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Thread: How Did You Learn to Use A Thimble

  1. #1
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    How Did You Learn to Use A Thimble

    I meet many quilters who can't use a thimble and am trying to figure how I can advise them. How did you learn.

  2. #2
    Super Member ontheriver's Avatar
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    The only thimble I have been able to use is a leather one, never could get used to any other. I also like the dot ones you just stick on your finger.
    Jeanann

    Theres nothing wrong with me a little chocolate won't fix.

  3. #3
    Senior Member happyquiltmom's Avatar
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    I don't remember learning. I just did it, I guess.
    Cindy

    Curator of an 1889 Singer model 27 Fiddlebase Treadle, a 1951 Singer Centennial Featherweight, a 1956 Singer 401A, and a 1982 Bernina 830 Record.

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    I started using one when I decided to give hand quilting a try. I just put it on and went from there. It felt weird at first but got used to it really quick. I watched a couple YouTube videos on hand quilting to get the basics of it all.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    When it was a choice between being able to sew and not being able to sew because of blood and pain, I learned. I had to figure it out on my own, and when I piece or applique I put it on my ring finger, not my middle finger. When I hand quilt I put the thimble on my middle finger. After a while I stopped thinking about it.

    Janet

  6. #6
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    I started using a thimble since I was a kid. Liked to do what my grandma and old aunt did.
    Thought it was cool to use a thimble even if I didn't know how to sew. Of course their
    thimbles were too big for me. So I got my own and the rest is history.

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    I too had a hard time getting used to a thimble, but I really wanted to hand quilt. I tried the "Nimble Thimble" a small black leather thimble, it was the most comfortable and least noticeable. To get used to it, I wore it as long as a could, even when not quilting, so it would feel normal to have it on. That worked for me. I then had to learn to use a different kind when the needle kept finding the open space on that one.

  8. #8
    Super Member huntannette's Avatar
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    ditto.......
    Quote Originally Posted by Hylarie View Post
    I started using one when I decided to give hand quilting a try. I just put it on and went from there. It felt weird at first but got used to it really quick. I watched a couple YouTube videos on hand quilting to get the basics of it all.

  9. #9
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    After the first time I pushed the needle end in my finger. I certainly didn't want a callous or the pain so I put on a thimble and left it on the whole time I was sewing. I kept trying to use the other finger that didn't have the thimble but when the needle started to hurt I switched to the thimble finger. That worked for me. The thimble goes on the middle finger not the index finger to get the best control.
    Got fabric?

  10. #10
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    I use a thimble for hand quilting. It is a metal one with a good top ring edge that lets me load my stitches on the needle. I can't use any other kind of thimble without the edge rim. I took a quilting class with Ami Sims eons ago and that's how I learned.

  11. #11
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    I have never learned. I start out with a thimble and eventually have to take it off. I can't find one to fit. They all fall off. I have fairly small fingers and none fit. I think I'm just spoiled and don't want to wear one. I do try, because the needle seems to find the same spot right next to the nail on the middle finger of my right hand. I can't even see the hole, but I sure can feel it!!! I keep trying but I'm beginning to think it's a loosing battle!!!
    Sue

  12. #12
    Senior Member rush88888's Avatar
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    i use a leather thimble, and i think i just purchased it because it was an inexpensive way to go. i don't think i could use a metal thimble for some reason.
    "perfection is the enemy of done."
    "the secret to having it all is knowing you already do."

  13. #13
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    I still haven't learned. I do own a leather one..so if I ever really want to use one that is the one I "dislike" the least.
    When it seems like the world is falling to pieces remember that the pieces are falling into place. We are nearing closer to the End Times.

  14. #14
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I love the leather thimbles, not everyone's fingers are shaped the same. I think part of the problem for lots of people is finding a proper fit.

    When my mom started quilting a couple of years ago, she was having problems getting used to how her thimble felt. I told her to put it on and leave it on while she was doing non-quilting things. She wore it while driving, walking the dog, vacuuming, chatting on the phone, etc. It seems to have worked for her, she got used to how it feels.

