Monday, May 2, 2011

Penny Rugs - an essay

A few time ago 
I came upon something totally new to me
Did it ever happen to you...?,
to fall totally in love with something at first sight...?
It does happen to me since in a while.
An that was the case this time.
I just got fascinated by the possibilities!...
But first thing first: I had to find out more about penny rugs.
The wikipedia is a good source of info, of course,
but I'll tell what I found out anyway.

It seems that around the 1800's and after the Civil War,
some women had the idea of cutting men's old wool suits
into circles of different sizes, using coins, or pennies,
to draw the outlines of the circles
(thus the name penny rug).
Using mostly a blanket stitch,
they would sew together 2 to 4 circles of these wool scraps
and then applique by stitching the circles
(again, using a blanket stitch)
on a bigger piece of wool (circle, oval, rectangle...),
creating a pleasant design.
The pieces created could be for a rug or a mat for the floor,
a table center, a mug rug or a piece for the mantle.
All the pieces would have a wool or burlap backing
to hide all the stitching and give it a clean finishing.
I didn't had wool suiting,
but I did have felt,
a really good substitute for these penny rugs...
I just used basic circular shapes, different sizes and colors,

and kinda just played around with it to create my designs.
These are my creations so far.
I can't really pin point why,
but they kinda remind me of Inca or Maya design motifs...
I've not decided their purpose yet,
 maybe as a table center,
or maybe as part of a wall hanging,
but I do know for sure I'll be making more
and also experimenting with different designs.
I hope I made you curios about penny rugs and willing to try to make some.
I'll see you all shortly!

No comments:

Post a Comment