Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Garden Gate Penny Rug

Hello! I purchased the Garden Gate Make-it-Market kit, designed by Betsy Veldman for Papertrey Ink, a month or so ago, and the gate die in the kit was screaming to me to cut it out of felt. I thought about it for a while, and decided to make a penny rug using the gate and some of the flowers in the kit. This was a project that developed as I went, not a whole lot of pre-planning here.

I started by cutting out the gate from Papertrey's Vintage Cream felt. It cut beautifully!! I laid the gate on a piece of felted wool in my stash (and yes, I have a HUGE stash of wool!). I decided to cut out an 8" circle of wool for the center of the penny rug. I attached the gate with small dots of glue (Roxanne Baste it), and then blanket stitched the edges with Ecru floss (2 strands). The inside lattice was stitched with a whipstitch.

Next came the wisteria. I used the wisteria die cuts from the kit as my inspiration, and stitched the vine to the top of the gate using a stem stitch for the vine, french knots for the flowers, and striaght stitches for the leaves. I used varigated Weeks Dye Works floss to achieve the variety in color.

I then proceeded to figure out how to replicate the hollyhocks. I ended up using two of the smallest dies in the Mini Blooms die set to cut the blooms and leaves out of Papertrey Hibiscus Burst, Autumn Rose, Lemon Tart, and Spring Moss felt. I attached them with french knots, embellished the leaves and flower centers with small straight stitches. I filled in around the blossoms with green french knots to represent the greenery.

The final element I wanted to incorporate into the rug was the bleeding hearts. I LOVE bleeding hearts (the flowers, not the people!). The gate scene was already pretty full - I didn't want to cover up the gate too much, so I decided to put "bleeding" hearts on the pennies surrounding the rug. I used a heart from the Heart-to-Heart series for the larger light pink heart (Sweet Blush felt), and a smaller heart from Flipping Out (Autumn Rose felt). These were attached to 10 pennies with a whip stitch.  Then I added the stamens with straight stitches and french knots in a light yellow floss (DMC).

Then I assembled the penny rug by first backing the center with another piece of 8" round felted wool with a blanket stitch. This hides all the ugly stitching on the back.
Next, I backed each penny with another penny with a blanket stitch. This hides the stitching (of the bleeding hearts ones), and adds some weight to match the weight of the center.
Next step was to attach the pennies to the center circle. This was a bit tricky, even though I have made several penny rugs before. I basted each penny to the center with white thread on the front of the rug. Then, I flipped the rug over and whipstitched the pennys to the center, and to each other with black pearl cotton floss. The reason the stitch from the back, is to hide the whipsitching.
The front was complete! One thing that is important to me in quilting is to label the back of each quilt I make with details about the inspiration, what was going on at the time, my name and the date the quilt was made, etc. 100 years from now, when I am gone, my grandkids will hopefully be able to read those labels and learn a little more about why and when that quilt was made.
Saying all that, I decided to label the back of this little penny rug. I wanted to give Betsy Veldman and Papertrey credit for their designs, and have a scripture verse to represent my faith. I chose to use Psalm 100:4-5, since it referred to gates, and it spoke of the goodness of God.

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. " Psalm 100:4-5 
 I used a feather stitch to attach the label to the back of the rug.
 I actually stamped the wisteria on the label using stamps in the kit.
 Credit to Betsy and Papertrey.
Now it is complete! Hope you enjoyed this explanation of how it was made! I think it is one of my favorite things I have ever made! Thanks for sticking with me through this long post!


  1. Wow, this is incredible! Beautiful work. So many neat details.

  2. This is so beautiful, Susan! Way to think "outside the kit"!

  3. Susan, your penny rug is just stunning and so detailed. Looks like lots of hours of love went into this. Your blog post is also beautifully written and so thorough. Awesome work!

  4. Totally amazing!!! I pinned this for "someday"!! What is a "penny rug"?

    1. Hello! A penny rug is a mat surrounded by circles. Long ago, actual coins were used to trace the shape of the pennies around the outside of the mat - hence the name penny rug/mat. I use them as candle mats, over the arms of chairs, on end tables and as decorations. Thanks for asking!

  5. Oh my goodness! This is stunning! Love your stitched wisteria! It would look lovely stitched on a card also but your penny rug is for sure a masterpiece! Something to treasure for a lifetime! Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Wow! I just saw this and it is amazing work. Very cool use of the Garden Gate set and such a pretty little penny rug. Thanks for sharing :D