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Thread: Thimbles

  1. #1
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    Thimbles

    When doing hand sewing, especially applique, do you wear one or more thimbles? If so, which thimbles have you had the best luck with?

  2. #2
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    I only use a thimble for hand quilting. Applique, embroidery and hand sewing binding, I don't use a thimble.

  3. #3
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    I don't do hand applique, but when I do English paper piecing I don't use a thimble. I do put a bit of medical tape on my fingertip, though. I always get a sore spot where I hold the needle, and the tape helps both with gripping the needle and keeping my skin intact.

  4. #4
    Senior Member minibarn's Avatar
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    I have only just started doing applique but have done a lot of embroidery and I tend to like using thimble pads, link below. They are as bulky and cumbersome, and I don't really need a thimble as much w/embroidery or applique as I do w/hand quilting.

    http://www.connectingthreads.com/Too...d__D80561.HTML

  5. #5
    Super Member Sync's Avatar
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    When hand sewing, like Tartan, I do not use a thimble. I find that a thimble, even the fingertip thimbles, interfere with my hand sewing. But that's just me, I also don't wear a thimble when I hand quilt.

  6. #6
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    When I started hand quilting I started using the beige colored plastic thimbles because I could adjust it to my finger by putting it in boiling water. Then I went to the Road to CA show and met TJ Lane. She makes thimbles using silver and has them fitted to your finger. That made all the difference for me. I have 3. One is a bit larger for use in the summer when my finger swells a bit. I keep it on my middle finger on my right hand. When quilting I use a little disk that sticks to the middle finger on my left hand. I tried to use a thimble on my left hand but it didn't work for me. Nor could I work with one on my right thumb.
    Last edited by quiltingcandy; 03-18-2017 at 09:10 PM.

  7. #7
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I wear leather thimbles made by Clover. Most thimbles seem to be made under the assumption that you are pushing the needle with the pad of your finger. However, I don't hand quilt. I hand applique, hand bind, and do some hexie hand-piecing, and I find myself pushing the needle through the fabric with the side of my middle finger, just below the nail. Most of the plastic and metal thimbles don't work for my style, but I really like the leather thimbles.


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    I only use a thimble for hand quilting. Applique, embroidery and hand sewing binding, I don't use a thimble.
    I'm with Tartan.

  9. #9
    Senior Member sewingitalltogether's Avatar
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    I always wear a thimble. Have several. One is a quilting thimble with the hole for your fingernail by T.J.Lane. Love it. And a plain silver thimble for all other handiwork, applique and hand sewing. Got both at the big quilt shows.

  10. #10
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    I tried a couple different leather thimbles, but I still haven't found anything that beats the traditional metal thimble (you know, like the one that used to be a Monopoly piece).

  11. #11
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    I have never been able to get used to a thimble. I just dab a little superglue on the callouses and go on.
    Ageing is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been............David Bowie

  12. #12
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    I do exactly as Peckish for the same reason. I have many thimbles that I have tried and these are the ones that work best for my style of hand quilting. Like any leather product they will stretch but I use a piece of painters tape around my finger to help the fit.
    Quote Originally Posted by Peckish View Post
    I wear leather thimbles made by Clover. Most thimbles seem to be made under the assumption that you are pushing the needle with the pad of your finger. However, I don't hand quilt. I hand applique, hand bind, and do some hexie hand-piecing, and I find myself pushing the needle through the fabric with the side of my middle finger, just below the nail. Most of the plastic and metal thimbles don't work for my style, but I really like the leather thimbles.

    In my dream world, fabric is free and sewing makes you thin.

    Sharon

  13. #13
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    For years I did not use a thimble when doing any hand work. Then I started hand quilting. Oh my! Initially is picked up every cheap thimble I could find including the stick on pads. None of them worked for me. I then drooled over some Roxanne thimbles. Well, they were just way more than I wanted to pay. Discovered Thimblelady thimbles. Tried the plastic one first to see how I would manage with pushing with the pad of my finger vs the top that most metal thimbles are designed to do. Eureka! Ordered the stainless steel one and have never looked back.

    My hand/fingers do not tire or get sore nearly as quickly - if at all. I'm not particularly fond of her needles but do love the thimbles. The price for the s/s is not outrageous either. And after wearing out one of the stainless thimbles, I'd be hesitant to buy and sterling silver for fear that the metal would be too soft and I'd wear that out as well.

