Bonnie Hunter from Quiltville is having a link-up for thimble discussions and I thought I would join in. I think it is a great idea because when I first started hand-quilting (I am self-taught) I really was clueless about a lot of things (not just hand-quilting either ha..ha..) When I started out I just used thimbles that I had received from my mother-in-law and sister-in-law.
I also would use finger condoms (you know, chefs use them when they cut their fingers) to help me to pull the needle through the layers if I needed extra help. Believe me these thimbles were very clumsy and annoying to use but they did help me get the job done. Since then, I have found these wonderful thimbles that are made by Clover and I love using them so much that I made sure to buy a second one just in case I misplaced the one I am currently using.
I definitely do not want to be thimble-less and I definitely do not want to go back to using the other ones. These are made of flexible rubber so they are very light and they fit and grip your finger regardless of it's shape. They have a dimpled metal end to grip the needle for pushing - there is also a raised edge to stop the needle from sliding off the end. I am also able to use the side of the thimble to help me grip the needle if I need that extra help to pull the needle through the fabric. I do not use any protection for my finger under the quilt because I like to feel the needle. If the needle digs into my under finger I know that my stitch will end up too big. When the point of the needle just barely touches my finger I know to make the next stitch. I have a bit of a callous on that finger but nothing that is really noticeable.
I hope that what I have shared will help others that are just starting out with hand-quilting. I love to hand-quilt and now that I am doing it without a hoop or frame I find that I have really good control and it is even more relaxing and enjoyable.