Summary by Amy of postings to the Quiltnet:

Hi all! Here's the thimble summary for those who are interested. THANKS to those who responded to my plea!


Jane recommends the regular $.98 thimble available at fabric stores. She found it pretty easy to get used to and won't sew without it. :) Betty found a great thimble (at my favorite local quilt shop!!) that has an opening for your fingernail, a dimpled surface over tip and pad of finger and pad, and a large ridge at the opening so as not to puncture your finger (I haven't checked it out yet, but I will). Kathryn in Iowa solved her thimble dilemma by putting that yellow plastic ring with long "fingernail" device (made for the finger under the quilt) UNDER her comfortable leather thimble. Melissa found her silver thimble from a vendor at a large quilt show--they come in sizes like rings. The custom thimble FAQ also provides some good thimble guidance. Sooby uses one of the British thimbles with the ridge around the top (impossible for the needle to slip out). Carol uses the Nimble Thimble--leather with a metal piece sandwiched between the leather--it has a hole for your fingernail too. Linda sometimes uses Pet Wrap fashioned into a temporary thimble--it's available at saddle/tack stores and veterinary supply stores. It's a fabric/paper product (the stuff used to wrap racehorses' legs). Maria uses a thimble with a lip on it on her middle finger and a rubber finger (or rubber glove finger cut off at knuckle) on her index finger. This helps to pull the needle through the fabric (I've been having that problem lately).


The vast majority like to feel the needle on the back of the quilt--so they don't use anything on the under finger (just some bag balm/udder cream after the fact). I kind of like the idea of using the Pet Wrap on the under finger--I'll give it a try. Using an upturned spoon to catch the needle was mentioned. Caroline uses a ceramic thimble underneath when she's quilting for long periods--she can feel when the needle hits the porcelain. Ann bought a rubber finger and has been wearing it on the finger under the quilt--it seems to be working so far.

Thanks, again, for the suggestions! I think the "moral of the story" is to keep trying until you find the most comfortable/useful thimble.

Comments from Qultnet, rec.quilting &AOL

Date: Fri, 15 Jul 1994 11:42:28 CST
From: Nell
Subject: Re: thumb thimble

I have a small collection of thimbles. In it are a few old taylor thimbles. I also bought a new one at a quilt show that was not very expensive (I think it was $4). I have a habit of trying out different items to find out if there is a better way of doing things. There is a plastic thimble for the thumb that has a little slit in the center for pushing the needle. You can buy it for under $2.00. I bought one for a friend the other day who said her thumb was so sore from pushing the needle that I thought she ought to have one.

Date: Tue, 19 Jul 1994 11:49:07 EST
From: Laura
Subject: Re: the RIGHT THIMBLE

I also like the tan colored $2.00 leather thimbles (with the blue elastic piece), but they don't last long. The needle starts poking through after a short time, and can be rather painful. My solution isn't elegant, but it works fine for me and has quilted about 6 quilts (one was king size with 3 spools of thread).

I take a piece of scrap leather, cut a small circle (about dime-size) and super-glue it over the worn spot on the thimble.

For leather, you can buy scraps, or I have salvaged the leather straps from a pair of broken down old sandals. Also, I cut off the tail of the leather thimble and use that, because I don't like them so long. I have used a couple different kinds of super-glue and don't know the best one yet. But they sort of soak into the leather and make it hard and it lasts quite a while. Right at the beginning, the leather doesn't grab the needle quite the same, but it soon breaks in. When it gets too hole-y and worn, I pull it off and put on another. Actually, I have several and I re-glue several at a time. I hope this helps.

Date: Tue, 19 Jul 1994 22:43:42
From: Barbara
Subject: Re: Finding the Right Thimble

I don't know how anyone else feels about them, but I personally love those "thimble rings". For those who don't know, they are plastic rings that go just over the first knuckle, and are fitted with a dimpled leather piece on the top. Not only do I find them acceptable to use (even to me who, in all of my life of sewing, has NEVER found a thimble I could use), but I find that pushing the needle through with the force of my knuckle as opposed to my finger is a lot easier on my hands!

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