Embroidery Becky  

Wool challenge- Wool Penny Rug Free Pattern

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         Now, i am so excited to share this! I have been feverishly sewing away.  I love wool.  I love the feel, the manageability of it and the forgiveness that is has!  Wool really is the wonder fabric.

During the wool challenge there will be more experienced wool artists sharing their hints and tips, so i won’t even try going there.  For today we will focus on the free wool pattern!!!

wool penny rug free pattern

I am calling this a penny rug, even though technically there aren’t any pennies surrounding the circle.  Not sure what else to call it though, so that’s where it is.

I was initially going to do this a little bit biggerhad a larger round glass table in mind to put the wool rug onbut I found out that Freezer Paper comes in 18″ so, that is the size I went with. Didn’t want to try and figure out the piecing the circle thing.

Materials needed:

Freezer paper

Felted wool in lots of fall colors– if felted wool isn’t available, use acrylic felt. 

Embroidery thread and needle

Some kind of backing. Muslin, flannel 18″ X 18″


Step 1:

Cut out 18″ circle with freezer paper.  You can do this by folding an 18″ X 18″ square in half twice.  Cut the outer edge {raw edges, not the folded edges} in an arch.

Step 2:

Cut out 18″ of backing.  You can iron the 18″ circle template from step 1 to make your life easier.  For my backing, I used brown polyester. Yup. Polyester.  I had a bit and thought, why not?  Hope it doesn’t react with the wool like copper piping does with galvanized! Will it corrode? Lol

Step 3:


With a pencil, draw on the circle.  You will be drawing different shapes.  I sort of copied the basic shapes from a few wool penny rugs I saw online.  You can start with a circle, offset.  Large enough to holdGive Thanks.  My circle is around 4″. 

Draw a half circle on one edge.  Mine measure 5 ½” wide by 2 ½”. 

Draw another half circle 2 ½” larger than the first circle. 

Divide this half circle into 4 sections.  Each will have one letter of F A LL

With a ruler, draw straight lines from the circle off set in the center of the rug to the edges of the circle.  

Some of these lines will be cut off from other angles coming from the sidesnotice the shape where the corn stalks are, and right below the crow there is another 1/4 circle where the basket of apples are.

The idea of the sections is for the ‘crazy’ style of quilting.  It makes no sense.  Shapes run into other shapes.  Don’t make it too complicated, but keep it interesting and fun.

After you have your shapes and are happy as a larklet the designing begin!


Step 4:

You will be designing fall!  Here is where you can decide for yourself what you would like on your wool penny rug.  I chose to add an owl on a branch, a beehive, some grapes, and cornstalks.

You will find that coloring pages have alot of shapes, ideas that you can copy.  Clickety click here for fall coloring pages ideas, bing has a lot of fall images, here are some great simple fall ideas.  Go with what you like.

It’s ok if some of the wool applique overlap the borders.  That makes things more interesting.  Don’t try to make them all fit perfectly.

wool penny rug free pattern

Step 5: 

Cut a second 18″ circle out of the freezer paper.  Lay this on top of the first circle and trace everything.  You will use this to remind you of the layout and design.  Super helpful!

Step 6:

Cut the first 18″ circle apart.  Cut on drawn lines, you will use the large background shapes first.  Don’t cut out the images yet.

Step 7:

Using these cut shapes, iron to wool felt and cut out— at least ¼” larger than the freezer paper.  That way you can overlap them, or move them around. You don’t really want any spaces between the pieces showing off your backing fabric.


Place the wool background shapes on top of the backing 18″ circle.  Overlap them where needed.  Trim some edges if needed {you don’t want too much bulk}

Pin everything down!  Use a lot of pins. This will help you while stitching to keep everything in place and the correct edges on top.


Crazy stitching!!!  Now is the time to dig out that stitching book and learn some new stitches. 

I usedElegant Stitches by Judith Baker Montano.  It is a wonderful stitch guide book and has a spiral bind, so you can actually leave it open while you are stitching! I love that!

