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Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Open Thimbles Saves Fingers!

 


Who woulda thunk it? I am using a thimble! I have never used a thimble in my life – except once, in a trial-and-error-this-thing-is-ridiculous situation. I’ve always found thimbles awkward and clunky. My grandmother used to use one, and I suppose that it’s just a matter of getting used to the things before they become second nature. But I’ve never gotten used to them, and I’ve never had much use for them.

Lately, while working with a tiny needle (it’s always the tiny needles that get you!), I developed what seemed to be a permanent hole in the side of my first finger where I habitually push on the eye of the needle as it enters the fabric. In the past, I’ve dealt with this little sink hole (which the needle invariably locates and enters without compunction!) with a dab of superglue. See, my Dad has always sworn by superglue for these types of things. Superglue, in my house, cures all kinds of skin cuts – from chapped and splitting winter skin to paper cuts… to needle holes. Think “Big Fat Greek Wedding” and Windex, only for us, it’s superglue. But it’s not the best thing to put on skin, and it takes forever for the skin to soften up after it’s been superglued.

When hand quilting, I’ve used leather thimbles, but I always find them awkward and bulky. And they aren’t that great when working with finer silk embroidery threads, as the threads tend to catch on them.

Open Thimble for Embroidering

And then, I met this thing. Yes, it’s a thimble, and yes, it’s hard and round and not the most comfortable thing to wear on one’s finger, but it’s a sight more comfortable than a regular thimble, and it’s a lot easier to work with.

The thimble above is open at the top so that the finger tip is exposed, but the sides are protected. The metal thimble is covered with a skin of yellow rubber-like material, so that the needle doesn’t slip on the metal of the thimble.

Open Thimble for Embroidering

These open thimbles come in three sizes – small, medium, and large – and I found that the medium fits very well right over my first finger, and down to the first knuckle. It covers perfectly the spot that takes the eye of the needle in the side of the finger. The funny thing is, I think most people use thimbles on their middle fingers, don’t they? But it’s the pointer finger on my hand that needs help!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m still not a gung-ho thimble user, and I’ll probably never use one full-time. And this one does take some getting used to, but I’ve found it less awkward than a full thimble. It’s perfect for when I need it. Last night, thanks to my Little Rubbery Yellow Finger Buddy, I successfully maneuvered a tough spot that involved sunk goldwork threads and tiny stitches – with nary a needle sliding into the skin. That’s when I was convinced that this open thimble is a handy tool to have in the needleworker’s box.

And that brings me to some questions: Do you use a thimble? Have you ever used a thimble? Do you like using thimbles? Do you have any recommendations for using thimbles? And, if you do use a thimble, at what point in your needleworking life did you start using it? Did you use one from the beginning, or did you pick it up later on? For some reason, I’ve got this idea that if you learn to sew with a thimble, a thimble is the most natural thing in the world. But if you don’t learn with one, then the thimble is a foreign object that the body wants to reject. What do you think? Leave a comment! We want to know!

And this morning, I’m on my way back to reality. After a good bit of snow and bitter cold (with the first two days of school after vacation cancelled!), it’s time to head back to school. The fact that it’s below zero this morning doesn’t make that proposition too appealing. Nevertheless, I shall brave the elements and go to work! E-mail responses over the next couple days might be a bit slow, but if you do drop me a line and I can’t respond right away, I’ll catch up with you by the weekend. Have a terrific Wednesday!

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(125) Comments

  1. I started sewing using a thimble in the sixth grade (1963 or so). My home economics teacher insisted that we use them and she told us “ladies use thimbles.” We put the thimble on our ring finger. In my case as I am right handed, I put it on my right hand ring finger and used that thimbled finger to push the needle through the fabric. I became fairly proficient but as time went by and the thimble was not always available, I lost the habit. Time to get reacquainted, I guess!

    Best regards,
    Peggy

  2. That’s funny about the “foreign object”! I know what you mean, coincidently I just bought one for myself the day before yesterday and when I tried to use it yesterday I couldn’t quite figure out whether to put it on my thumb or index finger! I was trying to push the needle through a few layers of quilted fabric and elastic, the thimble protected my finger but I bent my needle 🙁

  3. When I was about 6 my mother and grandmother taught me to thread a needle and I started hand sewing. I think I was trying to make doll clothes. They gave me a thimble to keep from sticking myself. Then, watching me, they started laughing because I would have the needle on my middle finger, but push with my index finger. I have never used a thimble since, though sometimes I wish I could. Two days ago, I was lacing some silk onto a frame, when I looked down to see blood spots, rather large ones, on the edge of the fabric. Guess I had jabbed myself with the dagger of a lacing needle and not really noticed. I know what you mean about the stinky little needle finding the same hole in your skin. Be careful on the ice. We still have a lot here.

  4. I actually found something called Thimble-It- self adhesive plastic pads that you stick on the perforated spot. They’re made by Colonial, and I got them at Hobby Lobby for $5.89. They work for me; I find actual thimbles awkward to work with.

  5. Hi Mary,

    I agree with you with all the above about thimbles.
    I’m yet to find the right one; my biggest complaint is the fit, most thimbles will not stay on my finger.
    I would be interested in trying this one; could
    you give us the source as to where to purchase?

    Thanks,
    Teri

  6. Hi there Mary,

    Well, as a little girl at school taught embroidery and needlework, not using a thimble.

    Left home and off to teacher training college to teach Needlework and Tailoring. All my tutors were horrified that I had never been taught to se/embroider etc with a thimble………..It was a huge cardinal sin in their book!! They stated that it helped you control your stitching etc and I must use one immediately.

    Suffice to say, at first I absolutely hated it……felt that I had more control over my stitching without one. However, soon, I did realize that they were right, or so it seemed to me. That was back when I was the ripe age of 18. I am coming up to 54 and guess what, whenever handsewing or smocking etc the first thing I do is put my old fashioned thimble on; quite simply I hate sewing without one and wouldn’t go back…………..

    I was back home for Christmas and my twinsister gave me some hand sewing repairs to do.Was I glad that I took a little padded envelope along with me………..thimble, scissors and a little supply of needles.

    For me, it has to be work with a thimble.

  7. You’re correct … if you are taught from the beginning to use a thimble, chances are you’ll always use one.

    However there is always that chance of a small needle can puncture the skin and that is not good.

