A Light Bulb Moment

Lynn Schoeffler © 2007

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I have never been able to find the right thimble, and when I talk to other stitchers it seems to be a universal complaint. When you look at the variety of thimbles out there, searching for just the right one takes a lot of time! 

Then I ran across Sarah Brenneman’s article for making your own thimble in Threads Magazine. Sarah provides a pattern and full instructions, and I thought, "this could be it"! There was however, one drawback for me: while Sarah's leather thimble was nice and long, the hard tip was at the end, where most quilters push the needle. That won't work for me because I need an open ended thimble. As I read the article I tried to think how I might adapt the pattern to get the hard plastic part adjusted to where I need it—at the long side of the thimble.

Among my thimble collection were some long plastic thimbles, Bohin's "adjustable quilter's guards" purchased from the Quilt Crafts booth at the Road to California. They were long enough! For some strange reason, I hit the needle on the side of my ring finger anywhere from the end to the knuckle. And although the guard worked well enough for larger needles, the smaller beading and appliqué needles just slipped right off the smooth plastic.   
Then it clicked! Why not glue a piece of ultra-suede to the guard? First try: excellent results for needling, however, the guard stretched a little when I pulled it apart to glue the ultra suede on, making it a little loose. OK, so why not simply glue a wide strip of ultra-suede right where I needed it? VOILA! No more puncture wounds!   
The best idea, however, came from CQMagOnline Editor Nora Creeach, when I called to see if she thought readers might be interested. Nora suggested simply using a piece of Dr. Scholl’s moleskin padding for shoes. It already has a really strong adhesive backing — just cut and apply to the guard. As you see in the photo, I added my name to the moleskin, so the thimble will find me after quilt or bead class.    

Don't you just love these light bulb moments!

You can find Bohin's Adjustable Quilter's Guards at: http://www.quiltersresource.com/productview.jsp?simplequerystring=quilter%27s+adjustable+guards&EQ;_class1= 
If you use the search tool at Quilter's Resource, make sure to enter Adjustable Quilter's Guards (not thimbles).

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