I've been hand quilting since 1993 when nobody would show me how they did it in case it wasn't the "correct" way even though I resorted to whining and begging.
I read everything I could get my hands on and proceeded to teach myself. I've been on some sort of quest since then to find the perfect thimble to no avail. Until now that is.
I ordered a PQF thimble which arrived today, it's made of an industrial type of rubber and it is claimed that it will last a lifetime.
I raced home from collecting the mail and put a few stitches in the current quilt.
Of course I'm going to have a longer session but so far I love it so much that I'll have to get another one as a back up. I have a large knuckle that hurts with other thimbles so this one is very comfortable.
I've never mastered using just my finger underneath the quilt to feel the needle and quickly realised that I'd have to wear something. I started with a thimble and graduated to the Aunt Becky and I now use TJ's quilting spoon. The only down side is that I go through a lot of needles as they get dulled so quickly. I've been through a few spoons too.
I'll use just about any quilting needle from size 12 to 10 but I do seem to prefer a 10. Mostly I end up buying the Piecemakers brand as it's what's readily available at my local quilt shop.