Here it is ~ the penny rug that's on my dining room table. This was one of my first attempts at a penny rug, and it was designed to be used. I wanted something that would fit in the center of the table, but still allow plates, silverware, and glasses to fit on the table without going on top of the rug. So, I put some paper on the table to see how large to make the runner. No magic formula, just measured to suit my need.
I then took the measurements, and traced a rectangle on freezer paper. I used the freezer paper to cut out the background. It helps give a really sharp edge, plus, it helps give an exact backing size. (more on that later) I used wool felt for this one, but now I only use 100% wool. (had to start somewhere)
I used various colors of pennies and layed them out so the bottom color goes diagonally. I didn't use freezer paper to cut them out. I used an idea on another blog of using a Sizzix machine with a circle cutter. Yes, it did give exact circles. But, I found using this machine wasted a lot of wool felt. Now that I use wool, it would waste WAY too much. If I was doing this again, I would trace my circles onto freezer paper using a circle template. The circles can touch edges (very slightly), as then there would be no wasted wool.
I stitched them in groups of 3, then blanket stitched them to the background. After I made this penny rug, I found a wonderful tutorial for blanket stitching. You might want to check out
After stitching the pennies onto the front, you can finish the back with either wool or cotton quilt fabric. I used cotton. If you are using wool, use the freezer paper from the top of the runner. Cut exactly, and you will have an exact copy of the top. If you are using fabric, iron the freezer paper onto the fabric, and cut, leaving a 1 inch border on each side of the freezer paper. Then iron the edges of the runner exactly on the edge of the freezer paper. An easy way to get an exact size of the top. You will now be able to stitch the bottom to the top, and not have the cotton fabric ravel. I didn't know this trick when I made this runner. Yes, the edges do have a button hole stitch, but the quilt fabric still ravels slightly.
I've seen other ideas for the background instead of wool. I've seen aged weavers cloth, quilt fabric and ticking. Walnut ink crystals are a great way to age the fabric.
I did have to start a project to use my new frame. I started a snowman rug with some scraps that I had on hand. The white/tan is a few worms of wool that I sprayed with walnut ink. I love the color of walnut ink to age fabric (not too orangy, not too drab ~ just a wonderful shade of brown). I wanted to see how it would look for the snowman. (the color is lighter than in the photo). Now to decide if I go for tan or grey to age the snowman....
~*~ Laura ~*~ (still warm in Chicago, but that's gonna change soon)
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