thimble lady

lauriethFebruary 12, 2010

has anyone bought the book, dvd or thimble from the thimble lady, she says it is painless on the under finger and you can get more stitches on the needle. The problem is the book and dvd is about35 or so and the thimble around 45, if it worked it would be worth it, the two fingers on my left hand are a mess, I have actually put the needle through my fingernail and I cannot find a thimble I like.

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No, I'm afraid I haven't. I looked at the free video on her website and thought it was bunk. Sorry! But she has a huge ton of experience, so her "method" is just not to feel for the needle at all. She doesn't use her underfinger for anything except making a hill of fabric. The very loose quilt technique will probably help avoid skipped stitches on the back (sometimes the tension in the quilt will pop the backing off your needle, and you find later you really only caught the batting.) Otherwise, she just depends on the feel in her upper hand of having advanced the needle 'a bit'. If a person has enough experience to quilt that way, blind from below, they could quilt the regular way without sore fingers either.

The whole business of keeping your middle finger straight is extraordinarily straining on your knuckle, and it makes my palm muscle cramp. I can see how it would be great for people with Rheumatoid arthritis in that first finger joint, but otherwise, millions of years of evolution have perfected manipulating and holding things by your finger tips with your hand in a 'C' shape.

For that matter, if I had to, I could probably quilt with the side of my wrist with all the motion at the elbow. Or as one of my old professors said once, "You can make love in a hammock. It's not the best way."

I do have two of her old style thimbles, one for thumb and one for middle finger. I used her fitting method precisely, but they are both too small, even considering they are supposed to be tight. The shipping to Australia is very expensive to be sending things back and forth for fitting, so I'm hoping she'll be at Paducah this April, where I can try things on and make my exchange.

How exactly are you quilting that you put the needle through your fingernail? Which hand is getting so sore? Do you quilt with your very tip fingertip or more on the finger pad?

I think, too, that it's not so much finding a thimble you like, as it is getting used to NOT having your middle free. The only way to speed up that process is to band aid your thimble on first thing in the morning and wear it ALL day. For a few days, just grit your teeth and do it.

Try quilting in slow motion for a while. Too much speed before you can do it without thinking will get your finger stuck. Speed will come with experience only.

You do have my sympathy! I learned to quilt recently, and I well remember what a crazy, frustrating struggle it seemed to be. I was at my wit's end, and ready to quit the whole thing as just ridiculous and impossible. Then one day, it seemed natural and I'm not sure what changed except experience. My brain learned how, even though my mind didn't know what was happening.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 2:32PM
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The bad finger is the underneath finger, I pretty much use the nail to push the needle back up and it slides up my fingernail leaving grooves and eventually cutting the nail and putting a hole in it. My stitches are much better doing it this way which I like but I cannot keep doing that. I did buy Aunt Becky for the underfingeer and received it yesterday and am now quiting again, I do not use it the way she says but it is working but you should see the scratch in the medal, but it was rather cheap except for the postage.
The fingerladis way seemed interesting but I could not find the free video, and I have not found a solid thimble for my first finger on the top hand, the needle seems to slide all around on them so was interested in the deeple dimples in hers.
Thanks for replying.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 4:13PM
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She has a choice bar across the top of her site, and you click on 'video' and choose hand quilting thimble demo from a drop down menu.

I gotta say, I'm cringing and shivering at your fingernail! You can look into banjo picks (probably could find some cheaper than this link, but it has a good picture), and if you have small fingers Marian's Magic Quilting thimble. Mine fits my pinky, and my pinky is about size 5. Of course, there's also spoon quilting which is how Jinny Beyer does all her hand quilting. It's a quick way to ruin a spoon, too, but if you think it's for you, she sells a special quilting spoon off her website. I have one, but I never got the hang it, either.