  14. #14
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    I use the thimblelady thimble for hand quilting, and a regular thimble for hand piecing (no thimble for applique). My fingertips are broad and square, so fit is a problem. I'm going to try that Clover leather thimble!
    Lisa

  15. #15
    Super Member rryder's Avatar
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    I use a regular steel thimble on my middle finger, though sometimes I will switch to a smaller one and put that on my ring finger--- depends on which feels right when I'm working. I only hand sew a few things-- labels to quilt back, for show quilts I hand sew the binding to the back, some embroidery stitches get sewn to the top before quilting, some embroidery stitches get sew to the top after quilting. If it's something that will be sewn to a quilt that's already sandwiched, then the thimble goes on my finger.

    I have a bunch of thimbles, all came in batches of misc. sewing supplies that I got off eBay. I use whichever one fits whichever finger I want it on.

    Rob
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  16. #16
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    I use a thimble for any hand sewing or quilting I do on my right hand. When hand quilting, I don't use anything on the hand that goes under the sandwich. I find I can feel better where the needle is and where I want it to go with just a bare finger. However, the skin on the tip does toughten up a little, but after the quilt is finished it gets soft again.
    Penny

  17. #17
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I find that thimbles bother me when hand-sewing. I do much better without one.
    Martina
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

  18. #18
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    I have small hands, small fingers, and I use the thimble that looks like a ring. I use it on my pointer finger on my right hand. My thumb and pointer finger holds the needle and if it needs a push, it is right there, but only down the finger a little bit. I have used mine for years with all kinds of sewing, drapes, garments and now quilts. They are still on the market and cheap if you would like to try one.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pennyhal View Post
    I use a thimble for any hand sewing or quilting I do on my right hand. When hand quilting, I don't use anything on the hand that goes under the sandwich. I find I can feel better where the needle is and where I want it to go with just a bare finger. However, the skin on the tip does toughten up a little, but after the quilt is finished it gets soft again.
    I don't put anything on my under finger(s) either. When one gets sore, I just use another to feel the needle underneath. I use my thimble on my middle finger when quilting or sewing and use a rubber finger tip on my index finger to help pull the needle through.

  20. #20
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    I finally hit upon the small leather dot that sticks to my finger after trying a few different traditional thimbles. I only need that when I'm hand sewing the binding. I was really getting a sore finger while doing that. It works perfectly for me. I do a lot of hand embroidery but don't need a thimble, no sore spots.

  21. #21
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    I use "W"nder Thimble", it is a soft blue plastic like thimble. I like it because I can feel the needle without getting poked. I keep several, in my travel sewing wallet, by my sewing machine and a few extra in my sewing notion box.

    I tried the metal and the hard plastic, the leather and others. Once I found this thimble, I did not try others. I mostly use it for long stitch quilting and for quilt binding..

  22. #22
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    I wear one thimble when quilting. I recommend "Comfort Thimble" made by a company out of Oregon.

    I hand piece and wear either a Dritz Soft Comfort Thimble (JoAnn's) on my right middle finger (right handed) or wear two leather thimbles (one on my left thumb and one on my right middle finger). It just depends on the force I will be using (number of seams I am going through, etc) that will determine if I prefer the Dritz or leather thimbles. The leather thimbles are made by a woman on Etsy (nsmartist).

  23. #23
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    I always use one, too. I like the cheap metal kind, but my second favorite is a jelly one. They have to fit snugly in order to work well, so I cut my fingernail to fit inside. I also lick my fingertip before putting it on so that it doesn't slide around. It takes some practice but really works well if you're hand appliqueing using straw needles.

  24. #24
    Senior Member petpainter's Avatar
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    i have been epp for about 2 years now and my middle finger becomes a calloused peeling mess. I can't get used to a regular thimble or the dots. I was at a show this past week and chatted with a couple gals that ran a epp/ ribbon emb booth. I ended up getting an open top( I have long nails) metal adjustable thimble. it felt comfortable, so I'm excited about trying it!

  25. #25
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    Over the years I have tried many thimbles, cheap to expensive. The one I love is the Comfort Thimble. Hardly know it's on my finger.

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