Jane McMillen’s Penny-Rug Pincushions at the Bedlam Farm Open House

Some  of the Penny-rug Pincushions Jane is working on for the Bedlam Farm Open House.

Everyday, it seems, something changes about what’s going on at the Bedlam Farm Open House in October.

Yesterday I decided that we will have the sheep shorn, that most of their wool will be long enough in another month.  I’ve changed the information on the poster that Sara Kelly is designing for us,  so many times, I’m surprised at how gracious she is about it.

There are a few things I don’t have to figure out or worry will change.  And Jane McMillen being at the Open House is one of them.

She’s in full creative mode, making all kinds of  soft sculpture pincushions.

Jane wrote about her pincushions and the Open House on her blog Little House Home Arts.  She explains the history of the Penny-rug style.  That’s the style she makes the snail and butterfly pincushions in the photo above.

In her blog post Jane writes:

 “For those that are not familiar with penny-rug style art. It originated in the 1800’s. People would make penny-rugs out of old wool garments. People actually wiped their feet on them before entering the house. Each rug was made of circular medallions using coins as templates and appliqued them to a wool mat using a blanket stitch. Each medallion had a penny sewn inside of them, hence the name penny rug. This kept the mat durable and heavy enough to stay put. As the individual wool circular medallions wore out, they would be replaced with others to keep the mat functional.”

Needless to say, I’m partial to the snail pincushion which Jane made in honor of my snail Socrates.

Her Penny-rug pincushions are all  “one-of-a-kind in design, hand-appliqued, and hand-embroidered felted wool pincushion.”

Jane has more photo’s of her pincushions, you can see them and read what she has to say about them all, here. 

For more info on the Bedlam Farm Open House October 6th-7th click here. 

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