    There are little stickums that can be used, too … but everything is difficult to get used to, if a thimble was never part of the package.\

    Rambling …

  8. HI MARY.
    I am a lifelong thimble user, but I lose them and at the moment am using bandaids.
    I also use those little suedelike circles to
    pull the needle through. I discovered them while quilting at my church.
    Plus, I have those awful cracking, splitting
    fingers which I have to bandage and then use
    rubber gloves, antibiotics etc and OH Damn.
    I wish there were a solution like super glue;
    There is something on the markaet, which has
    skin in the title,but somehow I haven’t stayed with it. Something about it not being very good for my skin.
    I also have icy cold hands in the cold weather. Reynaud’s Disease. So I am doing a lot of
    planning and sketching and waiting for Spring,
    which by my calculations is 68 days away.
    Thanks for your wonderful presence,
    Marcia

  9. I would be willing to give a thimble a try if you can tell me where to purchase this bright yellow thing. I am still healing my index finger tip from removing a machine embroidered design that did not come out as anticipated. I actually probably need a closed one–but maybe baby steps–open to closed and I might make the transition.

    Thank you for keeping us informed of the new products you find. I love to collect gadgets…don’t all sewers.

    Patti

  10. My mother always used a thimble, but when she taught me to sew, I could not get the hang of it because my fingers were too small and the thimble got in the way. So I got out of the habit and haven’t used one since. I had a little plastic thimble that was okay and I used for awhile, but I lost it and no other has worked for me. However, at 50-something, my right index finger is showing a lot of wear and tear, so maybe I should try it again. Or not.

  11. Don’t intentionally apply Superglue to your skin! Those who find thimbles awkward can also try a product called New-Skin Liquid Bandage, which paints on and works similarly to the Superglue idea, but without the toxicity and removal issues. You can find the small bottles at every drug store.

  12. Dear Mary,

    thanks for your nimble-thimble article.

    I always use a thimble for sewing (not for embroidery), I absolutely can’t sew without one of those closed metal things on my middle finger. BUT I invariably push the needle with my ring finger, with the exception of extremely tough cases, were the thimble goes into action once in a while.

    Best weird regards,
    Sabine

  13. I’m like you, have never like thimbles but for the same reason, I’ve just started investigating them to find a style that’s comfortable. I like to be able to feel the fabric under my fingers, but the little hole can get painful. In the past, when it’s got bad, I’ve just a fabric plaster

  14. Just had to comment here – I don’t use a thimble either. But I do use these:
    http://tinyurl.com/4w6vafu
    I find these tiny little sticky leather pads locally at Hancocks and use them religiously! Sure saves having that “hole” in the finger! lol
    Barbara in TN

  15. I started using the timble about 5 years ago and hated it initially. I don’t dislike it so much now. The timbles available here are open at the top. I use it with the tiny crewel needles and my fingers are grateful!!!

  16. Hi Mary, I don’t use a thimble for most sewing or embroidery but do use one for quilting. As I am very sensitive to nickel, metal thimbles do not work and I have been experimenting with others. The leather thimbles with the plastic insert work, as do the sticky patches that Rene mentioned. However, I wonder if you have ever seen yubinuki, the japanese take on thimbles. One more thing (in fake chinese accent a la the Jackie Chan cartoon) that I want to try!

    Karen

  17. Well, I’ve been used using a thimble since I was a child! You should get into the habit when you are young. It is like a second skin for me, and I often sew during the afternoon, hear the clock and rush to school for the children (yes I set the clock for school time otherwise I do not realise it’s time), and when I am there I realise that I still have the thimble on my ring finger. And yes I put it on ly ring finger, as I take my needle with three fingers my middle finger is busy. So that’s why I can hardly find small thimbles my size.

  18. Love your yellow thimble! I was taught at primary school aged about 7 to use a thimble. We were all presented with one to keep for ever – and they became our pride and joy kept safe (in my case) in my needlework tin. Thing is I was dreadful at sewing and this continued through all my home economics classes at senior school. Then, many years later I discovered embrodiery and haven’t looked back! I sometimes use a open topped silver thimble which I love and do have my Mother’s and Grandmother’s too. Thank you making me remember my start to sewing – thank goodness I improved because I did enjoy it despite being all thimble and thumbs!
    Regards, Jane

  19. Funny you should say that most people wear a thimble on their middle finger, I was looking for a good thimble for my ring finger. I’m left handed and the bit of skin next to my fingernail on my right ring finger really gets a lot of abuse, sometimes I have to give up stitching for a while until it heals again. I tried a quilting thimble but it was far, far too big. I’ve never tried a “normal” thimble as I don’t know what size I’d need and you can’t try them in my local craft shop!

  20. Do I use a thimble? Well, in the “trial-and-error-this-thing-is-ridiculous” sort of way, I guess I would have to say yes. But I left it at that, despite the painful push-the-needle-through-finger sometimes. Then I scrolled down and saw your funny yellow rubbery thing thimble, and I do have to say yes when needed. I don’t have one like that (have never seen one like that, either), but I do have a similar contraption. Years ago several places (a few stores, and more websites) had ‘reproduction’ thimbles. There was the reproduction Roman thimble, which looked like a slightly elongated half dome — and looked like it would tumble right off if you tried to use one. There were several others that I don’t remember, but then there was the reproduction Medieval thimble that looked like a wide, clunky ring that only slid a little ways down your finger. I bought one, and I’m glad I did because all these odd thimbles disappeared totally very soon after. This “Medieval reproduction” works the same way as your funny yellow topless thimble — so, when necessary, I get out my clunky ring thimble.

  21. Hi Mary,

    I have never liked thimbles, and put up with sore fingers until I found one which is not quite a full circle (so it adjusts a little. On the side opposite the opening it is about 1/2″ deep, andaround the opening it narrows to about 1/10″. The dimples are only on the widest part. I like to wear it on the middle joint of my 2nd finger, so I can push with the strength of my arm, rather than just a finger, which is useful when using heavy fabrics.

  22. Does anyone know where I can find (online) one of the handy dandy open thimbles Mary has pictured today? Thanks a bunch!

    1. I have found open thimbles at Hancock Fabrics and Jo-ann’s so they should be available there at the on-line store.

  23. Mary:
    I, too, have never found a thimble comfortable, as they are all too big. I have used a leather thimble-type thing, and it was okay – but still too big. Then I discovered little suede pads with stick’em on one side. They are only about 1/4″ wide, thin, and can be taken off, put back on the plastic sheet they come on, and used over and over and over. While they probably won’t work for delicate silk threads that may catch on them, they are great for most of my sewing and embroidery, as I can position one -or more- exactly where I need them. I cannot remeber the name (I am at work) but I do recall that I bought them at my local quilt shop. Wonderful things!

  24. Hi again.
    It occurred to me that your readers might want more info. It is called an adjustable ring thimble. Mine is made by Clover. I just found one on a U.K. patchwork supplies website for £2.20.

