Monday, September 17, 2012

Easy Peasy Gift Idea

I have made these for years.  This set is for my aunt from my mom & somehow I am the one sewing:)  Did you know that the average American uses 7 trees worth of paper napkins each year?  That's just napkins not counting all the other paper 'stuff' we use.  I am not a freak, but I do like to do my part in trying to produce less garbage and do what I can to help the environment.  The shopping bags are a blast, buuuuut something else that is just as much fun is a set of cloth napkins.  I have a set for every holiday as well as a couple of extra sets just because.  I seldom use paper towels or napkins.  It's great, I don't run out & I get to play with fabric.  I will work backwards here to show you how.
First, decide how big you want your napkins.  For my everyday napkins, I make them about 15 inches square.  That makes it easy as far as figuring - you can get three from about 15 inches of fabric.  The width of fabric varies a little so I just measure and divide by three.  Depending upon the fabric, sometimes they are only 14.5 inches square.  That's fine too.  More formal napkins are usually a little larger - maybe 18-20 inches square.  At that measurement, you get 4 out of a yard to yard and a quarter of fabric with a strip left over to put in a table runner - see a bonus either way.
Once you have decided and have your fabric cut into squares, it is time to sew.  I have a rolled-hem foot for my old machine (okay, I hear you - one of my old machines.)  This makes it easy.  I just continue one right after the other then snip them apart and move on to side two.  You do want your finished edge to be at the bottom of your sewing edge as you work.  The unfinished edge is easier to feed into the foot.  When you get to the last side, you have to make a little rolled hem and place it under the foot to get it started - at least for this very small one.  Some of the rolled-hem feet make a little larger hem, and they seem to be a little easier to feed.  If you don't have the presser foot, you can just make a small rolled hem as you would on most sewing projects.  I have made hundreds of these, so I love my foot!  Now that's something you don't hear every day.
I like to frey check the corners when I am finished just for good measure, but that is entirely optional. 

I don't quite have this set finished yet - I'm getting there, but it is really cute fabric so I am enjoying it.  Just think, another excuse reason that is to buy fabric (and help save a tree too.)  Have a beautiful day.
As always, Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches.


  1. Those napkins are the sweetest! And that owl is precious (Can you tell that I am an owl-aholic?). What a great idea for holiday table settings. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  2. Darling napkins that would look wonderful on anyone's table. Hey, I've tried replying to your comments but you're "no reply", so I can't. Not sure if you want it that way, but thought I'd let you know. Thanks so much for visiting my blog too!

  3. Hi there! Thanks for stopping by my blog - I'm so glad to meet you and am happy to find another great blog to follow! I love the fabric you used for the napkins!
    Can't wait to explore your blog more and check out your Etsy shop.


  4. Hello
    Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment. It takes a loving person to work with special needs kids.
    Love these napkins... I need one of those feet!