Day 7…needful things for quilters…

7daysDay 7….Thimble…I love the Roxanne Thimble shown here…photo2

Now I must admit I do not use a thimble except for hand quilting…and then must confess that I really only do “big stitch” quilting anymore…but I have done lots of fine quilting in my past…But with that said…I still love to hand quilt.  There is nothing like spending an hour or two at the quilt frame.  I get lots done when I give it a little time out of my day…I have another confession…I need to get the quilt that is on my frame quilted and off…it has been on there for sometime.  The reason I think it is not moving too fast is that it is not my own design…not one I must finish for a pattern or magazine.  So that is why it lags…but my goal it to have it off by the end of the year…I am currently going around all the appliques first, then I will do some cross hatching in the large blocks…about an 1 1/2″ or 2″s apart.  Now I wish I could give you some “tips” here on hand quilting, but I promise in 2013 to do some U-tube videos if you are interested and will watch them…But for now I will tell you I could not live without my Roxanne thimble…they are sized, so they fit wonderfully, I have even gone to the grocery store with it still on!!!…no lie….now if you are interested in learning to hand quilt “big stitch” you must do it…I highly recommend it, find someone to take a class from and then watch my video when I get it done for some extra pointers…I can quilt a big block in this quilt in about 2 hours, no problem…I’ve had a little practice though and I am fast at a lot of things, but that is why I like to hand quilt…it is fast and fun!!! Why the Roxanne thimble??? It has nice deep dimples…it has a hole for our fingernails…it has a ridge to push the needles though the fabric…and it is very comfortable…

Now look what I found in Houston and had to have them!!photo! Little thimble earings!!! How cool are these???  So like I said, some of these things in the 12 days are things I NEED and some just because I WANTED them…these earings are a want…they are only about 1/2″ and so sweet!  If you are ever at any of the big quilt shows look for the Roxanne Thimbles…I know the Colonial Needle poeple sell them in their booth so get sized there…or if you are coming to Primitive Gatherings make an appointment so I can size you…The thimbles are $50 for the Silver or Gold plated…the earings can be bought here on sale for $35 just click here:  Earings

I also want you to be on the look out for a hand quilting frame,  if you think you will want to get into hand quilting your quilts…look for a Grace frame…that is the one I would recommend…you can find them used or you can order a new one, ask at your guild if someone wants to sell theirs….I just got a new one for my “other”house…that is how much I love to hand quilt…Here I am at my frame in my studio….where I LOVE to be!!!  My studio is L shaped…I will do a post someday on my whole studio…as a matter of fact I think we have to do a Studio Tour for the next Moda Blog hop…in March I think….

IMG_0584 Now for the winners of Day 8…it is hard to keep these days straight…so confusing…I am blogging ahead just in case…and I cannot keep track of what day is what??? The winner of Day 8 is comment #34 (Jakes football number)  Lori…please send me an address where to send your prize!!!

  1. Lori Neisler

    December 17, 2012 at 10:05 am

    You have the best ideas, too bad there are only 12 days of Christmas tips. How about extending your great ideas into New Year’s resolutions?

You will recieve a strawberry pincushion and a handle for your Magic Size…(I sent Nick to the store to get me one…he brought back 4!!! so I can part with one of mine…

Just a few questions about yesterdays post…There is nothing wrong with the Best Press…it is just too expensive for this…you need to saturate your fabric and then iron it dry with a dry iron… so it would cost a small fortune to use Best Press…save that for your Pillow cases so they smell nice and Fresh!!!  The Magic size does not leave flakes like starch might, so that is why the Magic size instead of the Starch…but I am not opposed to using starch if I have some whimpy fabrics…some fabric will stiffen up better than others….hmmm, I better stop now….LB

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I live in Menasha, WI, Married to Nick, with 3 sons, Lance (forever 29) , Luke 29 and Jake 27. I am a quilter, rugger, gardener and I also love to cook when I get the chance...

