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Thread: What is Your favorite thimble?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Halfsquare's Avatar
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    Boy - I am working on applique about 8 hours per day the last 2 weeks and I need to find a solution.

    The big leather ones are too clumsy for me.
    The plastic stick on thimble it ones don't seem to work very well.

    Can anyone recommend the leather ones that stick on? Where to get them and which one to get? Or am I just not using it correctly. When I put a big thimble on I just stop using that finger. It's too clumsy.
    Thanks for everyone's suggestions.
    Roxanne

  2. #2
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    I don't like leather ones either. I really prefer metal but I'm in between sizes. I put a bandaid on and then put the bigger one on but it just didn't work out. I tried the 'nimble thimble' which is shaped sort of like a regular thimble but is leather with a metal tip, and after just a little bit of stitching, the end ripped out. I emailed the company and got no reply. So now I have a clover thimble that has metal on the end and rubber on the sides but I haven't tried it yet.

  3. #3
    Super Member raedar63's Avatar
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    I made one from duck tape shaped it to my finger sticky side out then wrapped several layers and made a little custom thimble .:)
    Next one I make I may put a piece of leather in side.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by roxannebcb
    Boy - I am working on applique about 8 hours per day the last 2 weeks and I need to find a solution.

    The big leather ones are too clumsy for me.
    The plastic stick on thimble it ones don't seem to work very well.

    Can anyone recommend the leather ones that stick on? Where to get them and which one to get? Or am I just not using it correctly. When I put a big thimble on I just stop using that finger. It's too clumsy.
    Thanks for everyone's suggestions.
    Roxanne
    For regular sewing (not quilting) I use a tailor's thimble. It is shaped like a regular dome thimble but the top is missing and it is essentially like a very wide ring that fits around the tip of my finger. There's a rolled edge around the bottom of the ring and a smaller rolled edge around the top of the ring.

    Mine has been used so long (over 40 years) that it has shaped itself into an oval shape that fits my finger exactly. I've heard of people using a rubber or rawhide mallet to deliberately shape a new thimble into an oval shape. I've never done it but my guess would be to place the thimble on a soft surface (like a folded towel), give it a gentle tap, try it on, take it off and give it another gentle tap, etc, until it fits.

    I still have my childhood thimbles and none of them warped into shape. It must take more than 3 years or so of use to warp naturally. I don't remember ever feeling like my grown up thimble didn't fit but now when I try on a new thimble, I realise my old one is definitely more comfortable.

    Once you have a thimble that fits, the only solution I know of is to wear it as much of the time as you can, no matter what you're doing. After awhile, it just feels natural on your finger.

    Once you are used to using a thimble, you feel odd using a needle without one on. I don't think I could hand sew without a thimble at this point in my life, it would just feel too strange (and I hate getting needle pokes, even from the eye end of the needle).

  5. #5
    Senior Member Halfsquare's Avatar
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    Very interesting!

  6. #6
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    I like the clover coin thimble. It is leather with a little metal dimply coin on the finger tip. I push the needle w/ the pad of my finger, not the top. I came across the ring thimble, but need to make it smaller and just haven't taken the time to do that yet.

  7. #7
    Super Member lindyline's Avatar
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    Hey, I know those little leather dots that you're talking about.They are little finger savers. Have just run out, and need to replenish mine. They are especially helpful when using applibond needles. Before I discovered these, I put three needles through my fingers, with the eye end, not the little blade.

  8. #8
    Super Member jmabby's Avatar
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    I went to a antique store and found several tin and bronze ones in different sizes. It seems that some days I wear a bigger one, other days it falls off. For some reason I like the ones that have been used, worn and comfy.

  9. #9
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    I cant believe you all dont like the leather ones, I love mine, would be lost with out it. Theres a new leather one that my friend just bought last week, it looks just like a normal thimble, mine is a larger about up to your middle knuckle, anyway she loves this new thimble. Wish I could remember who made it, all I can remember is its solid black.

  10. #10
    dd
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    I'm still waiting to buy my Roxanne thimble, until then I have a brass colored knock-off I got at JoAnn's that I really like. I have longer nails so it allows my nail to be exposed then it has a band around my finger that is adjustable. I bought one that had rubber inside but the rubber came out about the second time I used it. Before that I had a full thimble that had a ridge around the top so the needle wouldn't slip off. I used that for a long time. I think I have one of each thimble made. I don't really care for the leather ones. The black one, I kept getting the eye stuck in the leather, that wore out the thread. The white one is just too long, felt like I couldn't bend my finger. The brown one had the coin on the pad of my finger and I push with the end of my finger. I liked that one and I thought about ripping out the side seams and resewing it where I wanted the coin to be on my finger. Figured I did enough ripping out though.lol

  11. #11
    Super Member suezquilts's Avatar
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    I have purchased leather ones that I believe clover sells.
    I have also made my own out of deer hide, if you know of any available, the belly is the best place, thin yet tough.
    I have made a hundred or more and used up all the belly I could find.
    now after selling them all, I am purchasing thimbles again.

  12. #12
    Senior Member SparkMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leatheflea
    I cant believe you all dont like the leather ones, I love mine, would be lost with out it. Theres a new leather one that my friend just bought last week, it looks just like a normal thimble, mine is a larger about up to your middle knuckle, anyway she loves this new thimble. Wish I could remember who made it, all I can remember is its solid black.
    I have one of those black leather thimbles. I don't remember the brand either :roll: but I know I got it at Joann's and it comes in sizes. It's got a little metal disk in the tip, but I've found that the leather is sturdy, even though it's thin--half the time I miss the disk with the needle, but it still works well. I have several thimbles, but I think that one is probably my favorite.

