I bought a book at the barn sale in Jefferson, WI last year. I blogged about this amazing barn sale at the time and you can click here to read that post. The Spangler sisters have opened the barn again with new merchandise arriving regularly. The address and other information is available in the link above, and the weekends they are open this years are: June 9-12 and 30-July 3, July 14-17 and 28-31; August 11-14 and 25-28; September 9-11, 23-25 and 30-October 2. Time: 9:00 to 5:00 (Sundays only to 4).
So here’s the book!
It’s a fun read. Recently I turned to a page with this heading: “Why Do Thimbles Have Holes?”
There I learned that thimble collectors are called digitabulists. I never knew I was a digitabulist. When I told Mike he said he thought “thimble-inas” would be a better name 🤣!
The dimples in the thimbles are called “knurling”, and the reason for the knurling is to prevent slipping of the needle. I think most of us already knew the purpose, but the name for the dimples was new to me too. This got me to thinking about my small thimble collection which I’ve featured at the top of this post.
Here’s a little bit of history: The oldest thimbles are thought to be over 3000 years old and made from bone. First century thimbles from Roman times were made from bronze, and early European ones were made from bronze or clay. In more recent times they’re not just for finger protection when stitching. Some are decorated to attract collectors, as well as tourists who want to remember a trip to an exciting destination. Along the band of some thimbles, logos, company names and even political parties or candidates have been featured. In fact I read that political thimbles came on the scene way back in 1920.
Thimbles are a fun collectible because they are pretty, often inexpensive, and they don’t take up much space. All of this research got me to look a bit more closely at my small collection. I have a number of simple utilitarian thimbles. A few are plastic, including this one from Paducah, KY:
My parents have traveled the world and occasionally they’d bring me back thimbles. This one is from a trip to London:
Others include a wooden one from their trip to Israel, and a wonderfully detailed beer stein from Germany:
I don’t remember where this cloisonne bird is from, but I think it’s delightful (note the knurling in the heart on the top of his head).
I brought this decorative silk one back from my trip to the Great International Quilt Festival in Tokyo two years ago. It’s pretty, handmade, but not very useful.
I’m sure this next thimble was handed down through the family, but I don’t know who it came from. The interesting part is whoever owned it must have been quite a busy stitcher because the thimble has holes worn through it:
When I know the history of a thimble I usually write it on a piece of paper and tuck it inside. This is the note I placed in this lovely brass thimble I found in my mother-in-law’s jewelry box after she passed. She admitted to never sewing anything, so I don’t know who it belonged to.
Then I have a whole collection of thimbles I actually use!
And… I just have to share one closing photo. I am so blessed to have a husband with a great sense of humor. He also is known for never making a quick decision ~ about anything! Last year I bought him a t-shirt that states “Wait a minute ~ let me overthink this” (he still is thinking about whether or not he’ll ever wear it 🤣). So, the other day he did a little demonstration of something his crazy brain came up with and I laughed so hard it hurt. I asked him to allow me to photograph it and he agreed (which I thought was amazing in itself). Here it is. I hope it makes you smile!
Have a wonderful week!