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).
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.
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