    I use it for hand-quilting; I don't know how the thimble use compares to applique. But it is very small and unobtrusive--I forget I'm wearing it half the time. It doesn't make me feel clumsy the way other thimbles do.

  13. #13
    Junior Member rainbow quilter's Avatar
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    I splurged a few years ago and bought a Roxanne thimble and it was the best splurge ever. I always hated thimbles and have a box full of thimbles that I tried and didn't like. The Roxanne thimble changed all of that. There was a booth at a quilt show with a certified Roxanne "fitter" when I got mine, but there are fitting instructions on the web site.

  14. #14
    Super Member suezquilts's Avatar
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    When our son was little he would say, Mom your finger is in your pocket. My thimble was always on my finger he just thought it was another finger.

    Thats our little guy in my avatar.

  15. #15
    Super Member Glassquilt's Avatar
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    I have two Clover thimbles. One is a leather band with plastic over half the circle. The other is a traditional shape made of plastic-type material with a ridged metal cap.

  16. #16
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MsEithne
    Quote Originally Posted by roxannebcb
    Boy - I am working on applique about 8 hours per day the last 2 weeks and I need to find a solution.

    The big leather ones are too clumsy for me.
    The plastic stick on thimble it ones don't seem to work very well.

    Can anyone recommend the leather ones that stick on? Where to get them and which one to get? Or am I just not using it correctly. When I put a big thimble on I just stop using that finger. It's too clumsy.

    Thanks for everyone's suggestions.
    Roxanne
    For regular sewing (not quilting) I use a tailor's thimble. It is shaped like a regular dome thimble but the top is missing and it is essentially like a very wide ring that fits around the tip of my finger. There's a rolled edge around the bottom of the ring and a smaller rolled edge around the top of the ring.

    Mine has been used so long (over 40 years) that it has shaped itself into an oval shape that fits my finger exactly. I've heard of people using a rubber or rawhide mallet to deliberately shape a new thimble into an oval shape. I've never done it but my guess would be to place the thimble on a soft surface (like a folded towel), give it a gentle tap, try it on, take it off and give it another gentle tap, etc, until it fits.

    I still have my childhood thimbles and none of them warped into shape. It must take more than 3 years or so of use to warp naturally. I don't remember ever feeling like my grown up thimble didn't fit but now when I try on a new thimble, I realise my old one is definitely more comfortable.

    Once you have a thimble that fits, the only solution I know of is to wear it as much of the time as you can, no matter what you're doing. After awhile, it just feels natural on your finger.

    Once you are used to using a thimble, you feel odd using a needle without one on. I don't think I could hand sew without a thimble at this point in my life, it would just feel too strange (and I hate getting needle pokes, even from the eye end of the needle).
    I use a tailor's thimble too - I have several now, as I was worried about losing my only one. None of them fit as well as I would like, so I have a small amount of blutack in each, which just makes the inside a little tacky so they stay on nicely. I never thought of trying to make them oval!

  17. #17
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    I don't use one for the same reason; here are the things that I've heard. You can buy the little dots from the LQS to put on you finger tips and they are reusable; you can get the bandaid in the jar and put a few layers on your finger and this is also supposed to help. I'm sure others have great ideas as well.

  18. #18
    mim
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    I use metal ones -- I have several different sizes because my fingers shrink when I'm chilly. As a child, I was told to wear my thimble around the house for several days so it would feel like part of me. It worked and sometimes when I get up from quilting, I forget to take it off.

    My very fav one is a cloisonne metal one I bought on a trip that has flying cranes outlined in gold threads on it. When I was trying them on the man asked what I was doing -- he had never sold one to actually be used before.
    Mim

  19. #19
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    I like the little leather stick on dots.

  20. #20
    np3
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    I use different ones at different times. I guess my fingers swell and change. So I rotate them.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lacelady
    I use a tailor's thimble too - I have several now, as I was worried about losing my only one. None of them fit as well as I would like, so I have a small amount of blutack in each, which just makes the inside a little tacky so they stay on nicely. I never thought of trying to make them oval!
    Mine isn't a perfect oval because it definitely has a front and back to it. I can tell just by the way it feels when I put it on, no need to look. If it ever wears out, I will be in a pickle.

    The blutack is a great idea! Way back when I lost a bunch of weight (unfortunately, found it all again plus some), my thimble got loose, so I used some special tooth wax to pad it out. It's a wax that dentists and ERs give out to cover a cracked or chipped tooth until you can get it fixed properly. It's very tacky and sticks well to metal.

    I think your blutack idea is better, though.

  22. #22
    Member Grandmama's Avatar
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    When I applique I like to use the dark brown soft leather thimble (nimble thimble) because it is Soft and comfortable for that type of work. The sticky "dots" work well too, found mine at a LQS but they tend to sell out quick. I also have a beautiful silver thimble purchased at the Paducah Quilt Show a few years ago. Lost weight due to illness, didn't think I'd lose it in my fingers??? Anyway, a couple pieces of white adhesive tape on the inside of the thimble stopped it from slipping off.

  23. #23
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    My favorite thimble, without a doubt, is from the Thimblelady. It cost my $80 years ago, but is priceless as far as I'm concerning. No bending of the fingers and no pain after doing it for a while.

  24. #24
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    Japanese thimbles are the only ones suitable for me.

  25. #25
    tmg
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    I like my leather one that goes all the way down my finger.I can still move it freely.
    I tried the metal ones. More than a few. They just didn't fit my finger.
    I even tried the dots. They felt funny on the tip of my finger. I kept taking it off every time I had to get up to do something.
    The plastic ones were no better than the metal ones. They won't stay on.

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