I visited Elsie Campbells blogspot who kindly said....WE.... need to know the difference between a sewing thimble... and a quilting thimble. A Quilting Thimble (to the left) will have a deep depression that allows you to control the needle while using the 'rocking motion involved in making close, even quilting stitches. Thus... the sewing thimble (to the right) is smooth on top.......Next, there is a difference between a sewing needle and a quilting needle. A preferred brand is the John James Goldn' Glide Size 11 -- Bit Eye Quilting Needle. That's a mouthful. A Quilting needle is technically called a "between" whereas a sewing needle is called a "Sharp".
The difference between the Between and the Sharp is 1/4" in length with the quilting needle between the shorter!!! The shorter Between Quilting needle makes for better control during the rocking motion used in the quilting process.
Another useful product for hand quilting is Needle-Grip-its. Elsie uses the product on her thumb and forefinger to allow for easier gripping of tiny needles, and on her underneath fingers to protect them from niddle pricks!