  25. I started sewing when I was about 7 using the leftover peices my mom had when she was making quilts. But being a child, I quickly lost interest. Last July is when I took up sewing/embroidery/quilting again and kept poking myself with the needle. I asked my mom for a thimble (I’m only 17), and she laughed. She had gotten rid of all her thimbles because she couldn’t use it to save her life. We raided my grandmother’s sewing box, and lo and behold, there were about 5 different sized thimbles. Only none of them fit because I guess I have weird fingers. Maybe I’ll ask my mom to buy some superglue…

  26. I learned to quilt using a thimble, and quilting is so hard on the fingers it is hard to do it without one. At one point I wore a hole through the thimble I was using! But for every day embroidery or sewing I don’t use one. I wear it on the middle finger of my sewing hand.
    Jane

  27. I always use a thimble but am on a mission to find the perfect one. I will give this style a try. Thanks for posting it 🙂

  28. I think you are right, using a thimble is an acquired habit. I started using one early on and today I cannot even sew on a button without using a thimble. I have small hands, so when I do happen upon a source of small thimbles, I usually buy one or two. Be safe on those icy roads, and keep warm.

  29. I embroidered up a storm last month. I ended up with many holes in my pointer finger. I’m taking a sashiko class too so I think a thimble is in my future. They just have felt too awkward in the past.

  30. I use a leather thimble. After trying many, many different kinds, even different kinds of leather ones over the years, I now am so comfortable in the leather one that I sometimes forget I have it on and notice it after I’ve finished my stitiching. I am much better about using a thimble now that I used to be, but then I have more time to stitch at this point. I wear my thimble on the middle finger of my right hand as that’s the finger I use to push the needle. I don’t use the open ended thimble because I use the tip of my finger to push the needle.

    I’m selt-taught and picked up wearing a thimble after sticking myself often enough to make my finger sore.

  31. I hate thimbles as well; didn`t grow up using one and not feeling it…however SOMETHING is needed when pushing a leather needle thru leather (I haven`t found the need for using a thimble for e3mbroidery yet) Many times I have resorted to using a coin as a pushing-shield so the hole-in-finger doesn`t happen…

  32. Never did acquire either the knack or habit of using a thiimble. However, one of my dearest treasures is the child size silver thimble my mother was taught to use as a child — she did use a thimble and was still doing needlework right up to the day she died at age 85.

  33. Who would have thought! My surgeon superglued me two incisions instead of sutures!
    I, too, have a little trouble with thimbles but do find them necessary sometimes. One trick is to be sure you get one that fits properly, then it stays put.

  34. I’m not a thimble user. Like Teri, my problem is finding one to fit. The one I have is sloppy even on my middle finger. Part of the reason is that I wear my nails long. Shorter these days than I used to but they still extend beyond the tips of my finger so I’ve always thought a topless thimble would be a good idea. Since I began stitching two-handed on a frame and stand, I’d don’t get as many needle holes as when I stitched in hand but on the odd occasion that I do, I reluctantly resort to the thimble.

    I resently made a Japanese thimble that fits my middle finger perfectly but I have not attempted to use it yet.

  35. I love my thimbles, the best of which belonged to my grandmother. With it on my middle finger, I manipulate the fabric and needle with my index finger, then use the thimbled one just for pushing the needle. Most people choose a thimble that is too big. It should stick tightly on the tip of your finger, which should not touch the end of the thimble inside. Quilting forced me to begin and now I use it for all needlework. It has been stuck on my finger for about 25 years now.

  36. Just wanted to say thanks so much for all of your ideas and help. I do use a thimble some, I am also interested in where you purchased that one. I have never seen one like that.

    Thanks,

    Sharon

  37. Like you, I am an anti thimble person – silly thing is, I have a thimble collection !!!

    I have never been able to get used to one – if I put it on one finger, then I would use another one. So I made holes in my finger also – never thought to use super glue !!!

    You might like to try a Yubinuki – a Japanese thimble. it goes on the finger between the top and middle joints, somewhat like your yellow one. Usually the middle one, but would be Ok where you like it, I think.

    If you like, I will make one for you. Just let me know – and how and where to send it.

    Peg

  38. I couldn’t help but laugh when I read your “thimble” article…you see, my mother and grandmother were quilters..my mom started quilting about age 9 and of course she learned to use a thimble, so did we. My baby sister uses hers on her 1st finger, I am a middle finger user., my next oldest sister is a on and off user.. she put it on to push and takes it off to load..( she doesn’t do a lot of sewing and finds it akward)…but why it was funny, my mom passed away at 79, due to a problem that caused her to be less than mobile in her later years, she sewed more and more, always by hand…we have seen her cooking with her thimble because she would forget she had it on…it really was a part of her…so when we were making her arrangements we gave the funeral director her rings and her thimble to put on her, because she knew my mom this was not even strange and when we talked with people at the viewing, the comment was “Oh good, Maxine has her thimble” after all it was a part of her and every one that knew her understood…we still get comments about it after 2 years. but I can’t imagine sending her off, without the one thing that helped her do what she loved ….I hope you learn to at least like your thimble, but don’t despair, you do beautiful work, and thimbles just aren’t for everyone.

  39. Yes “ladies” of my generation used thimbles. A wonderful gift was a sterling silver thimble, child sized, with one’s name engraved on it. (my 6th birthday) Back in the olden days of needlepoint, a thimble, worn on the middle finger of the dominant hand was a necessity for pushing the needle through the canvas. My grandmother always wore one, middle finger, right hand. (darning socks, etc.) My father swore she never took it off, and it was handy for thumping naughty boys’ heads.

  40. Oh dear Mary. why is my comment awaiting moderation???

    Something wrong with what I have said??

    If so – sorry.

    Part of my collection contains some little Japanese thimbles that also sit in the middle of the finger – made of leather – I haven’t tried to use them, but would sit nicely where you would like them, and are not as bulky as your yellow one.

    Peg

  41. Hi, I laughed at your description of superglue as a cure-all!! I have taken classes with a wonderful quilt designer who does lovely minute stitches in her applique work…her name is Patricia McLaughlin…check out her website…anyway she recommends using a small piece (strip) of bandaging…the kind of stretchy, sticky bandaging used for horse’s legs in competions…you just cut a small piece out, wrap it around the desired finger the required amount of times and sew. No need to worry about size, the fabric sticks to itself and it’s a bright colour, easy to find if dropped, and just discard when you feel it’s done enough…it is reusable…and a whole roll is not exspensive (But there is an awful lot of it on a roll!)…even better if you know someone who has horses…some needlework shops sell it as well in small packages…and you just cut a strip the size you need…probably about 1/2 inch by 3 inches or less…Ihave tried it and thimbles and it’s a bit easier than a thimble as it doesn’t come off when you move your hand about…so something to think about…great blog, I look forward to it daily, Ursula

  42. I was taught to sew, crochet and knit by my
    Grandmother. She gave me a silver metal thimble, which I have to this day. I wore that thimble on my finger everytime I did any hand work and do to this day. I always wanted to make the beautiful things my Grandmother did. I thought as a small girl that thimble would make my things turn out just as beautiful as my Grandma’s did. I still wear that thimble today everytime I do handwork, because I feel my Grandma’s spirit with me and I remember how wonderful she was everytime I look at that thimble. It is worn and some of the silver has turned to a strange color where my finger has worn it down…..but if the house were on fire and I only could save one sewing thing…it would be that thimble.

