A few weeks ago I found what I thought was an amazing piece of black wool at the Creative Reuse store. I've been wanting to make a penny rug for our pie crust table for some time and thought this would be the perfect medium. I did a little research on penny rugs to determine how they were made. If you don't know, penny rugs weren't really used as rugs. They were little appliquéd wool table or dresser decorations, really. It seems they were in vogue around the time of the Civil War. Wool was used because it was a popular fabric for clothing at the time. When the clothing wore out, women cut them up and made these little decorations for their homes. The term penny rug was "coined" because it was often a penny or other coin that was used as a template to cut out the wool decoration. You can find out more here.
I'm obviously not using a traditional pattern for my rug. While I do like the traditional penny rug, they are a little drab for my taste. I love the wool rugs and pillows found at this site and decided to go with Black Eyed Susan's. I just drew my own pattern. I had to laugh at myself when I unfolded my black "wool." It isn't wool at all but some kind of synthetic. It really did look and feel like wool on the outside. Once I opened it and looked at the back it clearly wasn't wool and after I washed it, even the top didn't resemble wool. Of course, I'm using it anyway!
I did buy some wool felt for the flowers and some extra for some other projects I hope to accomplish this year. The wool felt is wonderful to work with but the black fabric is not. I'm not able to sew using a blanket stitch like I wanted. All in all, I'm happy with how the project is working out. I hope to finish it this weekend. We've had some not-so-nice and definitely not-so-warm weather this week. I'm hoping that changes soon so I can get out in the back yard and start working. If not, I'll just sit home and sew!