Today over at Quiltville, Bonnie Hunter is talking about hand quilting and thimbles. If you don't follow her blog you might want to check it out. She travels all over the country speaking to quilt guilds, doing trunk shows and doing quilt workshops. She is also the author of several quilting books. She has asked her readers to share their preferences for thimbles on their blogs and then link up so that is what I am doing.
I have tried several different thimbles over the years for hand quilting and other hand sewing. I just don't like the feel of metal thimbles or at least I haven't found one that I like. Many years ago I tried the thin leather thimbles with a little disk of metal at the finger tip and liked them well enough but they wear out rather quickly. As I was browsing around a fabric store one day I found a leather thimble that was heavier and sold by Dritz. I found I really liked it and used it for several projects.
Then I went through about 5 years of not having time to quilt much of anything so I kind of forgot about thimbles. When I got back into quilting and wanted to do some hand quilting I could no longer find those thimbles. Luckily, the internet had arrived and I did some searching online and found Finger's Friend! I ordered one and was so happy to find that they were just like the one I got from Dritz. I got busy quilting but because I am left-handed, my ring finger kept hitting the velcro and got sore and also caused the velcro to start coming away from the leather. I emailed the folks at Finger's Friend asking if they could sew the velcro to the leather and also asked if they could make a left-handed one. They now sew the velcro on and make a left-handed thimble (not sure if it was because of me but glad they made the changes!).
I love this thimble because it adjusts to my finger (I don't know about you but some days my fingers are thinner than others). They do wear out over time (I actually wear holes through the metal inside the thimble) but I use the worn ones for sewing bindings and other hand- sewing and use newer ones for hand quilting.
These pictures show a new one in the package, a slightly used one for hand quilting and the well-used one for other hand sewing.
When I was at my sister's recently, I brought some bindings for hand-sewing but forgot my thimble. I tried using one of my sister's metal thimbles but it just wasn't comfortable so I had to limit my hand sewing to one binding per day.
One funny thimble story: My little poodle, Lucy, loves leather. So much so that we can't get her rawhide toys because she gets downright nasty if you get too close. She can smell my leather thimbles a mile away and used to keep an eye on me when I was using one and if I got up to answer the phone or get a snack or whatever and didn't put the thimble where she couldn't get it, she would be up in a flash and steal it! When I went back to my hand work I would look for my thimble and then have to go find the dog. Usually, she would take them into the bedroom and hide them under a pillow for later but sometimes she would have them all soggy from chewing on them. She only ruined one so it couldn't be used. If she had stolen one I would ask her where it was and she would sheepishly lead me to the hiding place. She also likes the little leather sheaths for my Gingher embroidery scissors and one time took one with the scissors in it! The funny thing is we found the sheath but I still haven't found the scissors! Miss Lucy turned 12 a few days ago and she still sniffs my finger when I am using the thimble but isn't as likely to try to steal it! She looks so innocent here, doesn't she?