I decided to try using a thimble. I have tried before without success, but I see that most real quilters use them, so I am giving it a try again. I tried the old metal one but I don't know why. It didn't work in my 7th grade Home Ec class and it doesn't work now. The red plastic one with the little leather piece----I don't get it. The leather one with the metal tip--now that looks like a real woman's thimble. It is too big for my finger though. Adjustments will have to be made.