Poke-y Hand Stitching

When I hand stitch my bindings, I take care to use a small needle and take tiny stitches for the best results. Unfortunately, the eye end of the needle eventually starts poking into my middle finger. Ouch! I never have gotten used to using a thimble, so I've tried a series of solutions. Usually it involves a band aid and more pokings.

I've tried various stick on things from time to time, but never really liked them. Most  made a sticky mess on my finger which I was afraid would mar my quilt. And the needle would slide off the sticker. Now I've found something new and I think it's going to work

free motion quilting

These are called Poke-A-Dots! Cute name. There's a little design on the working surface with enough ridges to keep the needle from sliding off and enough thickness to keep the needle from poking through. The adhesive is staying put too. (Side note: It is very hard to take a picture of your own finger!)

I bought mine from Connecting Threads online, but there are a few sites offering Poke-A-Dots through Amazon too.

If a quilt isn't a super special one like my Poured Out 2 quilt, I prefer to finish the binding by machine which is much less painful.

How about you? Do you use a thimble or something else? Maybe you've got hands like I used to have when I was still farming; no needle would get through those calluses! Share with us in the comments please.


  1. I have been exactly the same way with thimbles .. I could never use them. Well, I did find one type, a soft, small, black leather one with a metal disk at the tip which worked fine ... until, over time, it stretched out (as leather will do) so that even the 'size small' became too big. It was annoying when the thimble would fall off.

    While I generally don't do bindings by hand, I *do* like needleturn applique. I was at a crossroads .. I like the hand work; I don't like my finger getting poked and sore.

    Then I found "Thimble Pads" by Colonial. These are similar to your Poke-a-Dots in that they are disks with adhesive on the back. The difference is that Thimble Pads are sueded leather; the roughness of the suede surface, as well as it being pliable, allows the needle to stay ON the disk (rather than my finger) and protects my poor finger tip from being stuck.

    I'm so glad there are products such as your Poke-a-Dots and my Thimble Pads around so that we can continue to do handwork without become battle scarred! :-)

    1. I've seen some of your applique on your blog and I agree, we don't want to give up the handwork to avoid the battle scars!

  2. This is quite a timely post! I've been working on a binding today and tore up my finger despite trying really hard to pay attention to where it was. I've just been digging around the cabinets looking for something that might help. :)

  3. I'm like you. I learned how to hand quilt with a thimble, but can't manage it when sewing on bindings. By the end of a large quilt, I have a large sore spot on that middle finger! I've seen the poke a dots, and wondered how well they would work. Thanks for letting us know.

  4. I hope you all give the Poke-a-Dots a try or some other method a try. Those sore fingers are awful! Thanks for letting me know my post was useful.