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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Penny Rug Pattern

Penny Rug Pattern

Various colors of felted wool
Cotton Embroider Thread
Embroider Needle
Stick Pins

The largest piece of wool should be for your backing. 
I have provided a chart you can print as a template or you can design your own sizes.  Honestly, I used a glass, lid and nickle to trace around for my template. You can see how technical this is.

Using your template, stick pins and scissors cut out your circles.   If you look at the photo below I cut out little bears instead of circles for some of my penny's.  And I also embroidered a design on several as well.  This is a place to use your imagination, there are no set rules. You can make it as big or as small as you would like it.  For me I had a certain table in camper "The Big Bear" But once I saw how much we used the table and how often I changed my mind.
As you can see blanket stitch is used to attach the penny's to each other and the backing.  I sat with two plastic bags, one held penny's I needed to stitch together and the other held finished ones.  This project is simple it just is time consuming and is a great take along project.

When attaching them to the backing I found the center of the wool, attached the first and working my way out.  You can look at my photos and see the placement of the circles next to each other.
A Bit of History
Penny rugs have been around since the 1800, about the time of the Civil war.  Women would take scraps of felted wool from old clothing and hats.  Then cut circles (penny's) out of the fabric in three different sizes.  The penny's were then sewn one on top of the other using a blanket stitch.   They were then sewn onto wool, burlap or a feed sack.  Though they were called rugs they were not used on the floor.  Instead decorative coverings for tables, dressers, beds and mantels.  To help it lay flat a penny was tucked under a circle when attaching it to the backing.

This was a fun project, I love bringing back to life crafts that women made up out of scraps.  For the simple need of having something beautiful to adorn there home with.  It just gives ya a warm fuzzy doesn't it.

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