Penny Rugs Revisited

Good day everyone, Its a snowy, very cold day here in Northern Alberta. So it seems natural to think about warm wool fabric or anything cozy for that matter …Ive decided to revise the penny rugs and give a couple other projects some added attention. I hope you enjoy the new look and the info I will be adding in the near future. Along with this I have a couple of big projects in the works (not the stitching kind)  I’m pretty excited about them and I can’t wait to shared them here with you, not to give anything away 🙂  I hope you enjoy reading about the Penny Rugs again or for the first time.

Have a great day and happy stitching

Izz

“Penny Rug” is a name given to a form of wool applique.Dating to the early to mid 19th century. Penny rugs earned their name from the large coin or pennies said to be used as templates to cut out the round forms applied to various backings, often with a button hole stitch. Another name for these rugs was “Pen Wiper Rug”. Many times you will find circles of gradiated sizes applied one on top of another in pairs or threes on these rugs.

Along with circles, many naturalistic figures were used, including simple flowers, fruits and animals. Often there was enhancing embroidery added. The backings used were varied and included woolen fabrics and coarsely woven cotton.

Although these works of domestic art were called rugs, they were most often used as table rugs or wall hangings rather than floor rugs. An interesting turnabout from the days when actual floor rugs and tapestries were used on tabletops. Probably, because fabric was just too precious at that time. thier simple primitive style gives them a charm that has continued through the years.

My designs of purses, totes and penny rugs offer a unique interpretation with the embellishment of glass seed beads.

wool "pennies" embellished with glass seed beads

wool “pennies” embellished with glass seed beads – Isabel’s Needleworks

Star Gazing ©Isabel's Needlworks

Star Gazing ©Isabel’s Needlworks

Poppy Field ©Isabel's Needleworks

Poppy Field ©Isabel’s Needleworks

Rabbit In Lady Slippers ©Isabel's Needleworks

Rabbit In Lady Slippers ©Isabel’s Needleworks

Sheep In The Clover ©Isabel's Needleworks

Sheep In The Clover ©Isabel’s Needleworks

Heart Runner

Heart Runner Isabel’s Needleworks

Wool Star Runner ~ Isabel's Needleworks

Wool Star Runner ~ Isabel’s Needleworks

photo 4

Felt Trivet ~ Isabel’s Needleworks

These totes are great for carrying yor magazines and book or for taking your favour craft project on the road with you. I always have one handy with a portable project.

This is a collection of Wool Felted Purses and Totes I have made. Some of them have embroidery on them and some I have embelished with wool and hand applique in a Penny Rug Style. I use 100% wool fabric.

Navy Blue Wool Shoulder Bag with Heart and Bead design. 8" X 8" / 36" shoulder strap. Lined with navy satin fabric.

Navy Blue Wool Shoulder Bag with Heart and Bead ~ Isabel’s Needleworks

Red Wool Shoulder Bag with Heart and Bead design. 8" X 8" / 36" shoulder strap. Lined with red satin fabric

Red Wool Shoulder Bag with Heart and Bead ~ Isabel’s Needleworks

Wool Patchwork Shoulder bag 8" X 8" with 36" shoulder strap. Lined

Wool Patchwork Shoulder Bag Isabel’s Needleworks

11" X 11" Sheep Tote / 24" handles. Sheep motifs are 100% felted wool as well. The bag is lined with 100% unbleached cotton.

11″ X 11″ Sheep Tote / 24″ handles. Isabel’s Needleworks

11" X 11" Sheep Tote / 24" handles . Sheep motifs are 100% felted wool as well . The bag is lined with 100% unbleached cotton

11″ X 11″ Sheep Tote / 24″ handles . Isabel’s Needleworks

Red Wool Tote with embroidered horse design on front   12" X 12" / 24" handles

Red Wool Tote, embroidered horse design ~ Isabel’s Needleworks

Tweed Brown Wool shoulder bag 8" x 8" with 36" shoulder strap lined with co-ordinating fabric

Tweed Brown Wool Shoulder Bag ~ Isabel’s Needleworks

Black Wool Shoulder Bag with hand applique poppy and leaves on flap and red stitching accent on edges. 8" X 8" with 36" shoulder strap. Lined with red cotton fabric

Black Wool Shoulder Bag with hand applique poppy and leaves ~ Isabel’s Needleworks

Brown Wool Tote with embroidered acorn design on front  12" X 12" / 24" braided handles

Brown Wool Tote with embroidered acorn design / braided handles ~ Isabel’s Needleworks

Felting Wool Fabric:

I prewash the fabric before working with it. I place only the wool fabric in the washing machine, one colour at a time so the colours won’t run into each other. I have found that some colours don’t run and some do, so now I don’t take any chances. I keep the same colours together through the whole process because in the dryer you don’t want red fuzzies on white or white fuzzies on any dark colour, its a real pain having to clean up the fabric. That was a lesson learned 🙂  Using the hot water cycle and cold water rinse, I use just under a 1/4 cup of laundry detergent and 1/4 cup of baking soda. The baking soda helps the fibers loosen up for better shrinkage. When the fabric is finished washing,I place the same colours in the dryer on high heat and let it run for a long cycle, check the dryer often because the lint trap will fill up fast. I ususally clear the lint trap 3 times before the fabric is finshed drying. Now its ready for ironing. I use a hot iron on full steam. Felting wool fabric takes alot of heat and the results are a very soft and durable fabric to work with and the edges will not fray.

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7 Comments

December 29, 2013 · 11:57 AM

7 responses to “Penny Rugs Revisited

  1. These are all so gorgeous! Happy New Year to you.

    Like

  2. Pingback: New Year’s Day Craft Blogs Roundup | SusieDDesigns' Blog

  3. Oh Izzy you have to teach me!!!!

    Like

  4. Izzy your so damn talented. Hurry up and get back to the harbour so you can teach me. I am so jealous!!! Luv u guys.

    Like

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