Let your soul stand ajar, always ready to welcome the ecstatic experience. ~ Emily Dickinson

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

~The Last Stitch~

Hello, dear friends!
It will be a HOT ONE, here in AZ today.....
105 degrees!!

As you can imagine,
 I will be staying
 INSIDE
and KEEPING COOL!!!

Believe it or not, I have finally taken my LAST STITCH 
on my penny rug!!


I knew it was going to be a challenge, but somehow did not really realize
just what I was getting myself into!!

After burying the last knot in the back of the rug,
I sat back and took a DEEP BREATH!!

Then I got to thinking about the size and dimensions of this piece
and decided I would figure out all the particulars and share them with you!!



I started out with a diamond shaped piece of black cotton 
that was 59 inches long by 36 inches wide!

The total amount of pennies I cut out were 169 large 2 1/2 inch 
and 
169 small 1 1/2 inch in Black, Red, and Light Gold wool
totalling 338 pennies!!! 


Each large penny had approximately 27 blanket stitches
with a total of 4563 blanket stitches!

Each small penny had approximately 16 blanket stitches
with a total of  2704 blanket stitches!!

Add those together.......
7267 total blanket stitches!!!!
That sure it a LOT OF STITCHES!!!!

I also decided to add a back, as I wanted to protect all those stitches and so I cut another piece of fabric, pinned it in place, and stitched it on my machine!!



I left a space for turning and then ladder stitched the opening closed!!!!



Here is my finished penny rug!!!
The finished size is
56 1/2 inches long x 33 1/12 inches wide!


What do you think?



I am really happy with it and my hubby Jeff just keeps walking by,
 stopping and saying,
 "It's just beautiful, honey!"

That makes it ALL WORTHWHILE!!!



I love it with my old trencher in the center




filled with pears, crab apples, and dried pomegranates!



It was a real challenge to make this, 
but I had so much fun
 and now have a deep sense of satisfaction
 as I look at the final result!!
It was worth
EVERY STITCH!!

Sewing {TRULY} Mends the Soul!!!

Thank you SO MUCH for your interest and joining along with me!!
Your visits and comments are such an encouragement
and I appreciate each one!!!

Wishing you a day filled with the Simple Joys of a Single Stitch~

Julie 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

~True Colors~

Happy Tuesday, dear friends!

It is an absolutely GORGEOUS DAY, here in Peoria today!!
After last week of having some triple digit days
the high of 74 degrees and sunshine
 is just to my liking!!

Windows are open, birds are singing, golfer's are golfing
and I am stitching!!
 What could be better, yes??

*********

As you know, I have been working on a large penny rug
using some old wool from an old coat and some old blankets in
RED, GOLD, and BLACK!  

These colors are so rich and lovely to my eye, 
but sadly
keep showing up to most of you as RED, WHITE, and BLUE!!

Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE those wonderful Patriotic 
Americana colors, and a penny rug in those colors would be wonderful!

BUT.........

my penny rug in not those colors,

SO.........

I decided to try to take some more pictures and this time
I added a BLUE coverlet to see if it might help make the difference!!


This is a wonderful old overshot BLUE coverlet I decided to use to help show the color contrast!
It is in perfect condition and I actually found it at a Thrift store, of all places!!



Here is the penny rug from the back, on top of the coverlet!



Can you see the two colors of BLACK and BLUE????
{Please tell me you CAN see the difference?}



Here is another look!
{Is this any better?}

I really do think {HOPE} you can see that my penny rug background is really 
BLACK, not BLUE!!


When I tried to get a close up of my progress, it just faded the color of black
and the closer I got, the worse the photo
so these are the best ones of the group!
You would not believe how many photos I 
actually had to delete!!!



I think the sad truth is that I really need a new camera!!!!



Even if the pictures aren't the best, I hope you can see my progress!
I have actually stitched one of the long points!!
So exciting!!!


Here is the front of the penny rug and I really do think I got the 
TRUE COLORS
 this time!!



What do you think??

