Stitching Times serves up stories, examples and tutorials about needlework related crafts, especially quilting and crochet. Almost all of the projects shown have been designed by Kay Stephenson

Monday, September 17, 2012

Everyone Needs Real Cloth Napkins

I’m sure there are good reasons for using paper napkins. Small children eating spaghetti comes to mind. But don’t we all deserve the touch of real cloth once in awhile? Over the past couple of years I’ve made many sets of napkins for my own home and for others. Some are full size dinner napkins, which are easy to make from standard quilters cotton – four to the yard with a bit left over for another project.
I  have napkins to match my everyday placemats.
Friends and Family have napkins to match the insulated table runners I’ve made for them.
I made some holiday napkins to go with a wall hanging… fa la la.
And napkins just because this Kaffe Fassett fabric washes up so soft and the colors are so warm that it seemed to want to be at the table.
And then there are the cocktail napkins - so handy when friends drop in for snacks.
Finished with either a hand sewn whip stitch, or a straight stitch on the machine this is a quick and easy project, and the more you wash them, the softer and more absorbent they become. Depending on how much your chosen fabric shrinks up, you can get 4 large dinner napkins (roughly 16 inches square after hemming) or 12 cocktail (about 9 inches square after hemming) from one yard of fabric. Best of all you won't need a pattern. Just wash and dry your fabric, square up the edges and subcut into equal squares. Press and stitch 1/4 inch hems (doubled over so you loose 1/2 inch on each side). If you want to be fancy you can even make neat little miters at each corner. Voila, a quick hostess gift or a practical item that you can use for years.
What’s that you say? Do I iron them? Nope. Oh maybe if extra special company was coming... like the queen. For friends and neighbors I always think guests are more comfortable if it doesn’t look like you fussed.