Monday, June 27, 2011

The exciting world of Thimbles

Yes I know you are all just waiting in thrall for my riveting review of thimbles. No? oh, ok.

I know they don't seem like a fun topic but thimbles really are a necessary evil in quilting. I can't make a machine binding look good on both sides so I rarely use it, which means hand sewing the back. And to do that, I need a thimble.

Traditional thimbles always bothered me and I could never really get a hang of it. And once I started wearing long nails they didn't work at all.





I can't remember where or why I picked up my first Clover open sided thimble but I love it. Totally and completly.  It doesn't feel like its on my finger because its only on the bottom, and not tight at all. The extended tip works great for forcing that stubborn needle through a seam, and whether you have long nail or not rests nicely on your finger. I've actually bought 3 of these. Because I lose them. A lot.

The last time, so the 2nd of the 3, was before the move to the house. It hasn't been seen since. My friend Niki from Stitchin Heaven sent me another type of thimble in a prize pack I won from her New Years Eve twitter party.
Since at that point I'd not been wearing the fake claws for awhile it was great. The rubber will occasionally let the needle poke you but not badly and it is looser and more comfortable then the traditional thimble. This one has a metal top so you can still use it to push through any bulky parts.
I managed to not lose this one for about 6 months, which really has to be a record for me.
The package even has a hole so you can make sure you get the right size! The one I have is orange, so probably a large?

For a reason I still don't understand I decided to get the nails put back on recently and while I could use the Protect and Grip thimble still it is somewhat akward with the nails so I had to go and get another of the open sided ones.

So that's my little opinion piece on thimbles. What do you use and why??

10 comments:

karenfae said...

I use a hand held thimble - here is a link to it http://karensquilting.com/blog/2009/07/quilting-on-a-3-roller-frame/
you hold it in your hands not on your finger - it is great for those with arthritis or if you have something wrong with your fingers and can't wear a thimble on your finger.
Karen
http://karensquilting.com/blog/

Katie M. said...

I still have a hard time with thimbles - think I'll try the open sided one you're talking about. But when I do use a thimble, I use one I bought in a thrift store. It still had a bit of some sort of adheasive in it and the thimble was bent a little. It does fit me better than any of the others. I don't call myself a collector - but I do look for old thimbles whenever I'm in a thrift store!

Dresden Quilter said...

I use the rubber one. Mine is orange too, but it is a medium.

Heidi said...

Not a thimble fan either, I only use them for hand quilting and to sew the binding on the back of the quilt as you do. The thimble I use for that is also a Clover, but made under Shizuko Kuroha's name. It's a bit larger, and the needle can hit it from all sides, even the top of your finger! My next purchase will be to get the Roxanne's thimble for hand quilting....

Sara said...

Thimbles are tricky. I bought a couple when I decided I was determined to hand quilt and then gave up. Probably cuz of the thimbles I tried out. I have not tried that open sided one though. Think they have them at Joann's.

For now,or maybe 4 months ago I didn't use anything at all:) I am kinda itching to hand sew something again. Maybe;)

Thanks for your post!

Sallie said...

I love a leather thimble because it feels so natural on my finger that I often forget I have it on and continue wearing it when no longer sewing.

Pieces to Love said...

I so need to find and get me some of the clover open ended thimbles. I am hand sewing a quilt right now (2" square blocks) and my needle continually goes through my leather thimble making my poor finger sore.

Regena said...

I have never quite mastered the thimble. I guess that's where practice comes in, right?
I have a roxanne thimble and it's great.
It comes in sizes and since I have small hands, this was perfect. I did learn to quilt with it, but I machine quilt mostly. I rarely use a thimble for regular hand sewing, but i should. I would lose less blood. hahahaha

sewmeow said...

I haven't tried the open sided clover one yet. I use a soft leather one called Nimble Thimble and it's the only one I've ever liked 'cause it's so comfortable.

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Sundays Child said...

I have honking big hands and fingers, so I use a homemade leather thimble.

Mum started working in a factory at 14 and still uses her thimbles from back then. I can't find them anywhere on line to get more, they are metal open-ended thimbles. Oh .. btw, mum is 79, so these thimbles have seen a lot of use, she would NEVER machine sew a hem! :-)

Julie Andrea
sundayschild1966ATyahooDOTcom