*************

I still have a long way to go, but it has been a really fun challenge for me,
and I hope you have been enjoying my progress!!!
If you are working on a penny rug
I would love to hear about 
your progress!!

*********

Thanks so much for stopping by today and visiting with me!!
I love hearing from you and so appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment!!
Those little words can truly make my day!!

Wishing you Bright and Sparkling Days, my friends~

Julie

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

~Offerings For Sale~

Hello, friends! 
The temperatures are climbing this week here in Arizona
so I will be staying in as much as I can to keep cool!!

~*~*~*~*~*~

I have some new items to offer 
and thought I would share a few of them with you!

Small Diamond Penny Mat



Little Brown House Heart - SPOKEN FOR! THANK YOU!

~*~*~*~*~

The album is now open and you can visit my Picture Trail Selling Shoppe
  I also have some other lovely 
items available in another album
 and hope you will take a look
at that one as well!!

Thank you so much for your friendship and support!
It truly means so much!!


Wishing you a Joy-Filled Day, my friends~

Julie

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

~Penny Progress~

Happy Wednesday, dear friends!!
It is a lovely day here in Peoria with the windows open and a gentle breeze blowing!
Later the temps will climb a bit but the blinds and fans
 help me stay cool
 while I stitch!!

*~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~*

I so appreciated all of your comments regarding my penny rug
 and wanted to share my progress!
  I also wanted to say the some of you thought the rug was Americana colors!
  I know that cameras and computer monitors don't always give you a true picture of the colors
 and I'm sorry about that!! 
 Just know that the real colors are BLACK, RED, and GOLD, with tan thread!! 



I started with the center and the large red pennies!

The tan floss is a bit hard to see on the center gold pennies in the photo,
 but you can see them in person!

There are a total of 9 large pennies all stitched in place!!
  The large pennies are 2 1/2 inches and the small pennies are 1 1/2 inches! 


I am so happy I  decided to stitch the smaller pennies in place first,
 as it is really a lot of work to turn this big rug around!!
I also decided to use my plastic cutting mat underneath to keep it from slipping on the table!


Another thing I did was to actually fold the sides up to make it smaller,
 allowing me to get closer to the pennies
and also protect my arms from all those sharp pins!!
My arms looked like a kitty got a bit too rambunctious with me
after the first session of stitching!!



I thread 7 large eye needles
 (I would thread more if I had them)
 with my tan crochet thread and have them at the ready 
so I can just stitch each penny without having to re-thread!
  It really helps to keep a rhythm
 and also makes me feel like I have accomplished something!!

After I use up all the threaded needles, I take a big stretch, re-thread,
 and then decide if I will do some more
 or call it a day!!



I was a bit worried that I might not have enough of this thread but after counting what I have left, 
I am happy to say that I actually have a bit more than I need!!!
Each large penny uses one long thread!! 
What a relief!!!



Here is what it looks like on the back, as you can really see the tan threads!!
I actually did stitch some of the large gold pennies as well as the red ones!

*~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~*


My next stitching session involved working on more of the large gold pennies!!  
It seemed easier this time as I had worked out all the "kinks"
 and with the rug folded up my arms looked much better!!



Yesterday I started working on the large black pennies and after stitching only 2 of them,
 I decided to stitch the red ones below, and then ended up stitching the final gold and black ones!! 
I just couldn't help it!!!



It really helped me to see what it would look like to have a corner stitched
 and now I am so excited to get started again today and stitch some more!!



Here is another view of the back!!  Look at all those stitched pennies!!! 



The black pennies are very hard to see when stitching on the black background,
 so I brought out my large OttLite and it really helped!! 



I also noticed that the light helped make the true colors stand out more,
 so I'm hoping you are seeing the right colors on your computer screens!!
  


This really is a BIG PROJECT, but I am truly enjoying the challenge
 and will just take each day
 and see how much I want to stitch on it!!  

Some of you mentioned that you were inspired
 to want to start your own penny rug,
 and I do hope that if you are working on one,
 you will share it! 
 The nice thing is that you can work on whatever size you want,
 and whatever color you want!!
 Just HAVE FUN!!

