penny rugs for babies

I’ve been lost in penny rug daydreams most of the week and had a lovely idea for a penny rug / door quilt for a baby. Lo and behold, on Tuesday my mum reminded me that we have been invited to a baby shower for a work colleague next week! The perfect opportunity for putting the idea into wool!

wool stash

And I didn’t even need to buy many ingredients – my wool stash is almost bursting out of its small drawer so I just needed the backing – for which I wanted creamy white – and a nice baby blue and baby green. You see, my colleague’s having not one but two babies! And two boys at that! So two penny rugs are required.

The plan was to have a rectangle of white with blue bottom pennies on one, and green on the other, and then a rainbow of soft coloured pennies on top. Embellishing these would be some baby faces, some buttons, perhaps a wee bit of embroidery … I was thinking of bees because Bee is their family name and I did have a go at turning this rather elaborate crewel bee into a more simple creature …

busy bee

… but he didn’t transpose well – looked out of place on a soft, warm baby quilt – so I ditched him in favour of simple stars, and lastly, the babies’ names embroidered, one letter per penny. The difficulty here is that Lucia has only chosen one name and is keeping it a surprise! However, she was happy to tell me how many letters were in each of the short list names, so I have left six spaces per quilt!

I didn’t do any drawings or real planning first – it’s a make it up as I go along project – and so started with the babies’ faces because they seemed the most fun. The first was on a cream penny and it looked exactly as I had hoped. The next was on a yellow penny – it still looked fine, and on I sewed.

yellow baby

However, then I hit a green penny and as I stitched, phone hitched to ear nattering to my mum, he began to look a bit odd. I mentioned this to mum but she thought green could be cute – she has a ridiculous amount of faith in anything I say I’m making – so I kept going. Do you know, a sherbet green baby just ISN’T cute – no, he looked more like the love child of the Hindu goddess of destruction, Kali!

green baby

A blue baby would obviously be seriously bad karma, so I moved onto pink – but candy pink was no more appealing than sherbet green – it looks like a cherub belonging to one of Dante’s devils!

pink baby

Nope! The baby faces need to be all cream – so the multicoloured faces reverted to simple pennies, I cut out more cream pennies, and then I was off!

humming along

That’s better! This momentous decision took over an hour to reach – and all I had to show for this effort was a fluffy pile of ripped out thread. But I guess that’s the design process if you insist on making it up as it goes along! :-)

rug length and buttons

So this is the layout of the first baby penny rug – and it is certainly living up to my dreams. Now I just have to finish this one and produce another before Wednesday.

Oh – the pennies with the pins are the ones being left for the name – if there are less than six letters, I’ll just add another button or star. But I won’t be able to sew the back and binding until Lucia has the babies. Maybe when she receives the rugs, she’ll whisper the names into my ear!

p.s. have you got any ideas for hanging them – I thought of the pretty wooden hangers at the patchwork shop but I didn’t really want to spend that much more money! Any creative thoughts on wooden coat hangers?

p.p.s did you see my big bag of yellow buttons! Yum!

9 thoughts on “penny rugs for babies

  1. Looks like a delightful plan as you go is coming together!I’m sure these will be dearly treasured! A painted dowel through the top with a ribbon to hang???? If you had a woodworking type around, ahem, you might be able to get some nice round thingies carved out to put on the ends.

  2. This is going to be lovely! Such nice soft baby colours, and your stitches bringing it all together. Are you really finishing two of these by Wednesday? Wow!
    And I’m soo jealous of you for that bag of buttons :-D

  3. This is awesome! And I LOVE that huge bag of buttons!!!!
    You could sew a hanging-sleeve on the back, and run a bamboo-stick through it, and then a nice ribbon to hang it… I like to use bamboo, because I think it looks a little lighter (does that make sense) than dowels. But either way will look great!

  4. Stacey says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for awhile (love it by the way!) and am looking for model quilters for my store (I am local to you). If you are interested could you please email me!

  5. That could not be cuter – I have to keep looking at it! The fabric almost looks like felt, but you said it is wool….just scraps from clothing? Is it rather thick? how big is the finished piece? Thanks for the inspiration!!

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