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     Bonnie Sullivan, a folk artist from Salem Oregon, has been painting, quilting, and designing American arts and crafts for over eighteen years. Since 2000, she has shifted her emphasis to the creation of wool penny rugs, table or wall coverings made from wool and flannel.
     Penny rugs date back to the 19C and are an applique technique used to create pictorial designs. A variety of fabric scraps are cut into geometric shapes and stitched into place to compose a narrative scene. Some shapes were achieved by tracing the circumference of a coin, hence the name “penny rug”. Penny rugs are often backed with additional material and sometimes finished with a fish scale edging consisting of overlapping scallops, triangles, or other shapes that accent the pictorial scene. Notice the creative blue ocean wave edging on Bonnie's Noah's Arc design and the hard-boiled egg edging on the Sunflower and Chickens design!
     The range of Bonnie's penny rug themes is extensive; images vary from Santa in his sleigh with reindeer, to an English cottage with flower garden, to cornucopia overflowing with an abundance of fruits and flowers, to Noah's arc surrounded by eighteen unique and whimsical animals. She uses hand dyed wools and decorative stitching to add depth, texture, and richness to her scenes. Although typically made from wools and felted wools, Bonnie's patterns can also be successfully completed in flannels or felt material. Bonnie's designs vary in size from small “mini pennies”, 8” x 10” rugs that are suitable for framing, up to large 17” x 40” rugs. Her patterns are complete with color finished photographs; detailed instructions, including stitching and knotting techniques; supply lists; and traceable pattern pieces.
     Enjoy perusing the photo gallery of over 40 designs currently being offered. And check back every so often for Bonnie's new designs!
 

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Hand-dyed wool detail
217
Fruit Basket
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Embroidery detail
219
Home Sweet Home
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Beading detail
213
Christmas Stockings

 

 
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