Fabric napkins, how delightful *and* environmentally friendly! I made these very sweet additions to my kitchen a few months ago using a pattern from the first issue of By Hand Magazine. The pattern happened to be written by Virginia, the owner of Gather Here, so of course I was already biased toward making some. : ) I intentionally chose random prints because I didn’t want to have a matchy-matchy set, and I like the resulting “surprise” each time I reach for a new one. The napkins get machine washed and dried with my towels, and after a quick press with the iron, they’re good as new. I haven’t used any paper napkins since!
Pretty! I particularly love the little piglets in the bottom right hand corner of this photo. I usually choose the piglet napkin for extra indulgent and gluttonous meals. : )
Each individual napkin is made from a fat quarter of quilting cotton. I trimmed each piece of fabric to 17 inches square, then pressed the edges up twice as described in the pattern. This flowery one is so cheery!
The napkins are only a single thickness of fabric, so you do see the “wrong” side of the fabric on the back. This doesn’t really bother me, and besides, you can’t even see the back when the napkins are all folded up (which is how I use them anyway).
I mitered the corners following the instructions in the pattern. The process is pretty easy once you get the hang of it, and it produces such a nice, clean, finished look on both sides of the fabric. I also tried to use matching thread for all the various napkins… you know, just to be annoyingly meticulous. : )
That’s it! The napkins get a lot of compliments from my labmates when I pack them with my lunch, and I feel good knowing that I’m not producing any extra waste. The best part, however, is that I feel super classy and sophisticated using these pretty cloth napkins with every meal. They make me feel very *Martha,* and you know that gets me all excited. : )
Now go whip up some napkins using your favorite fat quarters and dine in elegance every night!