Toward a more perfect thimble

In the aftermath of my third missed deadline for what began its life as my 2015 North Carolina State Fair project, I have decided not to put it away until it is done.

To that end, I have been working on perfecting a representation — first, in embroidery, then in crochet — of a thimble.

This project is, after all, a testament to my grandmother Nora’s life, who in addition to being an avid pinochle player (evidenced by the numerous mentions in the Edwardsville Intelligencer of their exploits, some of which I document in this blog post), was also a busy embroiderer.

In one of the rare documents I have written in my grandmother’s hand, she mentions a thimble that was given to her by “grandmother Hill,” a woman whose existence I know little about outside of the six water tumblers which were also handed down to my grandmother Nora, and which, more than a hundred and fifty years later, have made their way to me. But today it was that thimble I was seeking to recreate.

My first effort did not go well.

It was embroidered, and the fuzziness of the embroidering in split yarn which I find charming for cupcakes and flowers, is not nearly so charming for thimbles, so I pulled out the stitches, set the crochet piece aside and tried to crochet one.

My first effort went reasonably well, but was not exactly what I wanted. It is, however, very photogenic, so you can’t really see it’s deficiencies in this photo:

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My first try at a crochet thimble

Thinking that there was a better, more perfect representation of a thimble waiting to be crocheted, I tried a second time, and while this effort was better in some obvious ways (tidier stitches, straighter edges) something of the ineffable “thimbleness” of my first effort was gone:

crochetbug, crazy quilt crochet, embroidery on crochet, narrative crochet, crochet panels, crochet rectangles, crochet squares, crochet blanket, crochet afghan, crochet throw
My second try at a crochet thimble

Here they are, side by side:

crochetbug, crazy quilt crochet, embroidery on crochet, narrative crochet, crochet panels, crochet rectangles, crochet squares, crochet blanket, crochet afghan, crochet throw
My first two efforts at a crochet thimble side by side

With the second effort falling even further short of what I had envisioned, I decided to set aside my crochet thimble and return to the crazy quilt pieces.

The first one that got my attention was a claret piece that I had finished. Using a bouquet of embroidered French knot flowers that I had found on the internet as a guide, I decorated the piece:

crochetbug, crazy quilt crochet, embroidery on crochet, narrative crochet, crochet panels, crochet rectangles, crochet squares, crochet blanket, crochet afghan, crochet throw
The claret crazy quilt piece decorated and ready to be seamed

and then seamed it into place:

crochetbug, crazy quilt crochet, embroidery on crochet, narrative crochet, crochet panels, crochet rectangles, crochet squares, crochet blanket, crochet afghan, crochet throw
The claret crochet crazy quilt piece seamed in place

Building on the mojo that finishing that piece had generated, I got to work on another piece that I wanted to place to it’s immediate right, and shortly before it was time to fix dinner, I got the piece crocheted:

crochetbug, crazy quilt crochet, embroidery on crochet, narrative crochet, crochet panels, crochet rectangles, crochet squares, crochet blanket, crochet afghan, crochet throw
Another crochet crazy quilt piece ready to be seamed

There is still a lot of work to be done on this piece, and I intend to do it.

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2 thoughts on “Toward a more perfect thimble

  1. Leslie;
    You should be proud of yourself.
    The quilt is a story and it would be hard to just use it without knowing the story behind each piece.
    Beautiful colors

  2. I agree with Stella’s comment. You are telling a wonderful story. I also agree that you shouldn’t put this aside until it’s finished. It’s just too important. Not just as your State Fair project (I’m sure you will win with this in 2018), but because it’s a tribute to your grandmother. I just know she would be proud of the work you’re putting into it.

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