I love looking through my bin of Christmas/holiday fabrics at this time of year. There are usually several multi-yard cuts of fabric picked up at an end of season sales--just perfect for sewing up a quick present of table napkins. The napkins pictured above are actually from THIS year's fabric sale! Too pretty to wrap, all they need is a ribbon!
The napkins pictured above where sewn with a serger. But it is just as easy to fold under the edges and sew them on a regular sewing machine.
- 1 yard of fabric (that has been carefully cut) for each 4 table napkins, cut as 18 x 18 inch squares. Quilters cotton is recommended but slightly heavier cotton fabric is great too.
- Matching or contrasting color thread, whichever you prefer
- Pins if you are hemming with a sewing machine
- Cut the selvage off the fabric using a quilting ruler to make a straight edge.
- Cut a straight line across the end of the folded fabric the full width of the fabric.
- Using a 24 inch quilting ruler with a 12 1/2 inch or 16 1/2 inch square quilting ruler makes cutting an 18 inch square easy.
- If the long ruler is 6 inches wide, put the square ruler on the cut selvage at the 12 inch mark. (12 + 6 = 18). Put the 24 inch ruler on the fabric next to the square ruler, with the 18 inch mark on the cut end of the folded fabric. The square isn't long enough but you can move it up and down along the 24 inch ruler to make check that the cut square will measure 18 inches. Leave the square even with the TOP edge of the long ruler. This makes it possible to cut across and then down without moving the rulers.
- Here is a photo of the cut table napkins. Because the fabric is folded in half, 2 napkins are cut at the same time. Note the long strip of fabric along the fold that can be used for another project.
Now you have a choice about how to proceed. The raw edges can be turned under with a rolled edge with serger OR they can be folded a quarter inch, and then folded again a quarter inch and secured with an edge stitch.
Here is a photo of the napkin edge being rolled under by the serger. Follow your machine's instructions to set the serger to sew a rolled hem. If you have a serger, this is the fastest way to finish cloth napkins.
IF USING A FOLDED HEM, the corners can be mitered but the napkins will still look great if you choose not to miter them.
Hemming WITHOUT MITERED CORNERS:
- Fold under the right raw edge 1/4 inch on the wrong side of the napkin, pressing the fold with an iron as you go. Turn under another 1/4 inch, enclosing the raw edge and pin. Repeat on the left side. Once both sides are pinned, turn under the top and bottom raw edges.
- Sew the fold down stitching close to the loose edge of the fold.
- At each corner put the sewing machine needle down to anchor the napkin, then pivot the fabric to sew the next side.
- That's it! One napkin done!
Hemming WITH MITERED CORNERS
- Fold under the first side, turning the raw edge 1/4 inch toward the wrong side. Press. Turn it again 1/4 inch enclosing the raw edge. Pin.
- At the corner, fold the corner inward forming a triangle approximately 3/4 inches long on each side. See below.
- Then turn the new side 1/4 inch and then another 1/4 inch. It's fine if it gets a little wider. The second fold in the photo below is 1/2 inch.
- Press, pin. Continue folding under all four sides.
- Sew the loose edge closed with an edge stitch, right along the free edge of the fold.
- That's it! One napkin is done!
Once you have sewn all the napkins, fold each napkin in half, and then in half again. Press.
Wrap the Quick Holiday Cloth Napkins up as a present or put them on the table enjoy them yourself!