Monday, September 6, 2010

to thimble or not to thimble....

I have a question for those of you who have, like me, stitched their right hand middle finger bloody in the process of appliquéing. Usually, I don't use a thimble (I am a stab quilter and there also hardly ever need a thimble), but I have been hitting the very same spot on my middle finger repeatedly so that I broke the horny skin that had formed and now, with every stitch that needs a little more push, I hit into the same spot...
So, my question to you is this: which thimbles do you prefer to use to avoid such desasters (I was forced to stop work and was watching TV and doing Sudokus all night...)? In my usual sewing life, I use and love my men's tailor's thimble, which is a dimpled steel ring without top to allow for circulation -  no sweaty fingers... I know, some love Becky's for quilting, others swear by their plastic or leather thimbles for sewing. Which do you use for appliqué in particular? Is there anything like a strong yet flexible silicone out on the market?

Greetings from the Rhine,
Britta

11 comments:

  1. I do use a thimble but when I applique I don't . Yes the same thing happens to me. I use a product called new skin
    its a liquid band aid, you paint it on like nail polish. It helps heal the broken skin and in the mean time adds a layer , ok a few layers so you can keep appliquéing! to me its my applique thimble!
    I would go to your drug store and see what kind of product they have that is like this...and try it
    kathie

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  2. I use the Clover flexible rubber with metal tip thimble. I also use the liquid band aid New Skin.

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  3. I use a flexible rubber thimble. No metal tip though I do have one with the metal.

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  4. I use a TJ Lane thimble. I always use it when sewing down binding and sometimes when I applique.
    Kay in Arkansas

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  5. Though I usually just go for the callouses and don't use any thimble, if I am really desperate (or haven't appliqued, gad! in a week,) I use a fabric band aid. That works well until I get more callouses.

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  6. I've bought all types of thimbles, and some are lovely to look at, but I just couldn't get use to using them. I don't use a thimble at all and try to applique daily. If I get a little callus, I just file it off to prevent a build up of deep callus or deep fisures. But a sharp needle prevents my pushing too hard.

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  8. Hi Britta,

    Been there, done that with the sore fingers!! I quilt with a Roxanne's silver or brass thimble and have sometimes used that while doing hand applique, but it can get heavy and slightly clumsy feeling.

    I inherited a lightweight metal one (that is hopelessly tarnished) but seems to work fine.

    When THAT feels clumsy, I have resorted to the little adhesive stick-on pads, stuck right where the needle hits. The kind I am talking about are leathery, sold online by Colonial Needle, and are called Thimble Pads. They also have clear ones (which I think are a little slippery) and something called Ultra Thimble, which is a little metal disc that adheres to your sewing thimble with a tiny adhesive, double-sticky pad (this they sell in a pack called Thimble Pack). They also have a similar thing called Under Thimble, which is supposedly for the fingers under the quilt when hand quilting.

    So, go to the Colonial Needle site and look under thimbles - fingertip and read all the product descriptions to see if any of these choices would work for you (www.colonialneedle.com). They are a good company that I feel safe ordering from.

    When I first tried these, like any thimble, it felt weird. I had good luck with sticking one on, then hiding it from myself (LOL) with a regular bandaid.

    Good luck!

    In stitches,
    Teresa :o)

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  9. I use the W'under thimble. It is a lightweight silicone blue thimble. they have a heavier one also but I find it too heavy. It is the only thimble that I have been able to use.Only a few shops carry it but you can get it at most quilt shows or online.

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  10. Hi Brita:

    I use an antique brass thimble. I know it is hard getting used to wearing a thimble, but once you do, you'll never sew without it. I'm curious where you are on the Rhine. We lived at Hahn Air Base near Bernkastel-Kies on the Mosel and so miss the German wine! My husband attended the wine school near Rudesheim on the Rhine. So many lovely memories of the area.

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  11. Hi all, thanks for the many good ideas and suggestions!
    I hope to be able to find the W'under thimble, it sounds good. Before my academic career I trained as a ladies tailor and then was used to using a thimble for sewing, but the metal just is so inflexible I have the feeling I lack feeling in the very finger I need most...
    @ Sedona: I live right across the river from Rüdesheim... It is a pretty area indeed! When did you live here?
    Greetings from the Rhine,
    Britta

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