Sunday, April 20, 2014

How to assemble those self backed penny stacks

Happy Easter Everyone!

  My Easter treat to you is a lesson about
assembling a rug of self backed stacks.

This is my favourite way to make rugs.  
And a very easy method for beginners.
You can make a pleasing, useful mat.

First arrange your stacks into a shape you like.
Then turn them over.
Join one stack at a time, with a whip stitch.
Joining the stacks.
Make two or three stitches in the same place 
picking up just the backing wool fabric.

Glide and pass your needle inside the stack to attach another stack.
Join all the penny stacks together forming a row.
Repeat until you have all the rows assembled.
Then take two rows and join them together in a sort of zig zag fashion.
I do this on my lap.
Again gliding the needle inside the stack to the next whip stitch position.
Join this row, then another, and so on. (Ha! sew on...)
When you're done joining the rows, your mat is assembled!
 I soaked my rug in cold water...
Warning, if your fabric bleeds be very cautious when soaking or washing.  
Always use cold water and mild detergents. 
 Here I will soak and dry the rug so that I can press it.  
I press sometimes and sometimes not, it depends on how I feel about the rug.
(What do I think it needs)

This step is entirely up to you, you do not have to soak and press. 
If you want to; follow this method,
 rinsing and squishing gently, if you need to wash your rug.

 I squished out most of the water and placed it on a fluffy towel.
(Warning again, if your rug bleeds dye, use old towels!)
  Next add another towel on top and roll it up to remove even more moisture.
Resting the rolled towels to pull out the moisture... 
press your hands along the roll to hasten this process and remove more moisture.
You may want to change the towels once or twice.
Remove the wet towels to the laundry.
 Let your roll rest while you watch the hummingbirds......
Can you count three?  
There is a fourth one, but he was too fast for the camera!
Warm up your iron.
Now press, with dry fluffy towels. 
One on top and one underneath.
Afterward I left this rug on a dry towel in a warm spot, 
overnight, to dry completely.
In the morning I gave it another press.
  It's a beauty! 

 I have been known to take a completed rug 
and toss into the dye pot!  

Who knows, this one might become another colour!
Done for now, on to the next one!


  1. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I am working on a rug and you were a big inspiration to me:). Twyla

    1. Hi Twyla, I'm so glad you're making a penny rug and that my experiences and tutorials are helping you! Thanks for letting me know and maybe you can share a glimpse of your project one day?

  2. Love this! As soon as I finish all my WIPs that I am bound and determined to do (as per my New Year's resolution), I'm going to start a new penny rug. Thanks so much for the tutorials and inspiration!

  3. What a beautiful piece! And thank you for the useful tutorial. I have only made one piece (a table runner), but it had a backing. You have inspired me to have a go with this method.

  4. thank you for your tutorial (s), you have inspired me too, to make penny rugs. i have also made one on a wool back table runner and was wandering how you did them without backing fabric. now i know and going to make them also this way.
    and i did like to read about the dyeing thing ;-)
    greetings miek

  5. Dear Friend,
    As always..a beautiful rug but then no way can you not make a beautiful rug!! You have a very special talent and unique style which in our 'penny rug world' is not easy to accomplish. I do have just a tiny suggestion.. make more rugs..many more rugs!!

  6. Just stumbled into this great tutorial! My fingers are itching to get back to wool...this may be the winter I reconnect with a most beloved art.. I just adore all your wool creations and you inspire me to get back in there <3

  7. Hi Z,
    Likewise! I enjoy your blog... Mostly I want your studio, please?(!) Keep well, don't work too hard and yes, pull out the wool, just do it!

  8. thank you so much for this!

  9. This mat looks so soft and pleasing to the eye ... It is stunning!
    Now that Christmas is behind us for this year, I am able to get back to routine including working on Your 'Presentation' mat... I am so ready to start stitching again.
    Hope Cee continues to do well.
    Thank you both for your continued talent and encouragement.
    Fondly with Peace and Blessings for all,