Choosing a thimble for hand quilting is important and may take some time. A thimble is a personal tool for any quilter.
First, taking time to check out the types of thimbles should foremost. As a hand quilter you either push with the tip of your finger or the side, so different thimbles are suited for either of these movements. With various types, testing is recommended. Wear a thimble for an extended period of time while stitching, so you can make sure that a thimble you have chosen will be comfortable to wear. Trying these thimbles of different fabric choices would also be recommended. Pushing a needle with your thimble through a light cotton fabric is quite different than three layers a 100 percent baby cotton flannel including batting and backing material. Hand quilting requires many hours of stitching time and having a thimble that is comfortable is important.
There are various choices of thimbles on the market to choose from. The metal ones that are also made from stainless steel, silver or can be even gold are traditional types for a hand quilting thimble. These are perfect for protection but if you have long finger nails they may not sit properly on your finger or also cause your finger to perspire after extended use.
Leather thimbles are more of an option for those hand quilters who do not like the bulkiness of the metal thimbles. To push with this type of thimble, you would use either the side or the ball of the finger. With repeated use and pushing the needle over again in the same spot, the leather can wear then and a hole will develop.
Porcelain thimbles are not just for collectors but are used in hand quilting, as well. These attractive thimbles, if they do not have glaze on the outside are perfect to use since these do not cause your finger to perspire. Be sure to be extra careful when handling these thimbles since they will break if dropped because they are made of porcelain.
If you find you would rather push with your thumb instead of a finger, than the open-top thimble might be a good choice for you. This thimble, commonly known as a tailor’s thimble, is worn on the thumb and allows you to push in any direction. Since it does not have a top, finger nails are not a issue.
No matter the type, all thimbles do go bad. Holes develop after continual use or pressure in the same spot or place. Use a thimble that can be rotated or turned. Since no thimble will last forever and if you find a thimble type that fits your finger and your style of hand quilting, buy two or three.