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Sunday, November 20, 2011

The thimbles on my hand

By Annemart Berendse

When I am handquilting it looks like I have the whole hardware store on my right hand. First of all I have a regular thimble on my middle finger. I love my TJ Lane, just like Glenn. It is the middle one of the normal thimbles on the picture and it is closed and heavy, made of Sterling silver and it is just beautiful.

One way or another I love a heavy thimble. It gives me control over my needle, just like a heavy iron. The other thimbles are in a larger and a smaller size to adapt to hotter and colder days and other reasons why my fingers are sometimes a bit bigger than other days.

My biggest treasure is my thumb thimble. As I quilt in a frame, turning the hoop is not an option. To manage that I have a ThumbThimble, created by Ted Storm, an international award winning quilter. The ThumbThimble gives me the opportunity to quilt away from me, from the lower left to the upper right. That way I never have to change position at my frame.
The ThumbThimble requires an adaptation in your technique, but it works great for me. Because I use my thumb and my full hand to make the quilt move, the tension on my hand is less. Instead of putting the tension on one finger, I can use my full hand to make the quilt move. And that is a great advantage for me.

The last item on my right hand is a Dutch invention: the needle puller, the yellow thing on the picture. The needle puller is a gadget to pull the needle through the fabric when you lack the power in your fingers to pull the needle through. On YouTube the inventor demonstrates the use of it, although I position the needle puller not at the top of my fingers, but completely at the base of my fingers against my palm. On my own blog I wrote a link about this gadget as not many Americans are aware of the possibilities (and are not handquilting ;-)).

I will inform you in another log about my scissors. They're worth a log on their own, because you can never have too many scissors.

Have fun quilting!


  1. I think I need to try your thimbles... and the needle puller looks interesting!

  2. I have seen Ted's Thimble - I use my hand held thimble for the same reasons, I can quilt with my thumb or other fingers and can go away from me or towards me. I have not seen the other gadget

  3. I have a Dutch "puller" as well. I love it when I load my needle to the max. Thanks for adding it to your blog entry, it's a good tool to have on hand.

  4. I've seen a youtube video on how the needle puller is used, what a fascinating tool. I would love to hear more about frame quilting, I've tried it twice but never did it enough to get comfortable with it.

  5. @Janet Email me what you would like to hear, it's for me a common way of quilting.


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