161 thoughts on “Day 7…needful things for quilters…

  1. I would be very interested in learning some hand stitching pointers from you via YouTube. I have a quilt planned that would look so nice utility quilted rather than long armed but don’t have a clue how to go about doing this well. Thanks!

  2. Great post! I too have the Roxanne thimble and love it. I do love how they fit so perfectly. I also have a Grace frame for my hand quilting….which I love very much!
    Those are the cutest earrings and I just might have to pick me up a pair. I’ve not seen those before 🙂
    Merry Christmas!

  3. I’ve never been able to get the hang of using a thimble, so maybe I’ve just never found the right one! Thanks for the insights you’ve been giving to us! And I think with arthritis setting in, I’d better just plan to big stitch any hand quilting I do!

  4. I am not sure if someone else requested this or not but here is my comment / wish / request: can you please consolidate each days post into one printed packet with each days item and sell it for a package deal ? I like them all and then when I receive my packet all the information and new tools can go into sewing room so I can refer to them for years ! Thank you and happy holidays

  5. Can’t wait for your You-Tube videos- I want to try hand quilting using the big stitch method, but haven’t gotten the strong urge – yet! As far as thimbles, I haven’t found one that works for me. I need to feel that “poke” in my finger before I can be sure I have the needle through all layers. Needless to say, I don’t like hand quilting much, so I beg my sister to finish off my small quilts for me. Thanks again for these great tips. (Your studio is fabulous!)

  6. I would be very interested in watching your videos. I am also very interested in the thimble. I will check those out. And the earrings. Oh My are those a “want” or not? Thanks for sharing your helpful tips.

  7. Would love to watch your u tube videos!!!! I am starting a new quilt I may just have to try big stitch quilting on it.

  8. I love to hand quilt, too, and actually I am fine quilting your BOW from last year!! I’m very slow at it and it’s my goal to finish in 2013! A good thimble makes a world of difference! The earrings are sooooo cute and guess we could wear the thimble as a “fingertip ring” and have matching earrings! Lol… Love your posts Lisa….. They give us a peek into your world. I would love for you to do a YouTube video on both types of quilting.

  9. I started quilting with perle cotton some time ago on the Thimbleberries quilts I had made. I don’t know what thread you use but that works great and I have colors to match most because of the wool applique. I usually use a very light gold color. Finding sharp needles with a large enough eye to thread can be a problem but perhaps you have them at hand. Love your posts, how about one or two a month all year?

  10. Yes – u tube video!! Lisa you’re the best! How do you hand stitch and not have sore fingers without using a thimble? Thanks the tips on the thimbles.

  11. I love to see pictures of everyone’s sewing rooms!! I love my sewing room…it is my woman cave!! Pointers on hand quilting would be amazing. I can’t wait!!

  12. I would definitely watch your YouTube video. I love your tips. I have never been able to get a thimble to fit properly, so the Roxanne sounds like the answer.

  13. Looking forward to you videos on big hand stitching. It is something I want to do more of.
    Merry Christmas! Michelle S.

  14. Must confess I just can’t get the hang of using a thimble — I want to but it just doesn’t work out for me. This might be the answer. Please, yes, yes, on the youtube videos — can’t wait for that! I saw your show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Timms and learned so much more about wool applique.

  15. I like to use a thimble, too, and have left it on when I left the house! I’ll have to check into getting this one.

  16. I would love to get some tips from you on YouTube. I find hand quilting very relaxing too, sounds like a good thimble.

  17. I thimble that needs to be fitted……I think I might need one of those!!! It might actually stay on my finger! I had a favorite leather one, but wore it out. The next two leather ones just didn’t fit like the first one!

  18. I have a thimble by TJ Lane that I enjoy using for hand quilting, but I would love to get a Roxanne one, too. Want that frame!

  19. OMG, I just took your big stitch quilting class, I’m hooked on this thing!! I am piecing dutifully so that I can hand quilt again with this thimble. I love it so much, I’ve vowed to figure out how to assemble my floor frame and use it!

