Thursday, November 22, 2012

Penny Rugs

I have made several penny rugs and it would be hard to put all the pictures on this site. Below is a picture of one I made for my brother and his family. Here is how I do this.
  • I buy 100% wool. I try to get thick coat wool. If you can't find different colors, you could buy just plain white or off white wool and dye them. My idea was to dye them in natural colors using such things as beet juice, mustard, blueberries, strawberries, and so on.
  • First I felt the wool by boiling it in water separated by color. Yes it smells like wet dogs. This packs the wool and it wont fray as much.
  • Dry the wool in a hot dryer. Make sure it's pure wool or you will mess up your dryer.
  • Some of the shapes are 3D for effect. The flowers on the tree are two-three flowers from a large shape to a smaller shape blanket stitched on in either contrasting thread or the same color. You could just blanket stitch around the outside of the flower and attach in the middle for a different effect. Now don't use embroidery thread. My thread is a bit thicker. Use size 5 (regular embroidery is size 2)
  • Cut out your shapes and pin to a larger piece. I sewed a contrasting wool frame around the main area.
  • Blanket stitch your pieces on and add things, if you want, like buttons or different kinds of embellishments.
  • I then put a cotton backing on it by sewing it right sides together then invert and iron.
I found a blog that is amazing. She has such unique stitches. These are the kind of stitches you can put on a penny rug.  Paper Napkin Poetry.
Since we still live in a travel trailer making these large items are not possible. Today I am working on a felted cupcake used for a pin cushion. Wish me luck. I saw one on Etsy.
Any craft is soothing. With this economy and the troubles it will bring crafting, sewing, knitting and such could become like yoga, soothing and relaxing.

Two lions under a tree with stars and birds