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Thread: Learning to Use Thimble

  1. #26
    Junior Member QuiltingMia's Avatar
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    I was just trying to figure the correct way to use a thimble last night. I was stitching my binding and it is my index finger that was hurting. Tried a metal thimble on that finger??? Then tried in on the middle finger, a little better but that still does not solve the problem of my hurting index finger??? I could use some advice also.
    Karen from Louisiana

  2. #27
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    I was told a loooong time ago, to wear the thimble for a day, just doing your regular things and your brain will accept it as a part of your finger and there won't be that auto not using that finger when sewing......It worked for me, and if I have not used a thimble for awhile, I will "wear" it for a few hours before doing my thimble sewing......just to remind my mind...

  3. #28
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I have a hard time using a thimble. When I hand quilt I will push the needle with my fingernail. I finally semi-trained myself to use the open ended thimbles (TJ Lane) but I am very unorthodox. I start my quilting stitch then I slip the thimble on my index finger and load up the needle that way. Constantly slipping it on and off my finger is very time consuming so I will use my nail until I drill hole through it and I am forced to use the thimble.

    I would like to learn how to use one in the traditional way for when I hand sew bindings and do hand applique. I have poked myself several times doing that.

  4. #29
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    [QUOTE=Holice;5221923]How did you learn to use a thimble? How were you taught to use it?
    Any tricks for someone who can't use a thimble but is learning.


    My mother bought me a thimble that fit and said, "Use this!" I can't imagine hand sewing without a thimble. I was doing embroidery while I waited at poolside for my great grandchildren one day and at least a dozen children came up and wanted to know what I was doing and what that metal thing on my finger was for. They told me their mothers didn't even know how to sew a button on.

    A sewing group to which I belong does a workshop at the end of each summer for kids and their mothers who want to learn to sew. We do really simple projects so they have several things they make to take home. We give a basic sewing machine to one of the participants. You can't believe how many kids have never seen, much less used a sewing machine and how many have never ironed anything. Most of these kids are from upper or middle income families, so it isn't a matter of not having the money for equipment.

    No wonder so many people look like they are wearing something out of a rag bag! froggyintexas

  5. #30
    Senior Member Kat Sews's Avatar
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    I have used a thimble for many years, but like others had a hard time finding one to fit. I have scar tissue on my middle finger which alters the shape and shape of the finger. What works for me to make a metal thimble fit my finger and be comfortable is tape. I use the bandage tape that is quite soft, not adhesive tape, and stick it to the inside of the thimble. It pads the edge so it won't make my finger sore and adjusts the fit around the top edge to keep it from falling off. Some times I forget I am wearing it and have even started to clean house with it on until I hear the click when I pick up a broom.

  6. #31
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    I am new to hand quilting and learned from on line classes/utube. I tired many different types of thimbles and with each one I tried I had to use it for a few days to determine if it really was comfortable. I am using the ones that are metal top with gel bottoms like this http://www.joann.com/protect-grip-th...prd_02408714a/. I have used the leather type with the metal coin area like this http://www.joann.com/clover-leather-...imble/prd2826/. both worked good except the leather one stretches and in the matter of days keeps coming off so I gave up. Too much hassle to keep taping it on. the other type by clover with the metal tip and gel bottom when you put it on all around the base of the metal on the side it has a small divett and I have to make sure I position it just right so the needle will fit in it to do that rocking motion. I cant use the top of the thimble to rock I use the side not sure if that is the normal or not. But I also like the bottom section being rubber as it helps me grasp the needle and pull it through.

    Diane

  7. #32
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turner0106 View Post
    I cant use the top of the thimble to rock I use the side not sure if that is the normal or not. But I also like the bottom section being rubber as it helps me grasp the needle and pull it through.

    Diane
    That's absolutely normal - it's just one of many ways of doing the rocking stitch. I use the side, too. It doesn't matter how you get there so long as you're happy with the results.

    Janet

  8. #33
    Senior Member Learner747's Avatar
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    I cannot do hand work without a thimble. The problem I have had over the years is finding one that fits. Finally, last summer I found a 10 Cent plastic one that fits perfectly. Now I am a happy sewer!

  9. #34
    Super Member SuzyQ's Avatar
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    I don't hand quilt much but I do some hand piecing and qpplique work and I'm still looking for a comfortable thimble. I sort of hand piece the Jinny Beyer way and the thimble (on my middle finger) hurts my ring finger. I tried the dots but never managed to get them in the correct spot and ended up stabbing myself every time. I try out every thimble I run across.