  43. Mary,
    I’ll be 64 in a few weeks, and I’m still trying to learn to use a thimble. I hang our with a bunch of quilters who are open minded enough to let me do my own stitching at their quilting meetings. They all use thimbles, and keep telling me that I should too. I’ve tried the metal kind, little stick on kinds, leather thimbles, rubber thimbles – the whole thing. I get holes in my fingers too, and yes – I’ve used super glue. None of the experiments have worked yet. I suppose if I actually try doing a quilt, I may change my mind, but in the meantime – no thanks.

    Nancy

  44. Like you, I had always found thimbles awkward. My grandmother seemed to always have one on her finger. I was thumped on the head enough to think it had permanently grown to her hand. That was her way of getting my attention if she thought I was not stitching, crocheting, etc. properly. And then I started a sewing related business when I was in my early 40s. Lots of hand sewing. My finger couldn’t stand up to 5 or 6 hours of sewing per day, so I had no choice. It took about a week to feel comfortable with the thimble, but now I can’t work without one. So now I collect – and use – beautiful antique ones.

  45. The comment about thimbles not staying on the finger made me think. I always wondered why the ones in the fabric store were sold in sets of 3 of different sizes. Now that I use one all the time, I’ve learned that my finger changes sizes with temperature. The thimble I used yesterday when I was nice and toasty warm won’t stay on today if it’s cool in the house. I found an antique French thimble a few years ago. It is very tall. I can use it all the time, no matter the temperature because my finger can slide further into it when cold and not so far when warm. A perfect solution. Why aren’t they all made that way?

  46. oh wow,thankfully I´m not strange (ref Peggy)- when using a thimble have always placed it on my ring finger although was taught it was supposed to be the MIDDLE finger! Only use it when the “hole” develops – too terrified to use superglue, Mary! Would hate to land up in hospital with an infection.
    If I ever find an open-end one as you mention, would try it with crocheting – would safeguard my index finger from getting scraped. Wonderful invention, I guess. Keep well.

  47. My mother taught me to use a thimble on my middle finger; index steers, middle pushes. As long as I keep my fingernails short the thimbles fit fine. I currently use three different sizes, depending on how puffy my fingers are at the time. The ones I inherited from my mom are sizes 8(hers) & 10(her mother’s). The one she gave me when I started sewing is simply “s”. I like them snug enought to stay put, but loose enough to not cut off circulation, so all three are in regular rotation. Yes, I usually leave them in the sewing box, but when force is needed they’re my best friends.

  48. My mother couldn’t sew unless she had a thimble on. Needless I thought it was a lot of stuff. Who couldn’t sew without a thimble, right? So I went my merry way sewing without a thimble until the day I put the back end(eye) of the needle, thread and all deep into my thumb. I tell you that made me a believer real fast. So now like good old mom, I can’t sew unless I use a thimble too. My problem was keeping it on. My daughter suggested using a small thin strip of tape around my finger before putting the thimble on. It works great. I was getting quite a collection of thimbles that just didn’t work until she suggested it. I use it on my middle finger but sometimes think I need it on the first finger too. Did you know Jinniy Beyer uses a thimble on both hands while she is quilting? Amazing.

  49. That little yellow finger buddy just jumped to the top of my wish list. Several years ago, i was looking for a perfect thimble for quilting and I bought a batch of thimbles on eBay. Two of them turned out to be tailor’s thimbles with the open top. They became my favorite thimbles because of how they fit low on the finger and the “ventilation” of the open top. I like the added rubbery part on your thimble. Where can I pick one up?

  50. I’ve used a thimble for hand sewing forever. But not the closed top kind — the open top kind. But for embroidery it’s not the best — too clunky.
    I’ve been trying to design a soft covered thimble that fits the top of the finger, using various grades of leather — mostly from old kid gloves. I’ve almost got it right!
    I’ve also tried a type of plastic or rubber thimble that looks just like the closed top metal thimble, which seems like a great idea if it fits right. It’s soft and somewhat pliable. I found it at my local fabric shop. Unfortunately it still slips off.

  51. I have quite a collection of thimbles and they’re collecting a nice layer of dust. I’ve tried the metal, plastic, leather, round, flat, whatever and none of them feel comfortable. When I quilt, I use my bare finger and yes, it gets sore after awhile. I’d be willing to try this one. I need my finger tips to grasp the needle and pull it through. But I’d like to protect my finger while pushing the needle through the layers.

  52. I don’t really like using a thimble either, but, when that little hole starts forming, I reach for the mole skin dots. I’m at work and I don’t remember the name on the package, but that’s all they are is mole skin dots with adhesive on the back. They’re only about 1/4″ in diameter, maybe smaller. I reuse them until the adhesive wears out. They last pretty good and don’t get in my way when stitching, although occasionally the thread gets hung on them. Still, it’s better than wearing a thimble.

    I have a whole array of thimbles I’ve collected over the years, including some that look like the ones in your post. I like my clover thimble that is open, except that it extends up above my fingernail with a part that looks like a fingernail. I like this one for hand quilting. But when I put on a thimble for needlework, I find myself avoiding using that finger to sew as it makes me feel clumsy. I sometimes wear a small one on my ring finger, just for pushing the needle through on tough spots. I applique with a straw needle and you are so right about how that eye keeps finding the little hole it made in my finger in the prior stitch! Ouch! I had this happen just last night (I was too lazy to get up and get the mole skin dots) and I’m reminded about it every time I type with that finger.

    linny t

  53. My Grandmother, a dressmaker, used one all the time and I have both of her’s plus two more including one like your’s but no rubber and I can’t work out how to use any of them, although my ‘pushing’ finger wishes I could. Perhaps I’ll try the ring finger thing.
    Great Blog btw
    Cheers
    Bridged in London

  54. I normally only use a thimble when I’m doing regular hand sewing – fixing a rip or hemming. What I have is a thimble I bought a hundred years ago. It’s metal, but has a half flip top. What I mean is that half of the top is open with the lid bent up. It was for women who had long fingernails and were complaining that the thimbles wouldn’t stay on their fingers. I had long fingernails when I was younger so it made sense. I still use it when I sew even though I no longer keep my nails long.

  55. While I cannot get used to using a thimble all the time, I have a tailor’s thimble on my pin cushion for those times I really need to protect the little hole on my middle finger!! I like the sounds of your yellow rubber ducky thimble.