  15. #15
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    To start with I tried the leather thimble and too quickly the needle started to go thru it. Then I tried the plastic one that you boil and adjust it to the finger, it worked well and I bought a couple. Then I went to the Road to California Quilt show and found this lady that makes silver thimbles. She measured my finger and sold me a thimble that fit my finger. It is wonderful. I have three because I bought one a year, haven't seen her the past couple years so hope they have a booth this year. They are not cheap, but each one I have is special, one with an angel, one with a heart and one with a fairy.

    So why so many? One in a sewing basket, one on my thread stand and the other one in my portable sewing kit. It is very hard to sew without one now and it is like needing 2 pairs of glasses, if you only have one pair that's when they break before you need to return to the optometrist.

  16. #16
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    I also have only been able to get used to using a leather thimble. I do quilt without a frame or hoop so maybe that is why?

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    I have been quilting since 1975 and still don't use a thimble. I tried them all, and could never get used to any. Finally just gave up, but I have a nice collection of thimbles! LOL

  18. #18
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    I had to learn when I was a little girl. My 2 Aunts who were very good seamstress's made me. I don't know how anyone can sew without one. I have run a needle thru a leather and a plastic one. I now have a good metal one with it indented on the bottom that I like.

  19. #19
    Super Member Weezy Rider's Avatar
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    Never learned, never used one. Will find something hard to push with, and a small pair of needle nose pliers to pull with.

  20. #20
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    After the first time I pushed the needle end in my finger. I certainly didn't want a callous or the pain so I put on a thimble and left it on the whole time I was sewing. I kept trying to use the other finger that didn't have the thimble but when the needle started to hurt I switched to the thimble finger.
    This is exactly what happened to me. I tried a cheap plastic thimble first (needle went through it and into my finger after about a month - OUCH!). I also found that it took a long time to find a thimble that fit, and that the outside lip along the base of the thimble and the ridges on the side rubbed the side of my index finger raw, so now the outside of my thimble has several layers of masking tape wrapped around it! (I did try a leather thimble...but the needle went through it fairly quickly...OUCH!)

    I also find that the needle pricking down onto my "under" finger ends up causing a real hole in that finger (OUCH) so I often have several layers of masking tape over the exact spot on my under finger where the needle hits - allows me still to feel the needle but with less blood loss.

    One must suffer for one's art....but thank goodness for masking tape!

    Alison
    Last edited by alisonquilts; 01-12-2013 at 06:20 PM.

  21. #21
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    I didn't. They seem awkward and unnecessary to me. But, I avoid handwork, if at all possible.

  22. #22
    Super Member jemma's Avatar
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    if i put on a thimble i use another finger to push the needle through--i can use a leather thimble but i have started useing the little sticky pads [Thimble-it] and find them a big help i also use my nails alot but am lucky and have strong fast growing nails

  23. #23
    Senior Member Scraplady's Avatar
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    I haven't, not really, though I have tried. I liked the nimble thimble the best as far as comfort goes, but as others have said, the needle always seems to find a way in at the seams. I sometimes use one of those longer leather thimbles that has the folded piece of metal at the tip. I seem to be able to keep that one on my finger the longest before frustration sets in. My biggest problem is I do so much by feel and I can't feel anything with that dang thimble on my finger. Unfortunately when I take it off I feel more than I want to!
    www.makeminepatchwork.etsy.com
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    "Piecin' a quilt's like livin' a life...The Lord sends us the pieces, but we can cut 'em out and put 'em together pretty much to suit ourselves, and there's a heap more in the cuttin' and the sewin' than there is in the caliker...I've had a heap of comfort all my life making quilts, and now in my old age I wouldn't take a fortune for them." (Eliza Calvert Hall, Aunt Jane of Kentucky)

  24. #24
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    I started when I was 8 and grandma who was a men's tailor said I couldn't sew without one. Turns out she was right. After all these years now I can't. I do like the goat leather ones but its hard to find the extra small. Usually get 1 or 2 when I see them. Dog thinks they are chew toys! I put it on my ring finger on my right hand, use the first 3 fingers to shape the stitch then push the needle through with thimble. Unless you are talking hand quilting then you are out of my league.
    Cheryl Robinson
    http://www.silverneedlestitching.com
    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

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