En Provence Finale and about the thimble

Last year at this time I was gathering fabrics ready to start my En Provence quilt Mystery hosted by Bonnie Hunter.

Fast forward to now, in one of my latest posts I shared fabrics I will be using in this years mystery On Ringo Lake.  I had just finished the quilt top Farm Fresh Deux, and wanted to get started quilting on it to gift it.  I guess I was just kidding myself as this baby quilt is not “due” until February.  So it is best to finish what I started in order right?  En Provence needed to be finished.  The quilting was about 85% done.  So I just wound my bobbins and brainstormed while finishing the orange peels.

enprovenceorangepeelquilting

This was tough going, especially in the middle of the quilt because I was quilting on point, so in the middle of the quilt, the longest distance from the center was the corners, and that was all bunched up in my 6.5 inch throat space.  Some, er….very imperfect quilting in that region.  But the quilting is done!  I chose a doodling pattern for the center of the stars.

enprovencestarquilting

The borders I just did circles as feathers would take too much thread and time.  I find the more thread you put into a quilt, the heavier and stiffer it gets, losing it’s cuddle softness.

enprovencecircles

I am binding now and only have one side and part of another to go!  Today is rainy dreary out so a photo finish will have to wait.

During the binding process, usually I bind baby quilts and my finger does not have time to get sore, but on this larger project I had to whip out the good ole’ thimble.  I got to wondering about the thimble and how it came to be as such.  Reading up on it I came across some neat historical information about it.

thimble

  • Did you know the earliest existing bronze thimble is dated to Roman times and was found in Pompeii?  It is also known that the Etruscans who predated the romans also used the bronze technology in their thimbles.
  • Bone and leather thimbles were probably the first ones but because of content did not survive the centuries.
  • Early thimbles had to be extremely sturdy.  Because cloth was predominately homespun and tough as well as the needles not being finished/polished.  Can you imagine trying to push a needles with burrs through dense cloth?
  • During the 1600s threads/cloth became refined and so thimbles also updated to being thinner.
  • During Elizabeth I reign, it became fashionable to gift thimbles that were ornately bejeweled
  • Victorian times allowed much needlework and also began the collecting of thimbles
  • But did you know that a slightly larger thimble, usually two ounces, was used to measure spirits?
  • And did you know that 19th century prostitutes used them to tap on their clients’ windows and Victorian schoolmistresses used them to knock recalcitrant students on the head?

My thimble after studying it, is a size ten and I wear it on my middle finger, as it is the pusher finger.  It is awkward and my hands look so old in one (perhaps it is only because I have seen the old wear one).  But it helps preserve my tip for the finer, less painful things in life.  Mine actually says “Spain10”.  I have others but they just hit my fingernail funny on the side and actually cause more pain to my finger than the needle.

We are all sick at this house, everyone has sore throat and runny nose.  The children have had their rounds of puking because of too much bile in the digestive system (yay! a laundry party 😦 ).  I have had bouts with vertigo….not fun stepping out of bed and everything felt slanted and me running into walls high stepping with every baby step.  We will mend, not as easily as with needle and thread but our bodies will do the work.

Here is a picture of one of our kittens all dressed up in doll clothes.  Fight or flight it looks like to me.  Perhaps its pride got a little bent with the process, but as most cats, definitely did not like the process of dressing up.

dressedup

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