Thursday, January 29, 2009

Collector Thimbles

Quilters are collectors. We seem to collect fabric most of all. And patterns...and quilt tools.... and thread.....I could go on and on.
I have my own collections of quilty things. I love pincushions. I've previously done a post about some of the pincushions I have either made, purchased or been given as a gift.
I also love thimbles.
In my sewing room I have an antique printing frame that serves as a display for the various thimbles I've gathered over the years. The frame is distressed with ink from days long gone, and was once used to hold pieces of metal type. Now it has just the right size sections to display small objects.

I love to travel. And I love to collect memories from my trips.
These thimbles were purchased when I went on a quilt tour to Sisters Oregon.

The thimbles I collect are purely decorative and not intended for use.
I got these as we toured through the Islands of Alaska while on a cruise one summer.

In 2002 the Winter Olympics came to Salt Lake City. We loved being part of all the festivities. Our city was completely transformed for the events. The news predicted we would have total chaos trying to travel from event to event. Instead we found complete order and efficient traffic control. One day as we were heading to an event up Parley's Canyon we were surprised to see Governor Mitt Romney in the road directing traffic. He had been brought in last minute as Chairman to clean up an internal mess . We were impressed that he was willing to be part of the work to be done, and to mingle with the thousands of volunteers.

The cable cars of San Francisco remind me of my home town, located just south of the City. I spent my childhood years in the Bay Area, and I bought this thimble on a trip home.

Hearst Castle is not very far from the Bay Area. We took the kids on a tour one time when we went home for a vacation.

One summer my father in law treated all his 9 children with spouses to a Baltic Sea cruise. A trip of a life time. I loved every city along the Baltic coast, and collected thimbles in nearly every one. If I were to select the city I was most impressed with on that trip, St.Petersburg Russia would probably be at the top of the list.
Mr. Cactus and I kept looking at each other and saying "Can you believe we are in Russia!"

My family has been very understanding when we travel, waiting for me to hunt down a thimble to keep as a memory of our visit. Sometimes a thimble with a name of a country or city is not easy to locate. With a little perseverance I can usually locate one.

Most of the thimbles I have purchased myself. Sometimes a friend will bring me back a thimble from an exotic location they have traveled.
The ones below are from a girlfriend who spent some time traveling through the areas near Greece. I felt honored she would remember me in such a wonderful way.

Some locations have a deeper meaning than just a vacation. We went to New York not long after 911 when the World Trade Center was attacked. The stores still carried the thimbles of the towers that once stood. I remember seeing the nearby office walls, blackened and draped with the American flag. I actually get quite emotional when I look at this thimble.

Our National sites often carry very decorative thimbles. A quilt trip through Amish country has a horse and carriage. The Statue of Liberty carries her torch.

We love to visit our National Parks like Bryce and Yellowstone.

This one says "Utah Moose on The Loose". Very clever.
I'm not sure if any of these thimbles will be of any worth to future generations, but they decorate my sewing room and remind me continually of happy times.


Sherri said...

You have terrific thimbles...I loved seeing them! I have a few...but not enought to call them a collection yet!

Material Mary said...

great collection of thimbles. I love how you display them.

Browndirtcottage said...

This is a wonderful collection Nedra...very special I'm sure!

antique quilter said...

wow what a great collection of thimbles....never thought of collecting them. great memoires.

Material Mary said...

Nedra, I've awarded you with the Kreative Blog award. Go to my blog for instructions. Love your blog!!

Carrie said...

I love all your thimbles. The stories behind them are fun to hear. I used to collect them and have a bunch stashed away. After seeing your collection I think I'll get them out again.

Nanette Merrill said...

This is a collection to rival thimbleanna's! Wowie.

Nancy said...

Wow! What an incredible collection. I have to admit that I don't have the patience for collecting things, but it is fun to see others collections.