August 18, 2012

Going Back to the Beginning

This is what probably started the whole thing.

When I was around 11 or 12 I was given my paternal grandmother's thimble. This seemed odd since all the sewers and quilters were on Mom's side, but it turns out that Grandma Goldie had once worked for a tailor and when she left his employ he gave her this silver and gold thimble. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't capture the gold color on the carved band.

My mother knew how I might have trouble keeping track of the thing and so brilliantly she took it to a jeweler and had him attach a loop so I could wear it on a chain. It goes without saying,  but I will say that it is my best and most worn piece of jewelry. It is marked in the top of the inside with the maker mark for Ketchum and McDougall, a thimble maker in NYC. They produced sterling thimbles from 1892 through 1932. I'm sure that some would say it was devalued by putting it on a chain but I probaly would have misplaced it if not for the "safety" chain. The value matters little to me since it is PRICELESS!

This is the first thimble cabinet that my mother had.  It is made from an old printers type drawer.  You can see the label on the handle at the bottom of the case.  My dad rigged it up with some extra cross-pieces to provided more small openings and a Plexi-glas front which slides in from the side. Clever, but nearly impossible to open and close easily.  You have to take it off the wall and then remove a side moulding and slide it out.  The thimbles dance around while you attempt this.  I grouped them by ceramic, metal and mostly wood with a few odd ones as I thought they looked better this way than a complete jumble.


  1. The little cabinet is a great idea and I love your thimble

  2. Hi, FYI: If you use a white background rather than black, the gold on your thimble will show up better. Kit/Thimblescope