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Penny Rug

I’ve always loved the look of little ‘penny rug’ runners and mats and have wanted to make one. Most often the ones I see in gift shops and mail order catalogs, are dark colors giving them an old primitive look. Though I love the ‘prim’ look, I also love color, so going through my felt stash, I found several ‘colonial’ colors that worked well together.

Penny rugs originated in the 1800’s. Women gathered bits of wool and wool felt from old clothing and hats, then using coins as templates, created table mats, floor rugs and bed covers. The blanket stitch was used to apply each small fabric circle to a background made of feed sacks or burlap.

Instead of laboring over the tracing and cutting of ‘pennies’ like my sisters of days gone by, I cut the felt circles using my Cuttlebug machine and the Sizzix Circles #2 die. How easy! Tonight I’ll go through my embroidery floss and pull out complementing colors. Hope to have a finished doily-size penny rug to show you next week.

Do you have any projects in the works?

About anitakgreene

I write romantic adventure for the inspirational market. I enjoy needlework, papercrafting and gardening. I'm at home in the Ocean State with my husband, son and a spoiled Belgian Malinois.

7 responses »

  1. good for you – enjoy; I can’t wait to see it!

    • I can’t wait to finish it! LOL Forgot how to start the blanket stitch! Had to pull out my ancient but trusty embroidery stitches encyclopedia bought long before there was a world wide web.

  2. I am a fellow Penny Rug aficionado, and totally agree that joyful colors are just as wonderful as the more traditional Prim look. Want to see one of my current creations? I’d be honored to have you take a look! Desiree

  3. anita, can’t wait to see your penny rug done. you are soooooooooooo talented!

    • Diane, I’m sewing on it a little each day. I’d forgotten how much needlework relaxes me. I’m hoping to have it done next week, but I’m enjoying the process rather than rushing (which seems to be the speed I’m stuck on most days) so I may miss my goal by a few days. Thank you for stopping by and commenting!


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