Here is a link that might be useful: banjo pick

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 9:13PM
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Hi L.
Just signed in and your question is quite old, but could not help but chime in on this. I am very new to sewing and quilting. I am just mastering the Thimblelady technique. I love the look of hand quilting and took a class at my LQS where we learned the traditional method. My underneath fingers were so sore and my stitches were not getting any better with practice. I was looking for a really good thimble when I came upon the Thimblelady web site. I splurged and bought the Essential Quilting Package. With the DVD, the book and materials and some perseverance I found her technique works! Before I was basically getting 2 or 3 stitches on those tiny needles. After a day with the new technique I was getting 6 and I am quickly learning to add more. Mind you, my stitches do not look quite as good as Liuxin's(LOL), but wow, what an improvement. They look better than I could have ever imagined. It might be that because I do not have the traditional method ingrained in me yet, but she advises even traditional quilters can learn her technique, she was one herself. Also, her cone thimble is amazing. I splurged on the silver and found it works and feels much nicer than the plastic ones that came with the package. I also later added her lap hoop and that to has helped immensely.I disagree with the other poster who said her method is bunk. It is the coordination of all three fingers: the thimble finger, the thumb and the underneath finger that makes her method work so well. The deep, deep dimples on her thimble are absolutely essential. I hope to be quilting for a long time to come using this technique(We have a history of osteoarthritis in my family). Next, I want to try her needle turn applique package. I love her! Just my honest opinion :)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 9:46AM
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Ahem. That being said, I do have one of her old style thimbles and it would be very good if it fit. But the postage to Australia makes swapping it out prohibitive. I think it was about $17.00 one way, so getting another size would be $34.00 in postage alone. Thimblelady has skipped the last two years at Paducah.

I suggest TJ Lane for anybody as a superior thimble, especially for anyone in the US. TJ Lane also beats Roxanne's into the dust.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 6:36PM
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Old post but I felt I needed to respond.
This method of quilting is not bunk.
I have had trouble adjusting from the old standard finger crippling method to this painless technique.
I have two older style thimbles and her marvellous quilting hoop.
I will however persevere to perfect my hand quilting having seen the Thimblelady's beautifully quilted finished projects.
One doesn't get to exhibit at the International quilt fair on bunk!

"A poor workman always blames his tools"

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 12:27AM
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Gosh, quiltykate, you just registered today too! Did you sign up just to insult me?

Japanese Sashiko quilting is ancient and beautiful. It is certainly not bunk, nor did Thimble Lady invent it.

It's the video that strikes me the same way as Al Gore claiming to have created the internet, and I get a little of the same vibe as I do from watching the ads for magic diet pills that melt off fat without diet or exercise.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 4:39AM
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Thank you, Petalpatsy. I've been biting my tongue!!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 10:33AM
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Hi I haven't heard of the thimble lady and the past few years I have resorted to quilting by machine. However, I just love all types of handquilting. when I did hand quilting, I used to buy those inexpensive leather thimbles because they would stay on nicely. I have fairly small fingers. The leather timbles did wear and usually get a hole from the needle, but I figured better the timble to get a hole than my finger. So they needed to be replaced often, but they were so inexpensive and worked really nicely.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 11:06PM
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Hi Everyone,
I know this is an old thread but I have something to add. First I quilt using the rocking stitch took a class with Diedre McElroy. Didi fitted me for a Roxanne thimble--bought a plated version. Used that thimble for over a year then it became too loose--a lump I've had on my middle thimble since grammar school gradually went away--from daily use of the thimble? After an email consult with Didi, I went down a size & opted for the silver version. I quilt in a drafty carriage house & when winter came my finger shrunk again.

At this point(last winter), I decided to try the Thimblelady's stainless cone thimble thinking the cone shape would be a more forgiving fit. It is. I always reach for my Roxanne first but if my finger is a bit too large or too small the cone thimble fits. The Roxanne is my first choice because it has many dimples. I quilt at a frame & sometimes need to push the needle with the side of the thimble. I also like the raised edge to give an extra push to the needle.

If I were a hoop quilter always quilting in one direction, the Thimblelady's cone would probably be my thimble of choice. Needle control is superb. BTW I've used the cone as directed covering the joint which I was surprised to find comfortable & above the joint also.

I too was a bit irritated with Liuxin's hype about her "new" quilting method. It's just the fan fold method used by hoopless hand quilters, I guess forever. Suzanne Marshall quilts this way.


    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 9:35PM
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Why did you bring up an almost 3 year old post! Did you join the forum just to market products? Please read the rules, not allowed here.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 1:59PM
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Thanks Rosajoe!

Here is a picture of my quilting thimble collection, lest you all think I'm talking out of my a$$. I"m not saying her thimbles are bad. I've made exchanges and these all fit. They are quite good, just with no nail guard for pushing a needle back, so they aren't my favorite. I'm looking forward to trying the thumbles when I get this quilt top finished. They have potential.

Since this post was last resurrected by the thimblelady marketing team, I wore a hole in my favorite TJ Lane thimble (the one with the amethyst). I mailed it to her with money for postage, she fixed it for free and mailed it back. thimblelady offers no repair, and suggests any holes be filled with epoxy. Just sayin'.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 3:20PM
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That's a beautiful collection, Patsy!


    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 6:58PM
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