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

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!

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~



Vicki Jo said...

What a beautiful start to your penny rug! You are very ambitious to make one so big. I am looking forward to seeing your progress! Last year I sent an email to ladies in my quilt guild asking where they bought wool. Several women shared information with me and one sweet lady brought in a huge shopping bag of wool that she had "harvested" from clothes at thrift shops -- all cleaned, cut into panels and ready to go! I need to start a penny rug (smaller) and do it along with you!

Marcia said...

Oh my gosh Julie you are ambitious! It is going to be gorgeous!
I like the idea of sewing them together at the sides. I've not seen that done before.
Keep us up to date on your progress. Have a great weekend

Patti said...

Oh how I love your penny rug! GORGEOUS!!! My mom is the penny rug maker in our family. although I have been toying at the idea of trying a small one...
Blessings, Patti

Julie - My Primitive Heart said...

Hi Vicki Jo,
How fun that you have all that wool to start a penny rug with!! I really didn't plan to make my rug that big, but just kept adding the pennies since I had so many and really liked it!! I still have lots cut to make smaller rugs!! Hope you start one and would love to hear about your progress!! Thanks so much for stopping by!!!

Hi Marcia,
I just love these colors and have them all around my home, so they were the right choice for me!! I love connecting the pennies by sewing them together, but my new one would require me to cut 169 black pennies and I decided I had cut enough!!! Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check back as I share more!

Hi Patti,
Yes, your mom is quite the penny rug maker, but you are equally as talented and always love seeing what you are both up to!! I look forward to seeing what you will be working on next!!

Take care ladies, and thanks so much for your very kind words!!!
Happy Creating~

Saundra said...

Good heavens Julie, do you ever sleep? That is one huge task you have taken on but is looking beautiful.

Julia said...

Wow, Julie, you sure picked a big project. It's beautiful and it should keep you busy for a while.
I've seen small penny rugs but nothing that big. I've never made a penny rug. I'm just about to design a challenge for our Rug Hooking Daily group, Great Stash Deworming Marathon group.

Have fun and stay cool.
Hugs, Julia

Rugs and Pugs said...

You are off to a great start. It is going to be stunning and your stitches are always so perfect.
Stay cool :)

Julie - My Primitive Heart said...

Hi Saundra,
I actually do try to get the sleep I need, but somehow there is always something I want to do!! I know you TOTALLY UNDERSTAND, right??
So happy you like my rug! Thanks so much for stopping by!!!

Hi Julia,
I'm happy you like my rug, too!! I forgot how big it was as I started to stitch on my first penny to the backing!! Wish me luck!!
Your group sounds so fun and I'm sure you will design something wonderful, AND use up those worms!!! Thanks for your visit!!!

Hi Lauren,
You are too kind, my friend!! I hope my stitches look good as I am attaching the pennies to the backing! Wish me luck!!! Thanks for your visit!!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, my friends!
Heart Hugs~

Barbara Shores ~ Village Folk Art said...

Ohhh my gosh sweet Julie, This is one big project. It is already beautiful. You are so ambitious and creative with all that you do. Looking at your past accomplishments is very impressive with Perfect stitches too. Can't wait to see the finish on this one.
Wishing you a very pleasant weekend with Folk Art Hugs,

Mary Johnson/Designs In Wool said...

Julie, how beautiful! So fun to see your project in the making :)

Julie - My Primitive Heart said...

Hi Barb,
Yes, it is much bigger than I originally had in mind, but I just decided to go for it!! I love the colors and just hope it turns out the way I imagine it will!! Thanks for your kind words and do hope you continue to feel better!!

Hi Mary,
It is always so nice to have you visit!! Thanks so much for your kind words! Now the hard part starts.....stitching all those pennies!!!
Wish me luck!! It's always fun to read your wonderful newsletter!!

Hope you both have a great weekend!!
Heart Hugs to you both~

old crow said...

Wow!! That is truly amazing! You really have been busy! That is going to be a beauty when you are finished! Your stitches are so neat and perfect! Cannot wait to see your finished masterpiece. What a lovely heirloom!
Have fun stitching!

The Eveningstitcher said...

Oh my gosh, Julie!! You are really going to town!! The penny rug is going to be gorgeous and I love the colors! Hope you had fun cutting those pennies! I love the other penny rugs you have made and especially the one with the tongues...I have always wanted to make one of those. Everything looks wonderful and your stitching is perfect!! Have fun and can't wait to see the finished rug!

HomeSpunPrims said...

