The International Thimble Convention

I had the privilege and honor of being an invited guest to the 2010 17th Biennial International Thimble Convention that took place here in Cincinnati, Ohio. I attended part of the convention with Lucerne Wulf. Lucerne is an internationally known (and collected) thimble designer and collector. Her personal collection is massive. Massive and beautiful. Like, thousands and thousands.

The convention took place at the Hilton Netherland Plaza Hotel which is a beautiful building. It is one of the finest examples of French Art Deco in the US and my favorite building in Cincinnati.

Instead of telling you about thimbles, I’m just going to show you.

I’ll start with my collection:

coles thimbles

John Paul II Thimble

JP II thimbleI like religious-themed thimbles.

Lucerne Wulf Cat ThimbleMy first thimble. A gift to me when I was 13 from Lucerne. She handmade this thimble. It’s silver.

Pope Mitre Hat ThimblePope hat! It has a chip, but you know what, it’s awesome.

raflesia thimble

OK, now for some photos from the convention:

Thimble Convention CincinnatiFirst of all, the place was packed. Hoppin’! Actually, the energy was very positive and lively.

Thimble Convention CincinnatiTable decorations above. Giant plastic thimble. Where does one find that?

Thimble Convention CincinnatiSome of the thimbles for sale. Look at them–you can see one is ‘stained glass’, some are silver, some are brass—how cool.

Thimble Convention CincinnatiPhotos from a different booth. As you can see, starting a thimble collection can be inexpensive.

Thimble Convention CincinnatiThe one above was a favorite. It has a little embroidered flower in a window. How cool.

Thimble Convention CincinnatiThere was more! More!

Thimble Convention CincinnatiThe little animals above–those are thimbles too.

Thimble Convention CincinnatiAnother thimble with embroidery. Charming.

Thimble Convention CincinnatiThere were even sewing accessories and the like. Special cases. Vintage stuff. It really was something you could totally get lost in. Even me, who had never really had an interest or knowledge (of any kind) of thimbles.

Thimble Convention CincinnatiThis is one of my Mom’s thimbles. It’s a working abacus.

Thimble Convention CincinnatiAnd this one. Made of peacock feathers.

So, welcome to the world of thimbles. They are so much more than the little aluminum ones you can buy at Joanne Fabrics for 99 cents, aren’t they? I feel really lucky to have gone to something like this and I hope you’ve enjoyed the photos.

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you Cole for sharing this! And thank you for learning me a for me new word: thimble! The Swedish name for thimbles are “fingerborg”, which translates “finger-castle”, a castle for your finger to protect it, so to say.

    Some of the thimbles are just charming, others not quiet so. Other seems just impossible to use. But most of all. They show that everyday things sometimes can be extraordinary.

    One of the things I would like to do in my lifw is doing embroidery. I love the small mini-kits from Rowandean: http://www.rowandean.com/
    I saw them in a catalog belonging to my wife. My wife doesn’t want me to start embroidery. She thinks I have a lot of other things to do, and she is probably right…

    • Lennert-
      Thank you SO much for your comment. Fingerborg is a great word on its own and the translation is so endearing.
      I want to do a follow-up post with my Mom’s collection as hers is much more robust than mine!

      Lennart–I love embroidery too, especially crewel work. I’ve ordered some small kits from Purl Soho (www.purlsoho.com). Embroidery is a wonderful hobby with beautiful results.