  20. I’ve always had trouble finding the right thimble. One that’s sized might do the trick. Can’t wait to see the YouTube tutorials.

  21. You really sparked my interest about the Grace quilting frame…can you give some more details on the frame. I have done a little looking and there are several. I would really appreciate it if you let me know the exact model that you had. Thank you!

    cjpike at indiana dot edu

  22. I find it impossible to use a thimble. I remember how my grandmother would wear through hers. When I have tried using them, whatever finger I have it on, I will always use another finger to jab the needle through. Ouch. Maybe I need a thimble that fits perfectly. Can’t wait to see your tutorial. Do you use pearl cotton when using the larger stitch? Let us know when the tutorial is available. Thanks.

  23. One of the gals in my quilting small group just did a demo on big stitch quilting and I’m eager to try it since I don’t do very well on fine hand quilting. You YouTube tutorial would be a bonus! I’ve not seen the Roxanne thimble so interested in trying it.

  24. I tried to use the cut out thimble but had to exchange it for the old standard kind. I apparently use all sides of the thimble when I hand quilt and kept poking my nail. Yes, its worth it to have your thimble sized to your finger.

  25. I’ve always been stymied at a hand quilting frame- as I’m use to a hoop that you can turn. Would love a video to show how you quilt in different directions with a frame.

  26. Love this thimble. I have two. One to use when it’s warm & humid & my finger is “bigger” & one to use when it’s cold & my finger is “smaller”. Thanks for all the tips.

    1. I may have to look into a Roxanne thimble. I have tried several different kinds of thimbles which i end up not likeing. I have been really enjoying your posts! Merry Christmas!

  27. Lisa, I bought my Roxanne from you when I took the Big Stitch hand quilting class, and have been using it, and I do love it. Thanks much. Now how to find a used Grace frame? You have taught us all so much!!
    thanks peg

  28. Well finally a tool i do not have but i have many thimbles over the years collected. soft and hard and i just do not seem to do well with them they seem so cumbersome. It is a beautiful thimble indeed i just might have to order it. thanks for the opportunity thanks for all the tips happy holidays

  29. I love this thimble also, but have not tried it with big stitch. Another great suggestion. Thanks to you for being the great professional who is willing to share her “secrets”.

  30. I love the thimble. But I love your studio more. I printed the picture for inspiration to organize and decorate my sewing room!

  31. When I first started piecing and quilting in 1993, I was very frustrated with the hand quilting process. I could never use a thimble because I have slender fingers and nails. Thimbles would always fall off my finger, until Roxane. I love this thimble precisely because it is fitted and will not come off. I like that it accommodates my finger nails. Please, Please produce a youtube video on big stitch quilting. I would watch, I promise!

  32. Too bad I already gave Santa my list…the frame is beautiful…you mean I have to be good for another whole year???

  33. I love to piece quilts, but my passion is handwork, so I’m making a resolution to save some time for hand quilting in 2013. Look forward to your video on handquilting !

  34. I appreciate all the hints and tips you are giving us. For those of us who live in a “quilt shop challenged” area (meaning none around, LOL) the help you are providing is so needed. Thanks.

  35. Thanks for explaining the difference in Magic Size and Best Press. Would love to learn to big stitch. Thanks for all tips!

  36. I have tried a few different thimbles but they just didn’t feel comfortable. I will have to try this one. The earings are just too cute, I can see why you had to have them. I love seeing your studio.

  37. I have a friend who has a Roxanne Thimble and just loves it. I will put this on my Wish List. thanks again for the wonderful tips

  38. again very helpful Lisa I’v done the big stitch would love to see your video of how you do it hope you do that thx BarbC

  39. I’ve really been enjoying all of your tips…..thank you Lisa! I have admired those thimbles for a long time now. Just don’t do enough hand quilting to justify the cost.