Oh Julie, this is gorgeous! I'll look forward to seeing your progress. Such a fun post! Big hugs, Lori

Julie - My Primitive Heart said...

Hi Mona,
I have always wanted to make a diamond shaped penny rug and though not actually this big, I am pleased with it!! It surely will keep me busy!
You certainly have been busy yourself and I love all those new punch needle pieces!! Your work is always beautiful! Thanks for stopping by and for your very kind words!!!

Hi Bobbie,
Yes, I really DID go to town on all those pennies!! I am so happy I can use the wonderful blanket and coat wool to make something special for my home!! I love those other penny rugs too, and may make a couple more, since I have so many pennies left!! lol Thanks so much for your visit and kind words!!

Hope you both have a wonderful weekend!!!
Heart Hugs~

Julie - My Primitive Heart said...

Hi Lori,
Thanks so much, my friend!! I truly am enjoying stitching this and hope it turns out like I am imagining!!
I am planning on working on it today and hope to get a number of those pennies attached to the backing!!!
Thanks for your visit and hope you have a wonderful weekend!!
Heart Hugs~

Mugwump Woolies said...

Hi Julie...that is one ambition penny rug project! Of course, the red is just wonderful with the black...one of my favorite combinations. Can't wait to see the progress.
Enjoy your Sunday!

moosecraft said...

This is gorgeous! I love it! Makes me wish I had some black, red and beige woolens laying around here!

Prims By The Water said...

These are all of my favorite colors. WOW it will be wonderful once completed. A very big undertaking but worth it in the end. Janice

Julie - My Primitive Heart said...

Hi Robyn,
Yes, it surely is!!! What was I thinking?? lol I just keep adding pennies and really liked it the bigger it got!!! I love this color combination and wish it would show up better on my computer!! The colors are richer and the black is really black!!
I've already started stitching so will share soon!!

Hi Sharon,
I'm so happy you like it and love these colors together!!! I didn't think I had any black and was so happy to find some!! Maybe there is some fabric just waiting for you to find?? You just never know!!

Hi Janice,
I think a lot of people like these colors together and they just go with everything, at least in my home!! It will be a lot of work but am going to enjoy each stitch!! Hope you are feeling better!!

Thanks so much, dear friends, for stopping by and hope you all have a wonderful week!!
Heart Hugs~

Cathy G. said...

Oh My How BEAUTIFUL Juile! THAT is a LOT of cutting and stitching my sweet friend!! But the outcome is truly gorgeous! It will be an heirloom piece for sure! I remember a few wickedly hot summers here in Wisconsin where I stayed indoors in AC all summer and spent the time rug hooking and stitching.... we haven't had those hot summers here for a few years thank goodness! But I did get a lot of rugs hooked back then! This week it's supposed to snow on Wednesday.... so go figure... but good weather to stay indoors and stitch or hook! LOVE seeing your beautiful pennies and the progress!!
Hugs and Wooly Blessings!!
Cathy G.

Julie - My Primitive Heart said...

Hi Cathy,
Thanks so much, sweet friend!! I really love it too, but am realizing what a big task it is!! I will enjoy it, one stitch at a time!!
Can't believe you are getting SNOW!!!! It is the opposite here....lots of hot sun and high temps!! Guess both situations call for time indoors doing what we love...creating and stitching!!!
Hope you enjoy your week and have lots of new things to work on!!
Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind words!!
Heart Hugs~

Winnie Nielsen said...

Julie, I love that Americana penny rug that you are putting together. How perfect is that for the upcoming Summer months!! The deep colors are also just perfect together and make a stunning backdrop for lots of prims that you have. Enjoy these last days of no AC. We are in the same phase over here in north Florida. But we keep creeping up to the 90s degree mark and the humidity is sort of threatening to come back as well. But these last days of open windows are just glorious!! Have a wonderful day!

Julie - My Primitive Heart said...

Hi Winnie,
Thanks so much for stopping by and for your sweet words!! For some reason the colors of the rug are showing up wrong to some of you and the true colors are red, black, and gold! It is sometimes hard to get a clear and true picture and also computer monitors can show things up differently!! Sorry it looks like Americana to you, and that would really be wonderful if I could find the right navy!! I'm hoping when I share it again, I can somehow get the right colors!! Just tell yourself that you are looking at black instead of blue, and gold instead of white!! At least the red is coming through correctly!!
Take care and hope you have a good week!! We both need to enjoy the nicer weather while we can!! The HEAT IS COMING!!! lol
Heart Hugs~