...and I'm hoping you will fall in love with them too, as we sew along over the next 10 months.
HISTORYHere's what Wikipedia has to say about their history.
In the 1800s, starting around the time of the Civil War, thrifty homemakers would use scraps of wool or felted wool from old clothing, blankets and hats to create designs for mats or rugs. Using coins as templates, they created circles and each piece was then stitched in blanket stitch fashion. (Thus, the name "penny" rug). Sometimes, the mats or rugs were backed with old burlap bags or feed sacks. Sometimes a penny was stitched inside the mat to make it lie flat.
Penny rugs are not actual rugs for the floor, but decorative coverings for beds, tables and dressers and mantles. Sometimes they are used as wall hangings or pillows. Most designs include circles and some include images from everyday life such as cats, flowers, birds and shapes such as stars and hearts.
I'll be using purchased wool felt, wool blend felt, woollen suiting and some handmade felt I made from old jumpers and blankets. There is no reason you can't make the rug from anything you wish. I think it would look brilliant sewn on linen and if you want to use all cotton fabrics instead of felt - go right ahead. It's your penny rug so use whatever you want. I'll try to offer hints for using cotton fabric along the way and at the end I'll suggest some alternate ways to finish off the edges.
My penny rug is going to have the traditional edging like this antique one which is currently for sale on Ebay. Here's the link just in case you want to BID
- You will need a rectangle of fabric for the main body of the rug measuring 40" x 28". I used a good quality wool blend felt which I purchased at Spotlight off the roll. Mine is a midnight blue.
- An assortment of other felts and fabrics for the applique
- Some Vliesofix or Heat and Bond
- Stranded cotton, perle cotton, silk or Auriful 12 wt wool thread for sewing around your applique.
- General sewing requirements like needles, scissors etc
LETS GET STARTEDLay out your piece of felt
and measure up 5 1/2" from each corner
THE APPLIQUEPrint out the two applique sheets you will find HERE.
Trace the pattern pieces on to the vliesofix. (I didn't worry about reversing the print as the house is basically symetrical except for the chimney and you can put that anywhere on the roof you want. I didn't think it mattered whether the tree trunk was reversed or not.)
I assembled the house on a piece of Glad Bake (parchment baking paper), peeled it off, then positioned it in the middle of one side about 3/4' in from the edge.
The tree trunk and grassy pieces go on next
It's a good idea to use the tree pattern piece to help you judge how close to put the trunk to the house.
Then blanket stitch around each piece.
Cut a whole bunch of little leaves in différent shades of green. I used 4 different colours and attach each one with a running stitch. (If you are using cotton fabric make it double sided by joining 2 pieces together with vliesofix, that way it won't fray as easily when held on by the running stitches.)
Now you can embroider a little vine on the house if you want.
And you are finished Part 1.
Can't wait to share the next bit, back here on Monday February 13th
I hope you decide to join me in this project. If you do there is this logo to put on your sidebar if you wish.