Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Seriously Easy Cloth Napkins


 I live on planet Cloth Napkin and we never, ever use paper napkins at my house (I do use them on picnics) and here on planet Cloth Napkin, the napkins do tend to get worn out and used up, and sometimes I need a whole big batch of new ones. I actually hate hemming squares of fabric. Corners always end up thick and messy.


So I bought a yard of 60" duck at Hobby Lobby and cut it into squares, and zigzag stitched half an inch in from the raw edge. A trip through the washer and dryer, and I have fringe! Granted, some of them need haircuts after the first trip or two through the laundry, but then they stabilize and look halfway decent. Perfectly fine for the everyday dinner table.

22 comments:

Sarah : ) www.crumbsundermytable.blogspot.com said...

They look charming. We're trying to transition to all cloth napkins. I've made some, but I'm right there with you on seeing together little squares, and the corners on mine are thick, too. Will definitely be trying this in the near future. Thanks for the tip ;)

Sara said...

I have some duck downstairs that I might have to try that with. I also made a stack of jersey napkins---no sewing at all except for the ones where I hand-stitched a stripe across. Modified from one of the Alabama Chanin books.

Amy said...

We just transitioned as well because the paper ones dissolve when you wipe your fingers on them. I found a dozen or so at a church thrift shop for next to nothing. Have to love church thrift stores!

Lisa said...

Good idea!

Lisateresa

Polly said...

This is a great idea! I use cloth napkins exclusively as well and right now I'm ironing, pinning, and stitching my way through an old sheet. Pretty but tedious!!!!

Lisa said...

Do you use the white napkins even when you're having tomato sauce and gravy?

Lisateresa

Sleen said...

Perfect! Thank you. Our cloth napkins are getting close to the point of no return.

Margo said...

We live on the same planet, except I have fabulous luck buying cloth napkins at thrift stores for pennies. I've made a few napkins here and there (and once, notably, 60 for my friend's shop so she could host receptions without paper napkins!), and I enjoy the mindless hemming.

Kathaleeny said...

I'm using my mom's that she saved "for good." What's better than your own family on an ordinary night?

Melinda said...

What a great idea. I think that would be great sewing "practice" for me. I have had a very difficult time finding decent cloth napkins at thrift stores. I have bunches of nice white ones I found on a clearance sale, but I'd like to keep them nice for company. I could actually throw away (or move to the cleaning rag cabinet) those stained and faded green and red ones. Glory!

Joanna Webber said...

Brilliant

WendyBee said...

I love this! I have gone through seasons of cloth v. paper. Currently I've been using paper, but trending back to my cloth ones again. You have given me some impetus, thanks! I like the fringed edge, but it also occurs to me that I could use some practice mitering corners, and there are stitches on my serger I have never tried -- this would be a good project. It also occurs to me that I could "bust" some of my "stash" of quilting cottons...

Meg said...

This is great! My friend sent this to me because I live on the same planet and talk about it often. Can I encourage you to take cloth on picnics? It's the same concept, out in nature, making you feel all fancy and stuff. I love this!!! How do you keep them clean? Bleach? Our everydays are nasty!!!

Here's my post:
http://abarefootday.blogspot.com/2012/09/our-cloth-napkins.html

seashoreknits said...

Genius idea!
Off to implement immediately.
It's Cloth Napkin world here too :)

Cat said...

I love this idea - no bunchy corners to sew and easy to bleach a little if you want to get rid of stains! Thanks! :)

The Hobbit said...

A project I think I can handle.I'll give it a whirl.Just sitting at my sewing machine is scary. I've been working on a pillow case for a month now and almost have it finished. Of courseI'm teaching myself the art of french seams and sewing in a bias for contrast so .......give me a little leeway here:-)

Janet said...

I love these! We are a cloth napkin family, too.:) I must try these for sure. I think the fabric would be perfect.

Farrah said...

I was at Williams-Sonoma today and saw these beautiful linen napkins for spring, that is until I saw the price. My Mother made my other cloth napkins from an old tablecloth, but we need more as we haven't used paper products in the kitchen for years!

April said...

I have around 100 cloth napkins--for everyday and some are holiday or guest ones. Years ago, I was lucky enough to find a 1/2 price store going out of business. I bought the napkins for 10 cents each--I actually bought all they had. That was over 20 years ago, and they still are fine, since I have so many they get rotated in their use. I wonder how many trees cloth napkins have saved through the years. I bed quite a few!

Heather said...

Simple,practical,stylish - perfection in cloth napkins! the best part - they can be bleached if needed! We've used all cloth for about 10 years - when they get stained or faded they get a corner cut off (to identify) and end their usefulness in the rag bag! I may just follow your lead, only in color, if you don't mind a copy-cat! Color because our 12 year old boy has yet to learn the fine art of eating without his fingers, and grease stains are easier to get out or ignore! There's not enough bleach in the world to get out the stains he makes daily!

Kim said...

I have an addiction to cloth napkins, snatching them up at garage sales, thrift stores and retail stores (on sale, if course) over the years. Not sure exactly how many I have altogether but well over 200. The ones we use regularly have been washed a gazillion times (with bleach when necessary) and they are only just now showing signs of wearing out -- after a good 7-8 years in daily service. Definitely worth the $5 I paid for 8 napkins at a garage sale :)

We just like the feel of cloth, to say nothing of their super absorbency and ability to clean up even the messiest toddler! Plus it feels like we're doing our little bit to reduce the amount of garbage we create.

Anna said...

So, Anna. What is the secret to white table linens and an active family.

Good table manners? Line dry outside? Special laundry wizardry?

Do share.

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