Monday, September 14, 2009

How to Attach Those Penny Rug Tongues?

I get questions from time to time about penny rugs. And this reminds me to mention, sometimes I get emails that I forget to answer back. I'm a scatterbrain when it comes to keeping up with emails. I should know by now to answer back immediately after reading, but most times, I just don't want to take the time and then plan to get back to it later. But, then there's the problem of sorting through the emails to try to find the ones that I need to answer. I lose them!
Anyway, if I fail to answer back, do like my kids do; ASK ME AGAIN! I certainly don't want people to think I'm rude or a snob for not answering back .... I swear I'm not. I'm just a scatterbrain. Ask my sister (Casserole Carol) she'll tell you ... she knows cause she's exactly the same way!

In the meantime, I will try to work on corrrecting my issues of dealing with email responses. I've discovered the FLAG! I can click a box and a flag will pop up beside the emails that need attention! I'm so excited about this! I hope by using the flag, I can more easily find the emails that need a response back. I'm still scatterbrained so the rule will still apply ... If I don't answer back, just ask again!

ANYWAY ... someone emailed to ask me how I attach tongues on my penny rugs. I just happen to be finishing up a penny rug order that has tongues so it's perfect timing for a how-to tutorial.
Most times I do it the way that I'm going to show you here. Sometimes, I might actually read a pattern instructions and think about attaching them as per instuctions, but most times, I ignore them and still do it my way.

First, with chalk pencil, I measure and mark off where the tongues should line up with the edge of the penny rug. You could just eyeball the tongues and stitch them on, but then you're taking the chance of sewing the tongues on crooked, so I always take the time to measure and mark.
This pictures shows the tongues pinned on and ready to stitch. If the pattern requires the tongues to have larger spaces between them, I'll quickly baste the tongues in place just to keep them in the right position.
In this case, the tongues are lined up right beside each other so pinning is all that is necessary.
Basically, when stitching, I blanket stitch the top of the tongues on first and then flip it over and blanket stitch the tongues to the back. Some patterns say to just blanket stitch on the top through all the thicknesses. I find that to be cumbersome and it hurts my fingers trying to get the needle through sometimes up to 5 layers of wool. Also, the stitches tend to not be even and straight or they'll be straight on the top but crooked and messy on the back. I like the backing to look just as nice as the front, so the way I do it, even though it might take a little more time, ends up looking much nicer.
So in this case, I have the tongues, which are two layers thick and the penny rug which is one layer thick but I"ve only blanket stitched through the top two layers, with the stitches going though the penny rug layer and only the top layer of the tongues.
Flip the rug over and had I known that I was going to take pics of these unfinished tongues, I would've tucked in those loose tail threads so that it appears that I'm neat and tidy even with things that don't show ... but alas, most times, the areas that don't show, I don't bother to tuck in threads!
I will put the backing on now and it will cover up the tongue edges.
The backing, which is a cotton fabric, is pinned onto the back of the rug/tongues, lining the backing up with the penny rug edge.
Now, I'll stitch from this side through the cotton fabric layer and the bottom layer of the wool tongue.

There it is! One side finished. Attaching the backings on my rugs is always something that I enjoy doing because first of all, it means that I'm almost done. Secondly, I really enjoy blanket stitching so this gives me lots of straight blanket stitching to do. And third, once I stitch that last stitch, I give the rug a good shake and then get to lay it out to admire it ... or critique where I should make changes for the next one.
Most times though, I just admire it ... there's such a nice feel to a handmade all wool rug ... The weight of all the layers and the textures are just something you can't get with cotton quilted items. It's why I'm addicted to wool!
(that's not to say that I don't love cotton quilted items ... I do love both quilted cottons and wools ... it's just that I can appreciate their differences)
Happy Day Everyone!


The French Bear said...

Why thank you!!! That just made it so easy!!!! I have trouble following patterns, I am a visual person.
Margaret B

Tomatoe Creek Prims said...

I was just wondering how to do that the other day and here I clicked on your blog and found out:)
Thanks for doing this!

LeeHillPrimitives said...

Thanks for sharing this post.

Linda said...

Thanks for sharing with us. I must get back to some penny rugs, rug hooking and quilting now that fall has arrived. Oh yeah, forgot that I have to wait till my hand mends. Having a giveaway on my blog.....

Lisa said...

Super cool! You are so generous!
Hugs, Lisa

Betsy said...

Thanks for all the great tips. I never thought about attaching the tongues to the front first and then attaching the back. I always had so much trouble getting my stitches even sewing throught all that thickness, now I know. Thanks so much for sharing.
Have a great day.

Primitives By The Light of The Moon said...

Your pictures and instructions are super. You did a great job showing how to attach the tongues, thanks for taking the time to put it all together and share!

Tolentreasures said...

Great tip! I have never used cotton for the backing either so I am going to have to try that also. Love the runner, it matches my pillows!


Anonymous said...


Bette O'Coin said...

I absolutely LOVE this pattern! Do you have it available for sale or
know where I can get it? Thanks!!