    Suzy

  10. #35
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    I learned on my own to use a thimble after I poked so many holes in my fingers the stayed sore all the time.

    delma

  11. #36
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    I love my leather thimble. It was very stiff at first, but I wet it, formed it more around my finger, and now it is very comfortable. I first put on a flexible cloth bandaid and the thimble stays put.

  12. #37
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    Thanks to everyone for their comments on this question. Like many, I don't understand how anyone can hand sew without a timble to protect their finger. Now I'm making judgment based on my ability. However, I face this every time I teach a hand quilting class. There have been several ideas that I will pass along. I learned to use a thimble many many years ago when I was in the Army and sewing patches on my shirts. I had a little portable sewing kit and it had a plastic thimble in it. I am sure my fingers would never have healed if not for that thimble.
    I realize some can and some can't. It is second nature to me now. Like any tool or gadget some work and some don't. I have an assortment of the aids that students can try. And I'll keep trying to teach those who can't.

  13. #38
    Super Member franc36's Avatar
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    I majored in Home Economics in the 1950s. I think wearing a thimble for hand sewing was required for some class. Now I have trouble hand sewing without a thimble. I have thimbles all over my house so one is always handy. I think it took me some time before I was comfortable wearing a thimble.

  14. #39
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    LOL, pain seems to be the deciding factor. I know it was for me. I don't like the metal thimbles, I prefer the rubber and metal combo by Clover.
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

  15. #40
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Another thimble challenged soul here!
    Have tried to use them with no luck ... and not even sure which hand and finger they are supposed to go on.
    There are times, that I know my fingers would appreciate not suffering from the abuse they do!

    So I'm all ears, for any tips and hints, too!
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    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  16. #41
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    I use a leather thimble on my thumb (thumble). I can't do it any other way, and I've really tried.

  17. #42
    Senior Member teddysmom's Avatar
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    Have never gotten the hang of using a thimble. If I put it on my middle finger, I end of taking it off because it gets in my way. I guess it's a matter of "whatever works."

  18. #43
    Super Member SuzyQ's Avatar
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    Holice, do you have any thimbles to recommed? I'm always on the hunt for a comfy one.

    Thanks for this discussion. Suzy

  19. #44
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    I've never used a thimble.
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  20. #45
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    My Grandmother taught me to sew. She said that I could never be successful unless I learned to use a thimble, but it was really hard for me to get accustomed to using it. I made myself use it for a portion of each time I was sewing. Sometimes I waited until my finger was a bit sore, then put it on. I soon became used to the thimble and then another on my finger that is beneath the quilt too! My Grandmother later gave me her beautiful sterling silver thimble which I cherish to this day. She is beside me every time I sew and I am continually thankful for her loving patience.
    <a href="http://www.mylivesignature.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://signatures.mylivesignature.com/54489/336/AFDCC36A59CDFF42A211209DA03F222E.png" style="border: 0 !important; background: transparent;"/></a>

  21. #46
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    I use the cheapie metal thimble with the depression in the top. I have several kinds but am accustomed to this one.
    Made by Dritz. I learned also to use a thimble under neith the quilt. For that one, I get an old metal thimble that is rather smooth around the top edge and pound the top flat. I get them in for pennies at an antique mall. The underside thimble need to be rather smooth around the top edge for the needle point to slide off. I don't believe it dulls the needle.

  22. #47
    Senior Member emlee51's Avatar
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    I can't use a thimble...a quilter friend gave me some oval disks that stick to your thimble finger and can be re-used over and over. They really work for me. Sorry, but I don't know the name of them.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by bakermom View Post
    I have the best luck with a leather thimble. Never liked using one until I took up english smocking. For quilting, I go back to using adhesive tape on my fingers.
    When I was learning -- I'm still learning! -- to hand quilt, I somehow could not use a metal thimble, even though I do use one for regular hand sewing. I cut the thumb and fingers out of an old leather glove and that's what I use.

  24. #49
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    I am a non-thimbler! I have tried every kind I can find, but none seem to work for me. I can just feel better with my fingers. I think something must be wrong with my fingers!

  25. #50
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    I have the same trouble as cannyquilter. I guess my fingers are too skinny! I even tried running down the side of a leather one with the serger, but it was still too loose and floppy. I give up!

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