needle when you feel better doing single stitches. You don't have to quilt in every direction when it works better for you to keep just one. The result counts. Enjoy hand quilting and find your personal way to do it!

  13. #13
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    Just one more thought:

    a very famous English hand quilter, Lilian Hedley, also quilts without thimbles and she does a marvellous work. You can visit her homepage here:

    http://lilian-hedley-quilter.com/index.htm

    You see we are in good company! :)

  14. #14
    Senior Member Happy Treadler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borntohandquilt
    Just one more thought:

    a very famous English hand quilter, Lilian Hedley, also quilts without thimbles and she does a marvellous work. You can visit her homepage here:

    http://lilian-hedley-quilter.com/index.htm

    You see we are in good company! :)
    Yay!! Thanks so much for the encouragement! I'm going to try to post a picture of my 'nail quilting technique' for those who think we are a bit nuts and can't figure out what we're talking about. ha ha

  15. #15
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    I always use a band aid!

  16. #16
    Senior Member Happy Treadler's Avatar
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    Took two quick pics this morning for those who couldn't wrap their mind around 'fingernail quilting'. I did use a thimble on my pointy finger to quilt towards me, and I'm getting better at that. Really not as awkward-feeling as using one on my middle finger. My point of really trying to use this is so I can quilt longer without wearing a hole in my nail. Quilting with my thumb nail is SO much more natural feeling to me, and it's what I prefer to do. Sorry if the pics aren't so good. It's really hard to do with one hand, but my new lap top quilt hoop makes it a LOT easier than it would be with a regular hoop. :) I still LOVE this hoop, and I hope to get the 14" one some day.

    Quilting away with thumb nail
    Name:  Attachment-172821.jpe
Views: 25
Size:  47.6 KB

    Quilting towards me with thimble
    Name:  Attachment-172822.jpe
Views: 26
Size:  55.5 KB

  17. #17
    Super Member redkimba's Avatar
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    I'm so glad to read that I am not the only one to use my nail for quilting. I use that method so I can tell the length of stitch.

    (my stitches are not show-quality, but they are fairly even...)

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