*~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~*

Thanks so much for your visit today and for following my progress!!!
I will be back soon with more to share!!


Wishing you a day filled with Happy Stitching, my friends~

Julie

Friday, April 21, 2017

~Playing With Pennies~

Happy Friday, dear friends!!!
It is supposed to be a pretty warm one today in Arizona,
but I don't mind as the sun is shining, the birds are singing,
and it is still 84 degrees!!

My windows are open to let in the cool breeze for now
but will be closed later with the blinds drawn when the temps reach 89,
climbing to 93 later in the afternoon!

So far the fans are all we need to keep cool,
but the days of AC are coming soon!!

**************

I love penny rugs and decided I wanted to make one for our dining room table!

I have some large bins in the garage, filled with all kinds of wool that I have collected over the years!
Most of it is coat weight wool or old wool blankets
 and they are just perfect
 for cutting up and making pennies!


Here are some of my old blankets that I decided to work with!!



I also used some black wool from an old coat! You can get lots of good pennies from this panel!
All of this wool has been washed to make sure it is clean and ready for use!!



I love to use freezer paper and keep reusing it over and over again!! 
It works great, but just be sure to use old scissors the first time
 so you don't ruin those good sewing scissors cutting through paper!!
 After I use it the first time, I just cut around it with my good hinged scissors
just cutting the wool!!



Here are some of my pennies!


More of them



And some more!!

I think I went a bit crazy and even after cutting so many, I still have so much wool left!
That is why old wool blankets and old wool coats are so great to use!!!


I finally decided on my color combination of black, red and gold! 
I wanted to make a diamond shaped rug and because I cut so many pennies, it will be pretty large!!

There are a total of 169 large and 169 small pennies in black, red, and gold!!



Originally, I was thinking of using a lighter backing
 but was so happy to find a very large piece of black cotton fabric that I had forgotten about
 and am really happy with it!!
I will also be using some dyed crochet thread that matches the pennies already stitched!

I laid out my pennies first in the shape I wanted and measured it!  
Then I cut out a rectangle of those measurements from the black cotton,
folded it lengthwise and ironed it, and then folded it in half and ironed that as well!
I had to take all the pennies off the table so I could lay the cotton on it and check it to make sure I had measured it correctly!!


Then I started in the center of the cotton with the large red pennies,
 and used the creases to line them up!
I used long ball head pins to pin them in place along the grain of the fabric!
The next row was large gold, then large black, and back to red!
Repeat!!



After getting all those pennies pinned in place, I took my yard stick and chalk pencil
 and traced a line from each side to the point to use as a cutting line!
  I will turn those cut sides under and stitch them under the outside row
 when I finish the rug!!


Believe it or not, I found these wonderful pinking shears in an old sewing basket that I bought at a local antique mall and they are in mint condition,
 so I used them to pink the edges so they won't fray as I am stitching the pennies in place!!!


All pinked and ready to stitch!!!


I have lots of needles in my pincushion that will be threaded with some of my hand dyed crochet thread!


This is going to be a BIG JOB, but I am excited to get started soon!!  

****************



I made a much smaller penny rug several years ago and with this one
 I actually joined the pennies together with threads, rather than use a backing!!


Here is a close up of the stitching!


It has really held up well, but is much smaller than my new one will be
 and I don't move it much except to clean it!


Here is another rug I made using tongues 
and this one also stays put except to clean!!

**************

If you get the urge to make your own penny rug,
 you can use any left over wool scraps you might have
 and even use old fabrics!  
So go check out your fabric stashes
 and see what you can come up with!!
Be creative and above all
Have fun!!

I would love for you to share if you plan to make a penny rug
 or if you have made one in the past!!


I will be back soon to share my progress with you!!!  

****************

Thanks so much for visiting with me today! 
 I hope you were inspired to try your hand at making a penny rug, or perhaps even working on that project that you tucked away somewhere!!!  
Today IS THE DAY!!

Wishing you a day filled with lots of Creative Goodness, my friends~

Julie