    I have an old sewing textbook, and for the 5-year olds they have a “routine” they practice each day — but they never actually stitch. It includes picking up thimble, place on finger, pick up needle, thread needle, put down needle, remove thimble……….

  56. I will use a thimble when my finger gets sore, or if sewing on heavy fabric. The side of my middle finger (toward the index finger) on my right hand is where the needle gets me. I always hold the needle between index finger and thumb, and push with the middle finger.

    My issue with thimbles is the the needle slips on the round sides, and it’s too uncomfortable to hold my middle finger so the needle is on the thimble’s flat end. They also don’t stay on well – it seems like they are too tapered, and I need a straighter one. I’ve never tried a thimble like yours though. I have thought about taking a bit of soft leather and making my own thimble though – just a loop of leather.

    Rebecca – sweet story about your grandmother and her thimble.

    I’ll have to check into some of the other options mentioned. And consider wearing one if only for the better “thumping” ability.

  57. Hi Mary,
    My mother was a thimble user.She taught me the thimble would save me a lot of pain. I didn’t think so until one day while sewing, the needle found the hole in the tip of my finger. Since then I have been a closed top thimble user. I like using a thimble, I don’t know if it’s mind over matter, but my work seems to be more enjoyable without all the “Oh ow, darn!”times.I started using a thimble when I was in my late twenties (many moons ago).It took me a while to adjust and stop procrastinating about the whole thing, though. I remember seeing the thimble on my mother’s finger as she sewed;it seemed to be so natural. Now my mother’s little silver thimble has become most natural for me. I never do needlework or sew without it.

  58. Hi Mary,

    I use a thimble very, very rarely and I’ve been embroidering since I was about 7. My question is, where did you buy that thimble? If I could find it locally I might give it a try. It would be nice to have one that’s comfortable when I do need to use one.

  59. Mary,
    I’ve always used a thimble… for embroidery and for hand sewing. I’ve been doing both for well over 60 years now. I embroidery and sew for hours on end and my fingers would be pulp without them. I think I own at least 20… one of every thimble type available and am always on the lookout for a different type. Different types of thimbles are used for different jobs. And yes, I love the one with the hole in the top for a lot of embroidery and hand sewing. Keeps the finger from getting sweaty and the thing falling off and still protects, IF you’re pushing the needle from the side, as I’m usually doing for hand sewing a hem or lining in or doing a running or outline or stem stitch.
    I’ve tried the stick-on pads and such, too, but they don’t stay in place on my hands for very long…. I “poke” rather vigorously at my work at times and sometimes my hands sweat too much I guess. I have to wash my hands frequently to keep what I’m working on clean…. like at least once an hour. The backs of my hands also tend to get very dry… both from working on certain fabrics which dry out the skin and now the bitter cold winter we’ve been having, so I also have to use a very light and non-staining or sticky cream when I’m sewing or doing embroidery. I like what I call “cow” cream because of the cow-spotted jar or tube it comes in. It’s actually named “Udderly Smooth” and available everywhere for very little cash. It soaks in immediately and I can get right back to work after I’ve washed my hands and my hands aren’t sticky and also the thimble stays put.
    A note about over-poked sore fingers…. try putting “liquid bandage” on them until they heal. It’s available at any drug store. It “breathes” a little and can be reapplied as often as you need it to be….several times a day until the “hole” or crack heals over.
    Tess

  60. Hi Mary
    I was ‘encouraged’ to use a thimble when I first began sewing but like you, I found them clunky & more of a hindrance than a help! However when I began bullion roses, I found that like you again, the needle made & constantly found a hole in my forefinger. A plaster didn’t help either! I also found that my finger was also getting wet with ‘sweat’ … even in winter.
    However, the BEST tool in my basket now, apart from my needle threader 🙂 … is my lovely soft kid thimble that literally fits like a glove! It’s not only VERY soft, but it has a fine piece of steel inside that’s somehow also covered with kid, so the steel doesn’t directly touch the finger. I don’t use it every time I stitch, but there are certain times that my hand automatically goes fishing for it’s little box in my basket!
    These are more commonly available now, but it’s not as easy to find them as soft as mine. I’ll be buying a ‘spare’ if I ever find one of the same quality again!
    Cheers, Wendy

  61. Hiya Mary – Yes, I think you’re right …. if you are taught to sew with a thimble, you can’t do without it. I find that some people think I came out of the ark ‘coz I use one – and not a lot do. I’ve tried most types but my biggest problem these days (as I’ve grown older) is that with arthritic knuckles it is difficult to get the little sods to stay on. They’re continually falling off and I’m continually grovelling around the floor trying to find them. That makes me cranky and I end up with holes in my fingers …. and yes, I have always used it on my middle finger. Thanks for a wonderful site.

  62. I got a kick out of this post:
    Don’t intentionally apply Superglue to your skin! Those who find thimbles awkward can also try a product called New-Skin Liquid Bandage, which paints on and works similarly to the Superglue idea, but without the toxicity and removal issues. You can find the small bottles at every drug store.
    Cindy Schaufenbuel – January 12, 2011 8:23 am

    If you can’t find it a drug store, check at your local bowling alley pro shop, but it isn’t easy to remove either but it will sure seal up a ripped open bowlers thumb and it usually comes with some gauze patches too. FYI it will sting if the skin is broken open. Used to put it on and then blow on it like mad but once dry you could finish the game/s.

  63. Ooops – hit the ‘send’ button before I had finished. Thought you might like to know that I have (& use when I can) a silver thimble that belonged to my grandmother. When my Mum was a child and they lived in a certain house, Ma’s thimble was lost. They left that house but about 5 years later returned to live in it again. While playing under the house my Mum found the thimble again – so we feel it deserves a special place in the family history.

  64. When I began hemming and embroidering, my Grandma always asked me if I had a thimble and thought it was w rong not to use one s well. I did not use a thimble until I began quilting.d I was constantly having the eye side of the needle poke into my finger and it became painful to work. I have tried several, but found that the cheap metal old fashioned thimble from the fabric store suits me just fine. I have now been using one for almost 30 years and it seems to be apart of my finger. When I started, it felt like an odd appendage that made my finger sweaty and now I love to use a thimble and have no more probems with holes in my fingers even if i sew or quilt through the thickest of denims, let alone when I stitch through aida or linen. You will need a few weeks to get used to it, and you may have to struggle to find one you really like but it is better than having a hole in your finger. Debbie

  65. I could never get on with thimbles, so I made myself some using fairly wide elastic and then sewing leather onto the outside. I only use them for the tiny needles and they help me grip them too. I can’t use any of the bought ones, but I may try the open ended one

  66. I’ve used a thimble all my life. I didn’t know you could sew without one. The one problem with thimbles with a top is if your nail is too long. The nail make the fit awkward.
    I never used a laying tool when I first started stitching; now I wouldn’t be without it.

