Tools of the Trade 

Hand quilting has given me an all new appreciation for the wonders my hands can perform.  And the foreknowledge that I’m going to be monstrously arthritic in my golden years.  Good times ahead.

I’m even staying up past my bedtime to get in a few extra stitches.  

My biggest problem so far has been getting and keeping a grip on a needle that feels like it’s the diameter of a human hair.  How’re you supposed to hold on to something that small?  My hands get all sweaty and I’m wiping them on my shirt or pants just to get some grip.  Then the pendulum swings and they’re dry as the Sahara with zero traction.  

What’s a quilter to do?

Finger cots!  That’s right; the answer to my prayers.  

Do you know what happens when you ask for finger cots?  You get offered everything but.  I do not want a thimble, be it plastic, metal or leather.  I don’t want those stick on polka dot thingies.  My fingers don’t need pasties, thank you very much.  I know what I want, but it seems the vast majority of folks have no clue what I’m talking about as I tended to get a lot of head cocking…think cocker spaniel.

But mention the words ‘miniature condoms’ and people are all over it.  Like they didn’t already know what I was alluding to.

And that got me thinking…where did finger cots originate?  Then it hit me.

They’re Smurf rubbers.  

How else do you explain one head honcho with seemingly hundreds of lookalikes milling about who all refer to the leader as ‘Papa’.  

This Smurf didn’t find latex so Smurfy.

Have you ever even seen Mama Smurf?  Nuh-uh.  She’d had her fill of the amorous Papa Smurf and his unwillingness to keep his necessary covered and beat feet for parts unknown.  Although, I suppose all that amore could explain why they all seemed so damned happy and fa-la-la-la-la-la-ing all the time. 

Know where I finally found them?  The cots, not the Smurfs.

In the first aid aisle of, wait for it…


Let the good times roll on.


  1. Laughed out loud!
    I use balloons, but have to stop and pick it up each time I need to pull the needle out, so I’m going to pick up some Smurf rubbers.
    If you are not rocking the needle, you can use a bigger needle.

    • Clown rubbers, really?! Who knew? As for needles, I unearthed a ‘Thimblelady’ needle which is significantly larger, but it doesn’t glide as well. Maybe the Smurf rubbers will make it all better.

  2. Who would have thought! I’ve wanted to learn hand quilting for a long time. Since I’ve developed arthritis in my finger joints, I thought I probably wouldn’t be able to. Thank you so much. I’ll try these.

  3. It makes sense that finger cots are in the pharmacy section–they’re meant to protect finger boo-boos. lol Smurf condoms would also put them in pharmacy. But I definitely have a different image in my head. One I may not shake for a while.

  4. Terrific! I’ve tried the ones from the office supply to use instead of gloves when machine quilting, but they were too much trouble. These seem like a good idea for hand sewing 😄

    • The ones at the office supply store cost a bloody fortune! Cha-ching!! I really like using them. I look like a weirdo, but it’s just a visual confirmation of what my kids are already thinking about me.

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