Thursday, September 23, 2010

humble but nimble thimble

I am always interested to know what other quilters are using and what their favourite tools are.  Without exception, every class I have ever taken has exposed me  to at least one great  technique or tool.  It appeals to me to keep finding  new treasures and making new discoveries.

One of my favourite tools is my thimble.  Well, actually I use two.  Since I am right handed, I have one on my thumb and another on my middle finger.  The job of the thimble is to protect the finger from nasty, repetitive skin pricks while controlling the needle.  Thumb thimble is used to stop the needle from travelling further and it protects my thumb in the process.  Finger thimble's purpose is to pivot and rock the needle through as many stitches as possible before the needle meets up with thumb thimble. Once there, the needle pushes off thumb thimble to deliver up enough of its tip to allow me to pull the rest of it through the fabric.

I am a thimble tragic.  Without these two thimbles I would be lost.  They are very cheap to buy but priceless to own.  I have tried others but I keep coming back to these.  They have a cross hatch pattern on the top that seems to hold the needle but not too much.

The thimble with the dimples on the top are vexatious.  The needle slips around the concavity and pops out before it can collect any stitches on it.  I wonder if there is anyone who can tame this thimble?
Here is a picture of my thimble collection:

There are 10 thimbles.  Three got in there somehow, because I can't throw things away, no matter how useless. The others belong to my thimble family: some are for winter and the rest are one size bigger for summer when my fingers have swollen just so slightly due to the heat.  You may notice a film canister there.  It holds thimbles perfectly and prevents them from getting lost.   It travels in my sewing basket along with other essential items used in the quilting trade.  One day, the film canister will be considered an antique of the 20th century.  Perhaps the most valuable thing in this photo is the film canister!


Sewing Junkie said...

The thumb thimble works better alos for arthritic fingers. Mine swell with arthritis and it fits the swollen finger quite well when that happens. Chris

Anonymous said...

I love the Roxanne thimble. At first I thought it was too heavy but after a few minutes I don't even remember it's there. I have often put my sewing and quilting down gone to the mailbox, looked at the mail and realized the thimble is still on my hand. They also come a really wide varity of sizes too (I also have a winter and summer thimble).

Lori said...

My favorite ones are just like yours! I jsut cannot get a handle on the rounded top ones.

Crispy said...

I use the cheap ones like in your first picture. I only use one thimble at a time though. For 20+ years I used it on my middle finger but last spring I switched to my pointy finger and like it much more. My underneath fingers and thumb are unprotected and look like hamburger after hours and hours of quilting...awww the things we do to get that perfect stitch LOL.


Sharon said...

I have the Roxannes kind of thimble, but I hand quilt in my lap so I don't use the "end" of the thimble to push the needle. I chuckled about the film canister, you are probably right! I also keep my favorite pencil sharpener in one that resides in my sewing box.

ValleyGal said...

You may find Thimble Collectors International can find out more information on their website,

Kathie said...

I love the ones just like you do
indented and cheap, I buy them when I see them as yes they do wear out and I am always looking for one in the wrong basket, take along bag, in other words I need a few of them for a few places!