  67. Only after my finger became sore, did I try a thimble and it was very awkward. Then I found “Thimble-It”! Small oval Self-adhesive Finger Pads. I actually cut them in half and round them and stick one right where it’s needed. They are re-usable several to many times and there’s no thimble to weigh down my finger.

  68. Hi Mary,

    I have occasionally tried thimbles, of various kinds, but I find them awkward and unnatural. But like you, I sometimes get holes in my fingers, especially from fine needles.

    Irene

  69. Mary: I noticed that you said you weren’t fond of the leather thimbles (my first recommendation) but was wondering: if you have a problem with a thimble fitting….have you ever tried licking the thimble finger before putting the finger into the thimble? After years of wearing a leather thimble and then getting a very pricey custom metal thimble, one day I left the custom metal thimble at home and I bought a cheap one in the quilt store I was in. Someone told me to wet my finger…and the rest is history!!!! Now I use the pricey thimble at home and have a cheap one in my travel case. Wish someone had told me this a long time ago. You should see the collection of different thimbles I’ve amassed since 1978 when I first started quilting.

  70. I’m a recent and reluctant convert to the thimble too. The reason? An 18th Century Quilted Petticoat I’m working on. Typically I bought several different types of thimbles and thimble related skin protectors. None has been much more than a qualified success, I keep changing fingers so I can impale my bare skin on the tiny quilting needle, and bleed all over the cream silk. Go figure!

    The standard quilting thimble has the most rigidity for pushing the needle through but the one I have is slightly too big and feels insecure. The clover one, which is a steel tip with a ridge around the edge and dimples for the needle on top of an orange rubber or silicone sleeve, which is scalloped to allow air to the fingers is a bit better, as is the half thimble that covers the fingertip at the front, but not the back. The little circular self adhesive leather patch is the most comfortable, but as the patch I’m trying to protect is the same bit where I grip the needle, it still feels awkward. The little stainless steel disc, also self adhesive which protects the bottom finger from perforation is great, and it helps with the rocking motion of quilting. The plastic ring with a shaped finger guard like an upside down fingernail, however, I can’t get on with. I’m going to keep experimenting until i have finished the petticoat, and then I MIGHT use them for other tough jobs, but nothing replaces the dexterity of ones fingertips.

  71. Yep, I use a thimble–the plain metal kind you get at Joann’s. I have always used my middle finger to push the needle through, so that’s where I wear it–I didn’t always wear one but I really find it helps with that painful sinkhole problem, and I can keep sewing much longer because my finger isn’t sore. I don’t *always* wear one–it depends on the job.

  72. I hate thimbles but I keep on trying to adjust. Bought a leather thimble but the needle went straight through. Bought one with a metal insert but keep missing the metal bit (!) and it slides off my finger. Then I tried an open metal one which is adjustable for size, but it keep pinching me AND it slides off:
    (Clover Open-Sided Thimble – Medium Adjustable, open top design allows moisture to evaporate and is suitable for long fingernails. £7.40
    http://www.cottonpatch.co.uk/acatalog/thimbles.html)

    Some of my quilting friends swear to a little plastic circle witch glues to your fingertip (or wherever you want to glue it) and can be used several times over. That will be my next step.
    (Thimble It Natural feeling, self-adhesive clear plastic pads for your underneath hand. Long-lasting, comfortable and convenient. £4.50
    cottonpatch.co.uk)

    Here’s some others I found on the net:

    http://www.quiltbus.com/Thimbles.htm
    Jelly Thimbles
    These little rubber thimbles come in four sizes and a variety of colors. They are soft and flexible, comfortably molding to your finger yet they resist the needle nicely.
    From $1.75 to $2.30
    ———- ——- ——
    http://www.cottonpatch.co.uk/acatalog/thimbles.html
    Sashiko Thimble £1.95
    Protects the base of the finger when using a long needle. (leather with open top)
    Best wishes for the new year to everybody

  73. I left a comment recently on the gold thimble I bought in a antique shop. Yes, I use it! I use a thimble when I will be repeatedly stitiching such as quilting or embroidery. When doing something as hemming pants I don’t bother with the needle unless the fabric is stiff or difficult to penetrate with the needle. I have used a leather one and it was okay. I don’t like the plastic ones. I find my fingernail is the biggest problem and it must be trimmed to allow the thimble to “seat” on my finger. This thimble you have featured will not require me messing up a manicure! Right, I don’t remember ever getting a manicure. I f I can find a thimble like this I will give it a try!
    Debbie

  74. WOW – another who woulda thunk it? That a thimble would generate such response! Such a humble little tool!

    Thanks so much for your input on your thimble experiences, everyone! I like this one – I’m getting used to it, for tricky (sticky) stitching situations. And it’s actually quite comfortable, but I think that’s because the top of my finger is exposed. It also fits somewhat snuggly – but without being constricting – so that reduces the awkwardness of it, too, I think.

    I picked up a small and a medium thimble at Wendy Schoen Designs, online, when I ordered my goldwork scissors. http://www.wendyschoendesign.com/

    Thanks again for all the input – it makes very interesting reading! I love the fact that some of you mention that you collect thimbles, but have never worn one! And the reminiscences about thimbles – some had me laughing, others made me think. So thank you for taking the time to comment!

    ~MC

  75. Mary, I have used a thimble since I started to do hand quilting many years ago. One of the main problems I found with thimbles is fit. I like the little leather one with the cap in the end, and also have used the long leather one for handquilting, but for needlework have found that there is nothing like a full thimble.

    I have a sashiko thimble as well and this is fantastic as it allows you to push with the inside of the finger in order to make the force of the needle go through the fabrics easier.

    I do not even embroider without one now.

  76. la misma respuesta ”un hermoso y delicado orificio en mi dedo.creo es algo de ser constante
    cuando me preocupo trabajo muy bien con uno bien antiguo que era de una señora mayor.me despreocupo y estoy empujando la aguja con el otro dedo”
    en cuanto a la pregunta sobre el dedal con goma forrado”’no puedo saberlo”’por aqui seguro que no lo encuentro
    pero la idea hay que probarla
    cariños

    lidia

  77. Mary…I’m like you. I’ve hated thimbles because they were clumsy. I tried those stick on ones, but they didn’t stick very long and were easily lost. I’ve only been able to use the small black leather ones on my index(pusher) finger and sometime on my middle finger, but eventually the needle finds the little seam and gets me. I usually end up with a raw, poked, sore finger, so if you’ve found one that works….I’m willing to try it! You didn’t mention a brand name, though. Oh…for my middle finger…I have a “writer’s bump” that makes it hard to use a thimble, too. Anyone else have that problem?

