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Thread: Thimble Lady

  1. #1
    Super Member Harmony's Avatar
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    Thimble Lady

    I just got a thimble from Thimble Lady and I'm struggling to learn her method for hand quilting. Has anyone here ever paired her thimble with the Aunt Becky tool? Seems like the two would work well together. I keep stabbing my finger underneath the quilt, and I can't tell where the needle is without feeling it.
    "It is what it is!"

  2. #2
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    You learn to keep a lighter touch with that bottom finger, and develop a callus. I can't use anything underneath, or I can't tell where the needle is. If it gets a little tender, I just paint on a couple layers of super glue.

  3. #3
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    I've tried both methods, trying to find the least fatiguing way to hand quilt. For both methods, it's mostly about what the hand that is not holding the needle is doing. With the Thimble Lady's method, you are folding, or pleating the fabric onto the needle. With Aunt Becky, your needle strikes the metal, you know it has made it through the backing and can then deflect it back up to the top. With both methods, you control the needle with the dimple of your thimble.

    I used the Thimble Lady's method for a baby quilt and was able to get smaller stitches than regular quilting, but it took really close basting for me to keep the layers smooth. A shorter quilting needle was easier for me to control than one of her longer needles.

    Aunt Becky seems to keep your hands in an even better position for long quilting sessions, but I'm still trying to get my stitches smaller. I haven't found the rhythm of moving Aunt Becky at the exact moment to get a small stitch. So far, I can get even, but not small-- thinking it's too thick for me. I'm going to try the same method, but use a thinner device, so I'm going to buy a banjo pick and plan on trying to flatten the top of an old thimble that isn't as deeply dimpled as new one. I also tried an old silver demitasse spoon, but it wasn't angled right. If I can't get any of these to work for me, I'll go back to Thimble Lady.
    Elizabeth

  4. #4
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    I remember seeing the Aunt Becky method, but the only thing I remember about it is that her hands seemed pretty tense with a bent finger, whereas the Thimblelady method has relaxed and unbent fingers. I can't say how they would work together. I use the Thimblelady method and do not stick my bottom finger, though I do feel how much of the needle has advanced. Have you viewed videos or checked out Thimblelady's book? It took me a long time to learn her method, and I had to keep going back and reviewing the photos multiple times before I got it. I'm still working on the consistency of my stitches.
    Lisa

  5. #5
    Power Poster Boston1954's Avatar
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    I have always just used my bare finger, but the glue tip sounds great.
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

  6. #6
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    I, too, just stab my under finger. It eventually builds up a callus as others have said. When I quilt I tend to 'rock' the fabric vs my hand, similar to the Thimblelady style but not quite. I also found I had better control with traditional 'between' needles vs her longer ones. I do absolutely love her thimbles. Find it so much easier to control the needle using the pad of my finger and the dimples are nice and deep on her thimbles as well.

    The small stitches will come with time once you find a method that works for you. Consistency of stitches is really more important than size.

  7. #7
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    I have been practicing with Aunt Becky and my favorite thimble. I have enough thimbles that The Thimble Lady Thimble will not be in my budget, ever.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tessagin View Post
    I have been practicing with Aunt Becky and my favorite thimble. I have enough thimbles that The Thimble Lady Thimble will not be in my budget, ever.
    If you're even slightly interested in her thimbles, take a look at the plastic ones and/or the stainless steel ones. I started with the plastic (at @ $15) to see if a) sizing was correct; and b) did I like the process of using the pad of my finger (yes!). Since the answer to both was yes, after I wore out the plastic one, I purchased a stainless steel one (@ $35). And I actually wore out one of those as well and replaced it. A bit pricier than the typical ones found at JoAnns or other big box places, but it fits correctly and (for me) works well. I could never justify one of the sterling silver of either Thimblelady or Roxanne but the s/s version is quite nice.

  9. #9
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    The price of the Thimble Lady's device scares me off so have never tired it. And Aunt Becky! Well, as with creating the quilt, it's all what works for you. For me the leather Clover thimble that has the metal dot in it works well for me. Have worn out several of those and they are affordable, especially if using a coupon at JoAnn's. I find my stitches are getting better with time. I use a 14" hoop, the Clover thimble, the thumbnail on my right hand (Yes, it gets a hole in it if I am quilting a lot). I think I, too, rock the fabric with my left hand. While there is a bit of a callus on 2 of my fingers there, I'm learning the touch of the needle rather than the stab. If fingers are sore by the time I go to bed, I rub a bit of triple antibiotic ointment on those spots before going to sleep and by morning there is usually improvement. I think it provides some therapy and a bit of moisture to the sore fingers.

  10. #10
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    I can recommend Tommie Lane's thimbles also. I bought one and a thimble cage for it. I love it! It fits my finger perfectly (you can choose from many styles) and has a slot for my fingernail.

  11. #11
    Super Member running1's Avatar
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    I LOVE my ThimbleLady thimble..I've used 2-3 plastic thimbles and just love the method. I took a class at a LQS in OKC many years ago...but she posts a YouTube video I think...or someone did. The method works for me... I've built up a little callous but I also use "Thimble-it" little pads on my under finger. Check out the YouTube videos....hopefully they'll help! Good luck!

    NJ Quilter...thanks for the stainless steel info...I'll try one, too!!
    "... let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."

  12. #12
    Super Member running1's Avatar
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    Well, dear friends...I just looked up a couple of YouTube videos on this...one is about 30 seconds, but the second is a show the "Thimblelady" did with Alex Anderson... not sure when it originally aired. So...It turns out I'm not really using her technique!! I'm using a modified Thimblelady/rocking motion technique... who knew?? hahaha!!

    Well, anyway...there is a youTube video out there... have fun!!!
    "... let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."

  13. #13
    Senior Member jokir44's Avatar
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    I used the little stick on pads and you can reuse for a few times too. Also used the back side of a small spoon successfully.

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