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Penny Circle

A Penny Circle is a circle cut traditionally from wool and stitched with a blanket stitch on to a background fabric. Historically Penny Circle rugs or mats were made from scraps of wool cut in 3 different sizes and layered on top of each other. A Penny coin was used as the last template (the Penny was a larger coin in the 1800's). Often a Penny was stitched into the layers to help weight them down and lay flat as a mat on the floor. These mats were used for durability and often the Penny Circle were stitched to burlap or feedsacks as a backing. When the circles wore out, they could be easily replaced. Contemporary quilters make penny circles out of wool or other fabrics and use them in all types of quilts, wall hangings and accessories. The embroidery now goes beyond the blanket stitch with additional hand embroidery stitches and embellishments.

Benefits of a Penny Circle

  • Hand embroidery blanket stitches for a Penny Circle can be relaxing.
  • Layering and stitching the circles is a great portable project.

Tools and Supplies for making a Penny Circle


You'll need the following before you start making a Penny Circle:

  • Templates
  • Die cutter
  • Thread for blanket stitching
What I Wish I Knew When I Started making Penny Circle

Cutting circles are the perfect thing to cut with a die cutter. This will greatly speed-up your PENNY CIRCLE project!



Penny Circle Resources