I do a lot of hand quilting so you’ll never find me without my thimble. I’m actually quite attached! Know me, know my thimble! It’s quite common for me to wander round the house asking “where’s my thimble? I’ve lost it again!” (I really need to get a back up!) But what thimbles are out there and which do you favour?
It’s a bit of a joke in our family, every time my Brother goes on holiday he brings home a new thimble for my Mum. Her collection grows but they tend to be the porcelain type, far to shiny for actual use and she’s now having to dust quite a collection! When I first started quilting I only had the old style metal thimble, which never quite fit so I felt my finger was always pinched. I know there are some very experienced hand quilters who use two of this type, one on each hand but I find I can use my nail on my left (underneath) hand to push the needle to the surface.
Going back to my baby, yes I’m that attached, is my Prym ergonomic silicon and plastic thimble. It has vents, so as not to get too sweaty (I quilt that fast, not) and the traditionally dimpled surface gives good grip on the needle. The other advantage, not being the slenderest of ladies, is that it comes in small, medium and large.
But what other options are out there? I hear a lot of sewers say they can’t or don’t like using a thimble but end up with punctured fingers. Thimble Pads may be the thing for you. Small discs of leather which stick to your finger rather than covering the whole end of your finger. I’ve been told that these will survive being stuck to a coffee cup, through a dishwasher and was still good to use! They also conveniently stick to your machine so you always know where they are.
There are leather thimbles which are tough enough to protect but with some flexibility. I also have a couple of plastic protectors which, I have to say, I don’t get on with but you might find worth a try.
If you find a thimble uncomfortably then one tip is to wear the thimble whilst around the house. You’ll soon get used to it and it will help against injury and worse yet, blood stained quilts!
But I think it’s time to return to sewing. Where did I put my thimble?