People often ask me if I do only quilting or if I’m into any other crafts? All I have to say is, “my creative juices kind of go with the flow”. I can be working on a quilting project in the morning and by nighttime I’ve got a needlepoint project on my lap. I constantly see things on other peoples’ blogs and say “I need to make one of those”. With so much inspiration out there on the web, I really don’t see myself getting bored anytime soon!
Several years ago I visited a quilt shop in the San Diego area and they had lots of cute wool items on display and beautiful pieces of hand-dyed wool. The simplicity and graphic quality of some of the projects really got me interested. At the time not many shops I was familiar with carried wool, so I bought a few pieces and started scouring the thrift shops for wool suits, coats, and skirts. I took them home, washed them in hot water and dried the heck out of them. Then started taking them apart, and it wasn’t long before I started building my wool stash. I didn’t have a particular project in mind because I liked them all. Eventually, I settled on making a penny rug for Greg, for Christmas. I scaled down the size and actually used coins as my templates to cut my circles. Then, I spent many hours sewing the layers of wool circles to each other with black embroidery floss…I was happy with the results and Greg was so impressed, he made a larger version for me! The historical significance made the project even more fun.
I can’t imagine limiting myself to one particular craft. I love learning, trying new things and making messes. And every now and then the finished product is something to be proud of.
In the 1800s, starting around the time of the Civil War, thrifty homemakers would use scraps of wool or felted wool from old clothing, blankets and hats to create designs for mats or rugs. Using coins as templates, they created circles and each piece was then stitched in blanket stitch fashion. (Thus, the name “penny” rug). Sometimes, the mats or rugs were backed with old burlap bags or feed sacks. Sometimes a penny was stitched inside the mat to make it lie flat.