The colors of thread I used were fall colors.  I didn’t add anything too crazy.  I tried a few new stitches..not perfect, but it was fun!  


Stitch all the way along the lines.  You don’t know where the applique pieces will cover or not, so better to be safe than sorry.  This was by far the most time consuming.  It doesn’t look like it should but there are a lot of dividing lines! phew!  You can really stitch however you like.  If you are a whipstitch wonder, do that.  If you can have this done in 1 hour using the button hold stitch, go for it!  I wanted to make my life a little more difficult and went for different stitches each length.  It does help break up the sections, but does take some time to figure out what to do!  Having the glossary of stitches beside me was super helpful.


Cut out from the freezer paper the drawing/shapes.   Keep the pieces you are not using in a baggie so they don’t get lost…or wait to cut them out when you are ready to sew them on.  Don’t worry a lot about the small details.  Like mentioned above, the wool is forgiving and doesn’t show detail too clearly.  Go simple.  Makes things sooo much better!

wool penny rug free pattern


Iron pieces onto wool felt and cut out


Pin the little shapes onto the stitched background pieces

Whipstitch in placeyou can stitch with matching threador not.  If you are not a fan of the whipstitch {i totally can whip a whipstitch quick!} then go for a more finished look of a button hole stitch.  Don’t complicate your life with fancy stitches here.   Go with simple.  

Step 13:  Sew a spider web in the smallest shape you have with a light thread to show it off or a dark thread against lighter background.  Of course you need a spider to dangle too.    


Step 14:

Stitch a few accent stitches on pumpkins, owl, beehive or whatever you’d like to embellish.


Step 15:

Take finished top and pin on backing wool.  Cut out so they match in shape.  Sew all the way around with a sewing machine 1/8″ from the edge.  This will help when you are binding the circular sucker.

Cut strips of wool— on the bias, 1 1/2″ wide for the binding.  You can play with this size to make your binding bigger or smaller.  Sew these strips together so they are long enough to go around the whole circle.

Pin the binding in place and on the backside of the wool rug, whipstitch all the way around, attaching it to the back wool piece.  The machine sewing stitch will help you keep it the same width all the way around.

Fold the binding up and over to the front.  Buttonhole this edge to the top wool piece.  You could easily to another fancy stitch or whip stitch….i found the buttonhole finished it nicely.

When you arrive to the end of the strips, cut one so it just overlaps the other and stitch together the ends.  Then finish with the top stitching.  enjoy!

wool binding

For some utterly fantastic crazy quilted wool quilts…take a look here:

Wool Crazy Quilt

Wool Crazy Gallery

My inspiration

I know there are going to be a few of you who bust out of the gates and get things started……  so i have prepared an extra little goodie for anyone who is going to stitch along with the wool challenge.

We are all supporters of each other, we are all sewing friends…… let’s share our progress!  How about it?!


There is a gallery in the facebook fan page that you can share your progress on!! yay!!  There will be a few drawings a the end {i heart giveaways} and one of the drawings will be taken from the photos loaded…so share away!!  –if you aren’t a facebook person, email me the photo and i’d be happy to share your progress for you–

Happy wool challenging everyone!

Don’t forget to stop on by Monday– the first interview will be posted….it’s full of good stuff too!

8 thoughts on “Wool challenge- Wool Penny Rug Free Pattern

  1. Connie

    Great tutorial and what a wonderful little penny rug! Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

  2. whosies

    thanks connie!

  3. Emma Parker

    I have never attempted any wool felting, but you make it tempting to try.

  4. Megan

    Beautiful job!

  5. Shelley

    Woah! Nice work! You’re one talented lady!

  6. whosies

    thanks shelley– you are too! love the house doings…

  7. michelle ford-copley

    Love your blog and tuts. Having a hard time with my browser this morning – it’s showing all of your images as broken links?

  8. whosies

    some of the pages have lost images. i just found this one. thanks for letting me know!

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