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National Sewing Month #3 – A Penny for Your Thoughts

September 4, 2012

Ever since I made a grey wool blazer to accompany a pink, taupe and grey plaid wool A-line skirt, I have loved wool. The drape of it, the texture – there’s just nothing like it.

A few years ago I saw a penny rug. I must have seen them before – but this time “cha-ching” it really registered with me (pun intended). Perhaps it was the reflection of the colors in the living room – taupe, golden brown, maroon, plum. Maybe it was the blanket stitches around the edge – the ability to be imperfect, rustic. And so the vision of the penny rug floated around in my imagination until this summer.

19 Cents Penny Rug

The 19 Cents Penny Rug joins the eclectic collection of photos and memorabilia on the end table in our living room.

Penny rugs – not really rugs at all- are mats or wall hangings typically made of circular pieces of wool layered together with a blanket stitch. Circular because typically the thrifty pioneer women used a coin as a template as they made use of every bit of scrap fabric.

This summer, while spending a very hot and all to brief vacation at the cottage in central Wisconsin, we ventured a different direction than our usual day trips. We headed north 30-45 minutes or so to Ripon where on Main Street was a delightful shop filled with primitives, felted items and wool called Holly and Ivy – heaven! While I could have easily selected one of almost everything – the budget demanded restraint. Coincidentally I wound up with 19 Cents -A Scrappy Penny Mat kit from Primitive Gatherings. While I started the tracing and cutting back in July and dig a great deal of blanket stitching while watching the Olympics, the final assembly didn’t begin until Labor Day weekend.

Now complete 19 Cents rests atop the coffee table in the living room providing a warm and wooly memory of summer vacation. And I wonder. . . could somewhere in an old trunk back at the farmhouse I grew up in, could their be a scrap of that plaid wool for the next penny project?



2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 8, 2012 9:40 am

    Your Penny Mat turned out beautifully! I’m loving the colors and their relative randomness combined within the constraints of circles and a hexagon – very cool!

  2. September 8, 2012 3:58 pm

    Thanks Mary. I can’t tell you how often I laid them out and moved them around and took photos to try to remember the looks that I liked. Kind of like building a puzzle but without rules!

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