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Necessity is the Mother of Invention

February 20th, 2014

I’ve been working on hand quilting a quilt that I made a few months ago.   The original plan was to quilt it on my machine, but it’s not the best machine and I didn’t like the way the first row came out.  Since I wanted this quilt to be a little more relaxed in feel, I thought hand quilting was the way to go.
leather thimble 2
The only problem was that I didn’t have a thimble. After finished a quarter of the quilt, my finger was very sore. Then I remember an old leather riding glove that Mr Chiots had picked up in a parking lot once. It was stashed in my sewing scrap box. Off to Google I went and found this pattern to make your own leather thimble.
leather thimble 1
After a few minutes of work my thimble was ready. I didn’t have to run to the store or spend any money and since I made it myself it fit perfectly.
leather thimble 3
After using it for only a few stitches I knew it was perfect, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever made. You can bet that I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for soft leather gloves to make thimbles for my sewing box.
leather thimble 4
leather thimble 5
I love it when I can avoid purchasing something by making it myself. It’s even better if I can use found object for my supplies. Whenever I can make do with something I feel like I’ve won the lottery!

Have you made something for yourself recently to avoid purchasing it?

16 Comments to “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”
  1. Michelle on February 20, 2014 at 6:57 am

    Would love to see pictures of the quilt!

    Reply to Michelle's comment

    • Susy on February 21, 2014 at 12:14 pm

      I’ll make sure to write a post when it’s finished so you can see it!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. kristin @ going country on February 20, 2014 at 7:32 am

    My husband used some old felted sweaters to make gauntlet mittens for my older son. Children’s outdoor apparel is generally worthless, and the stuff that isn’t worthless is so expensive as to be ridiculous. Good thing A. learned to sew. The mittens reach all the way past my son’s elbows and, since they’re felted wool, never leave his hands wet and freezing. I guess if you’re gonna take a four-year-old ice fishing and trapping in five degree weather, you’d better make custom outdoor apparel. :-)

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  3. Kathi cook on February 20, 2014 at 7:38 am

    I love the colors and fabrics in your quilt. Can’t wait to see a picture when it is finished. I have a leather thimble that I inherited from somewhere , maybe a yard sale I can’t remember , but I love it.

    Reply to Kathi cook's comment

  4. Nebraska Dave on February 20, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Susy, quilting always fascinated me. Much patience was required to make one. My great grand mother used to make those rag rugs which was quite interesting as well. She spend hours just tearing up old clothes into strips to make them. I actually have a hand made quilt from my grand mother but I don’t think those skills were passed on through my mother. I’m sure Mom knew how to do those things but just didn’t do them. With mechanized manufacturing coming of age, things were cheap enough to just buy them.

    I have a stock pile of old worn out jeans and shirts with holes in them. My plan is to make a scarecrow farm family for the garden. I’m not expecting them to scare any crows but just be a decoration for the garden. It’s on the list of projects for this year.

    Have a great quilting day with your new/old leather thimble.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

    • Susy on February 21, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      Love the idea of a scarecrow with the old jeans & shirts, can’t wait to see photos!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. bangchik and kakdah on February 20, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Yes Kakdah has that thimble too….. but she prefers it bare, because of the “feel”….

    Reply to bangchik and kakdah's comment

  6. DebbieB on February 20, 2014 at 11:59 am

    That’s brilliant!

    Reply to DebbieB's comment

  7. Patti on February 20, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    That’s very creative and I love that you are hand quilting… great inspiration!

    Reply to Patti's comment

  8. amy on February 20, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Like Kristen’s husband….I have cut the sleeves off old wool sweaters and felted them and made myself fingerless gloves.

    Reply to amy's comment

    • amy on February 20, 2014 at 1:05 pm


      Reply to amy's comment

  9. Ilene on February 20, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    I use a thimble on my right hand but no protection on my left because I need to feel where the needle is coming out on the under side. The metal thimble gets a little uncomfortable sometimes, it has to be tight enough not to be falling off and I’m right there in the “sweet spot”, I guess because it does fall off now and then, but still pinches my finger when I’ve worked for too long. Stuffing cotton in the end helped with the pinching but made it fall off more often. *Sigh*. I don’t know if a leather thimble would work for me or not as I have already ruined a metal thimble by punching holes in the top while pushing the needle thru. Hope it works for you though.

    My compliments on the quilt, looks great! –Ilene

    Reply to Ilene's comment

  10. KimP on February 21, 2014 at 12:08 am

    I LOVE leather thimbles. Can’t even stand the metal ones because they’re too stiff and I can’t feel anything. I didn’t use a thimble, just cut a finger off a leather glove.

    Reply to KimP's comment

  11. Jeannette on February 21, 2014 at 9:34 am


    I picked up a cast iron baking pan while on Christmas holiday. We happen to drive past the Lodge Logic outlet, I nearly jumped out of my seat when I saw the big billboard. The loaf pan is working great and now I’m wishing I had picked up that pizza pan!! The loaf browns perfectly now!

    Reply to Jeannette's comment

    • Susy on February 21, 2014 at 12:10 pm

      Love the cast iron loaf pans – they’re so great!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  12. judym on February 21, 2014 at 11:38 am

    This will solve my problem of ill-fitting thimbles! Can customize to fit my fingers.

    Reply to judym's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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