  78. I love this thimble…where did you find it. I use thimbles all the time for hand sewing, quilting, etc….sometimes when doing some needlework….depending on the type.

  79. I like to use a leather thimble. I was a quilter for many years and there was a leather thimble that would wrap around your finger and I loved that. They don’t make them any more. I don’t like metal thimbles as my fingers sweat and feel uncomfortable. I usually end up taking them off and getting pricked!.

  80. Mary, I’m glad Kjersti Hill posted about the jelly thimbles. As a man, it has often been hard to find a thimble that fit. When I started quilting I realized quickly that I really needed one and started using leather thimbles. They never fit right. Then one day I found the jellies at my LQS. I’ve used them ever since. They fit well (and they will stretch a bit so get the one that’s smaller if you are “between” sizes”- it will fit well very soon), don’t slide off, and have just enough “give” that I can still feel the needle to have good control. I started using them for quilting but soon started using them for all my needley needs. I just had to decide I was man enough to wear such a cute little thimble LOL.
    Thanks again for sharing the 411 on the thimble you found!
    Nestor Magdalinsky

  81. Mary,

    I do use a thimble for some of my embroidery and always for hand sewing. Because of the way I hold my sewing, I got in the habit of using a different finger to push the needle through when I sew by hand and when I embroider. So, I have two favorite thimbles, one that is sized for each finger. I was also lucky enough to inherit both my grandmother’s and my great grandmother’s thimbles. If you hold my great grandmother’s thimble up to a strong light and look inside, you can see where the dimples have worn through completely, it was used often and well.

  82. Hi Mary,
    I learnt to sew with my mother who used to sew all our dresses – three girls. She used to swear by thimbles. I have never been able to use one, I find them the most uncomfortable things on earth, although I would like to be able to use one when I do applique, for example.

  83. I found a leather thimble after developing a similar hole in my finger. It serves perfectly, particularly as I hadn’t liked to use a thimble.
    The leather does wear, eventually, but it is very easy to make a new one out of a scrap of leather or the snug fingertip of an old glove.

  84. I am like you in finding super glue is my best friend other than chocolate and coffee. I try and try to use a thimble as if it was part of me and HATE IT. I have tried the little stick on ones, the clumsy leather ones, open face, brass tops, etc. I still can’t seem to get any of them to work with me when I am stitching.

    I too get “eaten alive” with the little needles and of all the thimbles on the market, still not one that “fits”. I use two when I am quilting and hand sewing. One of my left first finger as I keep getting stabbed and on the right middle from where the eye goes into the finger. My right thumb finally developed enough of a hard spot that the needle doesn’t bother there anymore. Even though I have several thimbles, I mainly use them when my fingers are screaming enough is enough… but my stitching becomes very ugly and uneven.

    I am a thimble hater with a passion as they hate me too. I don’t think I will ever adjust to one, but still determined as something has got to give somewhere.

  85. The moment I saw your thimble, I realized it was the sister of the only thimble I’ve ever been able to use successfully. While it’s a closed, covered thimble, it’s rubberized, like yours. And (oh, my!) it’s bright, bright blue!

    I’ve found that the rubberized coating helps keep the thimble on my finger. I have small hands, and other thimbles fell right off my finger.

  86. The word Thimbles always brigs smile to me..my son accidently came to know about them in dictionary and presented me with a pair of thimbles on my birth day…
    But i never use thimbles because my fingers dont fit and dont like the foreign objects..and more over i dont feel the movement of the needle while stitching..

  87. When I was in high school – many years ago – we were “required” to use a thimble when hand sewing. However whenever the teacher was not looking over my shoulder, I’d take the thimble off. Occasionally I would be caught without it on! I have never become accustomed to using one, and like you, I sometimes have a hole in my finger. When absolutely necessary, I will use something to push the needle through, but not a thimble. I do have several, but have no idea where they are.

  88. Hi Mary,

    I was interested in where to find instructions
    to make the yubinuke thimbles. One of the
    viewers, Peggy Kimble, commented on them and
    would like to get in touch with her, if possible.

    Thanks,
    Teri

  89. Hi Mary,

    You always bring a smile…I feel the way you do about thimbles (even though I have quite a collection of them and in every type of material they come in) and no, I have not found a reason, yet, to use one, but I am going to acquire the type you just wrote about as I may just find it useful someday. As always, thank you so much for all the tips and great information you offer. Your site has become my “stitching bible”.

    Warmest Regards,
    Chris

  90. I can’t manage to use a thimble either when sewing. I have found using a “Thimble-It”,( or half a “thimble-it”) overcomes the problem of having a sore finger which has been punctured by the needle , without any loss of dexterity..They are self adhesive pads, which can be reused over and over.

  91. I have tried a thimble before, but find them bulky & just basically yucky. An avid cross-stitcher for about 30 years, and now a Redwork revivalist, I use a ThimblePad on the middle finger of my right hand. They are the little round leather adhesive-backed thingies (a very technical term). They do have to be replaced from time to time, but I love them and find them very comfortable to use. PS~I love your video tutorials on embroidery stitches. I am going to learn to do a Colonial Knot.

  92. Yes, a thimble can be hard to get used to, but it is wonderful. I have a Roxanne thimble. It has an open top and deep dimples that keep the needle from sliding off and pricking you anyway. Someone told me that the best way to get used to it was to keep it on your finger all day through whatever tasks you do for a day or 2. That worked for me. Now I can’t pick up a needle and thread without putting on my thimble.

  93. I have tried a gazillion times to use a thimble and cannot use one. It feels like I have a Mack truck on my finger. Now, I will have to try and find one of these with the top cut out and see if maybe this will be the one. I even have a thimble collection that is quite large from all of the rejects.

  94. This is a very interesting topic to me. I have been hand stitching a hexagon quilt, and I know exactly what you mean about the little permanent hole in your finger. Mine is in my middle finger. I don’t use a thimble exactly because it is that “it doesn’t fit right” feeling. I have tried leather stick on dots, but I have to take them on and off so often that the cost ratio just isn’t good for me. I am looking for something the is cost effective, AND feels right for me.

  95. I’m another thimble hater and, despite my best efforts to try, also never got the hang of it. I just wrap a fat rubber band around my finger (not too tight, but tight enough to stay) and problem solved! Your little yellow friend is cute, though!

  96. Dear Mary, 

    I have a thimble collection. When I first received it I did some research on thimbles at the Winterthur Museum Library. You would not believe how many books there are on thimbles!!!