  40. I’d love to see a video of your hand quilting. It sounds like a relaxing pasttime. I think there is nothing like a hand quilted quilt. Thanks for all these cute tips and hints. I am making a list for my Christmas money!

  41. Oh YES, I would love to watch a video of you quilting, and could sure use the tips. Love the earrings! Thanks for taking the time to do this.

  42. Hmmm….I will have to give one of these a try. I LOVE your work area. I am going to have to share that with my husband. 🙂 Great Christmas gift……

  43. One of my goals for 2013 is to do more hand quilting. I think one of these would help me achieve my goal. That and more time in the day…

  44. I love to hand quilt but I have never tried the Roxanne thimble. I will have to tryit. I am really excited about seeing your studio! I am moving into a new house, and I will be able to have a sewing room…I need ideas, especially for storage, because this particular room doesn’t have a closet. I love what I can se of your studio…it is just beautiful!

  45. I would definitely watch your video. You are such a wonderful teacher from what I have seen.
    Thanks for the tips and the giveaways!

  46. I could listen to you all day, I have learned so much already. I have a small quilt that I machine cross hatched (which all I can do by machine) and I am hand echo stitching around the center cotton applique design. I think I need a Roxanne thimble. Whenever I put on a thimble, I end up holding my fingers funny and taking it off.

  47. More good tips … thank you! I love the “mini – lesson” each day … just the right amount of information to absorb at one time. I’ll stay – tuned for tomorrow …

  48. I LOVE my Roxanne thimble also! Bought it many years ago and still use it! So glad to hear you say you love yours too.

  49. One of my quilting buddies has tried to teach me hand quilting and I think I “flunked” her class – – I know I need to practise more! I would love to see a video from you – – a good reference to turn to! Loving your daily tips. I need to take a road trip to your shop – – I have purchased many of your items at shows, but would love to see where all of the action originates!

  50. I would love to watch your video. The end of these great posts is going to be one more reason I will be sad for the holidays to be over!

  51. Would love to learn to big stitch. Thanks for explaining the difference between magic sizing and Best Press. Love all your tips.

  52. PLEASE tell us about big stiching. I am getting ready to put blocks togeather and then quilt them with a big stich. I have done it before but just guessed as to how to do it. About half of these blocks are embrodered so how would you quilt them? I just might try a Roxane thimbles.

  53. I too LOVE my Roxanne thimble soooo I really needed the earrings. Lol! I also use the Grace quilting frames. I use a smaller lap version most of the time when working on smaller projects. My larger floor hoop is just the right height for hand work. I don’t hoop those pieces, but use the hoop as a kind of support for larger pieces while I do buttonhole stitch or other kinds of embaellishments

  54. Love your find in those earrings. I am trying different thimble styles and trying to find the right kind for myself.

  55. I love to hand quilt and after trying almost every thimble (haven’t tried the Rozanne one yet), I have cobbled one together that I use every day. Yes, I would watch your big stitch tute. I bought a book on it but I’m a visual learner so I haven’t tried. Thanks for your tips and Merry Christmas!

  56. Look forward to all of your tips. Would enjoy watching handquilting on U-Tube. I only use the leather underthimble as I cannot figure out how to keep a thimble on my finger. Have a great Christmas. Am looking forward to the tour of your sewing studio. Loved the bedturnings you took pictures of:) Thanks

  57. Lisa: love your blog and your “favorite things”. I noticed your sewing machine cover in the background of your hoop picture. Sooo darling ( and primitive). Will you share the pattern, instructions?

  58. Love all the You Tube tutorials I can find. I have found so many great ones from designers that I admire. It is my go to place when I need a little help on a technique. Looking forward to yours.
    I have a grace frame sitting in a box in my attic. Got it for some special occasion and never set it up. It doesn’t help that when I opened it to look at the setup my puppy dog ate one of the rotators (back then it was all wood). Now they are made in a black plastic and I read someplace I can just order the part as a replacement.
    As for the thimble. I used to use a leather thimble with a metal pad but I saw one that was very similar to yours but it’s by Clover. I fell in love. I bought 3 of them! I love that my finger can breath and it really does feel like an extension to your finger. I use it everytime I have some hand work (bindings, applique, etc). Now I need to find a solution to the finger on the other hand (the one that goes under). I prick it all the time and I’m developing a callous. I don’t like having another thimble on that finger so I’ve been trying several stick on thimbles (like Thimbe it) but have not found the right solution yet. Suggestions?

