Monday, April 16, 2007

This month you may want to run out and grab a copy of the June issue of Early American Life magazine, and read the article titled:


by Nora Seymor

Thrifty 19th-Century women stitched circles and figures cut from wool onto a backing to create decorative mats we call penny rugs. Modern needle workers keep the craft alive.

The magazine highlights Arleen Oliver, new to the art, amongst some very talented penny rug makers, such as Janet Wagner of Rochester, check out her website

Janet Wagner has been ranked as one of the top traditional artisans in America according to a panel of 20 experts from prestigious historic institutions. She has been selected as one of the top 200 craftsmen included in the juried Directory of Traditional American Crafts sponsored by Early American Life Magazine. You can view the directory at

Stop by the Tinker Homestead and Farm Museum to see several of Arleen's rugs on display. Check out Early American Life's website for a directory of local stores that sell the magazine or purchase the current issue as well as past issues from their site.

Some pictures of her rugs include:

The first rug Arleen made sits on her mother-in-law's table. She learned this textile craft from Early Penny Rug Artist and friend, Cee Rafuse of Nova Scotia. You may want to check out her site at

A perfect backdrop to the 17" thick windowsills

Forget me nots for Spring!

A lovely candle mat

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