    One of the most Interesting facts I learned was that thimbles cut a woman’s stitching time in half!  Quite impressive. Thimbles come in sizes and I believe getting the right size for your finger is critical. Some thimbles in my collection are nesting thimbles designed for young girls as theiy grew. Also, when a young girl was successful in learning all her stitches, a gold thimble was frequently presented.  Many thimbles came in small jewelry “thimble” boxes and the thimbles were monogramed. “Mama”  “Annie to Minnie” or with three initials. 

    Sailors used thimbles to repair sails while at sea and I believe remains of thimbles were even found in the ruins of Pompeii!.  And of course there are commemorative thimbles and there were also advertising thimbles and political thimbles in bygone days. 

    The history and use of thimbles is far more interesting than I ever imagined. 

  97. Just stumbled onto this post. I definitely use a thimble a lot. I didn’t until I took up quilting and then, at a convention, discovered Roxanne thimbles. They come in a range of sizes and when you get a thimble that really fits well, WOW what a difference! Now I not only use them for quilting but also for much of my stitching- LOVE them! (Yes, “them”- after worrying about losing the one I had, I treated myself to a back-up.)

  98. I am on the side of the thimble-haters, although my mother who is a very fine dress-maker and quilter can’t pick up a needle without a thimble on her finger.

    I like the look of this little yellow baby – where does it come from? How can I get one for myself?

    1. Hi, Christina – I ordered mine from Wendy Schoen Designs (you can google it). Look under “notions.” There are two or three sizes, I think. It’s still like wearing a thimble, but I like having the top open. ~MC

  99. Mary, I am 84 years young, learned embroidery when I was 6 years old, was required to learn with a thimble by my Mom (my teacher), and have never looked back. I simply cannot do hand work without my thimble. Over the years I have tried a number of thimble designs including the one my Mom had me use. My most favorite one is the same as you have with one exception, it is all metal. It has never given me one moment’s trouble . . . . Maybe I have just worn down the rough edges. I have used this thimble from trapunto to quilting, to embroidery.
    Jane
    Georgia Gal

  100. I did not grow up using a thimble, and I too feel that it is an odd and uncomfortable accessory. I did resort to one when making a suit for my mother which I took to dizzying couture heights, right down to monogramming every piece with silk and gold thread, as well as microfine finishing on the hems, cuffs and facings pockets – everything that needed finishing. To this day needles still preferentially head for the weak spot where a definite hole developed before I started to use a thimble. Your yellow thimble sounds like a winner. My thimble was my grandmother’s originally and I dread the thought of losing it. New thimbles have illusions of holes where the needle may rest and do not work at all. I have taken heart and may purchase one or two of your yellow wonders – just in case. Meanwhile I enjoy memories of sitting at my grandmother’s knee learning embroidery!
    Regards
    Maggie

  101. Could you tell me, where you find this thimble?
    I’m using now a roxanne thimble for quilting but for hand sewing it is to thick this thimble. So i’m looking for a nice handy thimble for hand sewing.

  102. I’m officially classed as “elderly” now and have always used a thimble – since learning to sew as a small child.

    Most people find thimbles uncomfy because they think the needle should be pushed by the top of the thimble instead of the side. Thus, an open topped thimble does a good job, doesn’t press uncomfortably on your fingernail nor get slippery with sweat.

  103. I’ve been searching for open-ended thimbles. Do you know where I can find them? I used to be able to buy them by different sizes, now the few I find are s, m & l.
    Mother insisted I learn to sew using a thimble when I was a child so it’s like a natural part of my finger by now some 50+ years later!

  104. My mom insisted that I learn to embroider while wearing a thimble, to get me used to thimbles. She loves leather thimbles though. The customary hard-style finger armor was never introduced to me. I don’t think I would have ever warmed up to needlework w/out my flexible, leather thimbles. You should check them out!

    1. Hi, Kay – I got mine from Wendy Schoen Designs, but they’ve closed their shop. You might try a local quilt shop – quilting shops often carry a good selection of thimbles.

  105. I found your post while trying to look for a way to keep my fingers from getting poked with needles as I hand smocked. I have been smocking all weekend and when I smock that much, my ring, middle and index fingers all get sore because I am trying to change up so that one wont be so sore. All three of them are sore now! Was hoping to find some easy unique way of helping. I do not do well with thimbles as i find myself avoiding using the finger that it is on LOL
    Sure wish someone had an easy solution. thanks so much!

  106. Where can this type of thimble be purchased in the Jacksonville, Florida area? I would appreciate your help concerning this matter. Thanks

  107. I use a thimble all the time. When I began sewing I did not, but my grandma always asked me where my thimble was, as if I forgot it. When I only did a few stitches at a time it didn’t seem so important, but when I began quilting and tying quilts full time, I was constantly putting the eye of my needles into the tip of my middle finger. I finally realized the wisdom in my grandma’s insistence, even if she let me discover it on my own and didn’t force the issue. Now I carry one with me at all times and have them in different styles and sizes including a thumb thimble,
    an open thimble to use when you have long nails, a ring thimble with a small thread cutting hook, a leather thimble and my nickel granny thimble. My favorite is the old-fashioned metal one, but it is most important that your thimble fits the finger you plan to wear it on.

  108. Just what I’ve been looking for to replace one I’m missing?
    Have bought some but never quite the right fit. Can you find a way to measure the circumference of the widest part, on the bottom so I can be sure this one will fit.
    From where do I order and what is the cost, + shipping?
    Thank you SO much.

    1. Hi, Jackie – the shop I got mine at closed a few years ago. You might read through the comments to see if anyone has other suggestions. I know Colonial Needle sells Roxanne thimbles that are open at the top and quilters really seem to love them. They have a special procedure for measuring for them. You might Google Colonial Needle and read about them.

  109. I, too, have had difficulty using thimbles. I belong to a quilt guild and really need to use one. One of our ladies had an open top metal thimble and I tried it on. Didn’t seem too bad. I went online to try and find one when I discovered the little yellow wonder! I tried it at the group this morning and looks like I may have found my new buddy! She suggested getting a few different sizes for weather change, bloating, etc.

  110. I have read the comments with no clear indication of the right or wrong finger on which to place the thimble. My experience dates back to hand quilting with my mother in law. She insisted I use a thimble. She used one. In addition she used clear nail polish on her finger tips to harden them against the needle prick. It did not work and her fingers looked awful for weeks. Her hand quilting was beautiful but really took a toll on her fingers. C.

  111. Over 30 years ago I discovered an old fashioned silver metal open-top thimble. About 5 years ago it disappeared and since then I’ve been searching. I have long nails and this was perfect to go over the nail length and still stay on my finger.
    I have tried wrapped leather ones, etc but none work when I am needle pointing.
    I wear the thimble on my middle finger.
    I recently ordered a bag of metal wrapped bands from China. They are helpful, but no way perfect.
    PLEASE – just an ordinary thimble with an open top.

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