Thimbles for English Paper Piecing

Thimble Wars


Here at Paper Pieces, we’re a bit of a split household when it comes to thimble talk. Read on to see why we can't come to an agreement!


Just like any notion, there are SO MANY thimble options from which to choose. There are traditional metal or plastic thimbles that cover your whole fingertip, ones that go on like a ring and just cover the pad of your finger, or silicone thimbles made to help you grip your needles.


One of the first questions we’ll ask you if you call about thimbles is: Are you a needle pusher or a needle puller? The traditional answer is needle pusher. You use the pad of your finger on the back of your needle (near the eye) to push the needle through your piecing. With repeated pushing your finger pad becomes sore, thus the need for a thimble.


If you’re a needle puller (me!), you grab towards the point of the needle and pull your needle through the fabric. It takes a decently strong pinch to pull the needle, so with repeated pullings, fingers get sore.


Basically, with either method, we recommend a thimble of some kind. 


A company we trust that makes absolutely stunning custom thimbles is Thimbles For You by Jan Marie Larson. If you like a thimble but don’t want to actually feel like you’re wearing a thimble, Jan fits them to your precise fingertip measurements and uses her silversmithing skills to produce ornate, original designs. Absolutely gorgeous option with a lifetime guarantee, and is an investment in your craft. Tell her Jess sent you!

 Jessica's Thimble by Jan Larson Thimbles For You

If you’d like to consider the open-sided thimble, we offer one by Clover. Keep in mind we only have small sizes, but they are adjustable!

 Clover Open Sided Thimble

I personally like the pair of silicone grippy thimbles I bought at a quilt store. They only last about 6 months because they’re prone to needle pokes. So they don’t protect your finger as well as a traditional thimble, but are you even a quilter if you haven’t stabbed yourself with a needle 600 times?

 Thimble for Needle Pullers

Leather thimbles are also an option. I haven’t tried one, but I like the thoughts of having a flexible option. Many of them come with metal on the finger pad area, so they are still strong enough for pushing.

Leather Thimble

If you prefer something a little more discrete, we've heard customers rave about Poke-A-Dots Sticky Thimbles by Jillily Studio. They come in a cute little tin, and according to reviews, they are reusable up to several uses if you stick them back onto the original packaging! 

Jilly Dots Thimble Pads


Last but not least, you have the traditional thimble that fits over your finger. I find them clunky, but if they’re good enough for Grandma, they’re good enough for us.


A quick Google and you’ll find millions of options for thimbles. If you’d like personal recommendations you can always contact us, but I think the best option is to try several out before you find the one that makes your sewing the easiest! Let us know in the comments which thimble you prefer! 

 Written by Amber Weiskircher

This article includes affiliate links. 

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I mainly use a thimble for hand quilting. For piecing, I find I don’t need anything. I work in the medical field and I find the tourniquets make great little grippies. I just ask for the tourniquet they use on me for lab work (they have to throw it away since it’s a single patient use) and cut little squares for when I need to grip the needle to pull through.

Tiara Koo

I always use a sterling silver thimble since I was young, I learn to use it and makes sewing so much easier. For the lady that asked about what to used for the under hand, I sometimes use a bandaid. You barely feel the needle though it. Good luck

Yolanda Tovar

You showed a quilt called First Bloom. Now I can’t find it, I even bought your templates for it. It was on your site, where do I find it. At least the picture please. Thanks

Patricia Roberts

You showed a quilt called First Bloom. Now I can’t find it, I even bought your templates for it. It was on your site, where do I find it. At least the picture please. Thanks

Patricia Roberts

I need something for my underside finger that gets repeatedly poked when the needle goes through and I feel it before sending it back up through the fabric. Currently I can only quilt about every third day because my finger tips get so sore. Any suggestions?


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