  59. Oh yes please to youtube! I have 2 wool BOM tops waiting big stitch quilting only I am too nervous to start! I will patiently await your video and thanks for the info re the thimble:). I’m loving that wool quilt on your frame-just something more to tempt me:)

  60. Would love to see the vid on Big Stitch. Goes great with the depression era quilts I’m into right now. I am going to have to try the Roxanne thimble also so I can quilt with my “decorative nails” on! I have just started doing wool quilts also–just small ones so far!

  61. One goal for the New Year is to learn to hand quilt. But, I have never been a thimble person, so I quess that is going to change. Also, would water and a little cornflour make sizing. I have not seen it here in Australia?

  62. I was wondering if your frame has a curve to it or is it just the way you took the picture? I have never seen one like that. Also I have that thimble and love it.

  63. Love your designs and ideas. Can’t wait for you to share your studio!!!!!! I love to hand quilt, I currently use an Ulmer frame. I have never tried bigstitch, but I would love to try it.

  64. I have a Roxanne Thimble and absolutely love it. As a matter of fact, I wore a hole through the sterling silver thimble and they have replaced it free of charge. They guarantee their thimbles for a lifetime and they mean it. The earrings are soooo cute.

  65. I’ve always loved to hand quilt but haven’t done it a lot. Maybe in the new year! It might help to have a good thimble so thanks for the tip on Roxanne’s thimbles.

  66. I love my thimble and use it all the time for hand stitching. Your sewing room looks awesome! Can’t wait till you share more pictures.

  67. I love the thimble. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the blog and have learned so much in the last few days. What amazing tools there are out there! I look forward to watching you-tube videos showing hand quilting! Thanks so much for all of the wonderful projects, tips and inspiration. Merry Christmas to you and your family and all the best in 2013.

  68. Very nice sewing room!! Thank for the tips you have shared with us. OK, did you make the cover for your magic spray?? I really like the top! When I find magic spray I buy 2 cans at a time, it is not always easy to find!

  69. I love your sewing room, it’s a place I could spend days and months in being creative! I have heard about big quilting and would love to see a demo. I do a lot of wool applique and bet that big quilting would be perfect for that.

  70. I would love to see a video on you tube for big stitch quilting. I haven’t done any hand quilting but would love to try it. I am really enjoying all the helpful tips each day and hope you continue them in the New Year as your time permits.

  71. I love hand quilting. I have wanted a Roxanne’s thimble for a long time, but it hasn’t been in the budget…hopefully, some day. Video tutorials are the best. That would be great to see one on the big stitch hand quilting. Cute picture! These daily posts are quite fun, wish they didn’t have to stop.

  72. I have studio envy!!! Thanks for all the great information. I would love to add to the tip request. How about Tip Tuesdays in 2013!

  73. I’ve been reading your “best” lists and really appreciate all your advice. I’m going to look into the Grace frame – right now I use a hoop. I also like the idea for the sprayer. Keep the ideas rollin”!

  74. I never used to use a thimble but my Grandmother convinced me you can’t hand sew without one. When I started quilting I began to use a thimble and now I realized how right she was. I always use one for any type of hand sewing. I’ve not tried the Roxanne one in your blog.

  75. I’m another one who is always looking for a good thimble. I use the rubber ones a lot, just because they are easy on my skin on my fingers (Type I diabetes has taken it’s toll on my skin), but if you can actually be “sized”, that would be wonderful! I will look for these thimbles at my local quilt shop. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  76. Love those earrings.I always use a thimble but have never found one that really fits. Thanks for the advice.As I am typing this the snow (real snow ) is falling in Mn.

  77. I’ve wondered about the Roxanne thimble. Glad to hear that you like it. Really looking forward to youtube videos! Great for those of us that are far away. Grace frame…any model in particular? And since you showed us a peek of your studio, we would like to know what brand of sewing furniture you have. I don’t think I’ve seen black before.

  78. I will admit the only hand work I do so far is your wool kits! I love hand work, and may get brave enough one day to try hand quilting. Love the new quilt in your studio/house! 🙂 Happy Holidays to you and your family.


  79. I have just discovered your blog with all the wonderful tips. I had to go back and start from the beginning. I would love a tutorial on hand quilting. Have never done it.

  80. I love those earrings! I would love to try hand quilting someday. Maybe I can get my husband to build me a studio so I can have room for the frame!!

  81. I use a leather thimble but I am now inspired to try a beautiful Roxanne thimble at the next big quilt show that I can attend. The thimble earrings just went on my Christmas list. You present the best ideas.

  82. Your tips are outstanding!!!! Never heard of this thimble. I would also like to do some handquilting and need a good frame.

  83. Haven’t used a thimble much, but might be worth a try. Save on the fingers a bit.
    Thanks for the tip.


  84. Will definitely check out the videos. Need to learn to hand quilt. As for a thimble, I don’t own one. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

  85. I am a recent thimble convert and I am going to save up for one of these. About the starch thing….I am the ironing queen. If I had more time, I swear I would iron and starch my bras! I have used every brand known to mankind, er, womankind. Currently and for some time I have used concentrated staflo. I like the stiffness of a 50\50 mix. No flaking, ever. Give it a try and let me know I am not crazy. Merry Christmas to you and yours. Chris beresford

  86. Thimbles are a must, and that is a beautiful one. In our family thimbles get passed down. I treasure the one I have that my mom used to quilt with.

  87. Yes, I believe in using the sizing…it makes sewing wonderful. I also like the Grace frame. Looks like a great investment and something I know I would use. Love all your “twelve days” so far. Thanks!

  88. I have used a leather thimble in the past. Would love to see how the Roxanne thimble fits! Thanks for all your posts, they are very helpful!! LOVE your studio…and the wool project you have shown!

  89. Never heard of this type of thimble. The thimble I use is actually my grandmothers, so if I misplace it, I send out the distress call and everyone in the house must drop what they’re doing and help look for it!!
    Would love to see some videos for hand quilting – big and regular.

  90. Thanks for the Thimble recommendation. I am getting ready to hand quilt some of my “Little Quilts” I have made from the Quilt Square kits I have purchased from you. Thought they would be good for practicing before I start a large project.
    Looking forward to some hand quilting videos.

  91. I used these thimbles for many years and they are wonderful. Unfortunately arthritis made my joints swell and form these old-lady bumps (my words since I can’t pronounce what the doctor calls them!) and I had to switch to a different kind. They were well worth the extra cost though because they never wore out. blessings, marlene

  92. Looking at your sewing room, it makes me feel like I have to clean mine up. When I get a project going my wool is spread out all over the place until I find the right colors. It takes time because I have to “feel” the project before I actually get started. I think I may have to get one of those frames.

  93. Just love that studio and want to be just like you when I grow up. You are one good looking chick (ne: Hoeflier!) I tried that thimble but it’s going to take some getting used to. Hand quilting? I barely have time to piece!

    1. Its party time at the Bongean House…that would be Nick’s…so you think I’m a good looking Hoefler Chick…that must be where it came from!!! I got enough them looks to get by…but I ain’t complaining…at this point they don’t really matter…it matters how good a person you are, not the package it delivered in…Send me some picks of your studio…better be working hard on it!!! Say Hi to Fredster for me!!!LB

  94. Lisa, PLEASE do a video on hand quilting. I think it would be helpful for a lot of quilters. We want to learn from the best!

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