Sunday, December 3, 2017

I Like Cloth Napkins and I Cannot Lie...

Actually, I love cloth napkins.  For two reasons.

1.)  In days long past, Christmas with my Gram was always special.  A wonderful day for many, gifts, relatives, food...and because Gram brought out her good china, along with the linen tablecloths and napkins to dress the tables.  She made everything look so special.  I now have - and use - those tablecloths and napkins.  

2.)  When my sons were very young (well over 35 years ago), I decided that they needed to know there was more to the world than boys and men and rough and tough.  So, every Saturday, we had candlelight dinner...what we ate - spaghetti or steaks on the grill - wasn't the issue.  The issue was to learn how to sit at the table with grace and manners.  I made some cloth napkins to go with my fall-themed Corelle dinnerware.  It was time for the boys to learn to use something other than their shirt sleeves.  Okay, they never actually did that.  I just wanted them to know there was more than...well, whatever they thought there was.
Since that time, I've always had cloth napkins.  Didn't know I was being 'green' back then.  Just knew that it made sense to me to use something reusable.  

The above was taken from a blog post 
I wrote back in November of 2013.
It made sense to repeat it here so that
you all know what the heck I'm talking
about as I go on about cloth napkins. 

Back when I wrote that post, I didn't have much money to spend on Christmas gifts, so I decided to concentrate on making gifts.  I ended up making mostly napkins, with a few aprons tossed in the mix.  I believe I made 9 dozen napkins that year...and only had to buy for 2 sets.  That's a lot of fabric, hey?  

So, here we are 4 years later, and I have continued to make - and give away - cloth napkins.  After much experimentation, I have finally settled on the best sizes and the best way to finish the edges.  Which means, of course, that making them is an almost mindless task.  Something we all need to have in our sewing repertoire.  

I usually do not buy fabric specifically for napkin-making.  Rather, whenever I run across a piece of fabric in my stash that I decide I will not be using for anything, it goes into the 'for napkins or kleenex cozies' bin.  You've had that happen, right?  Look at a piece of fabric and wonder why you bought it?  And, you know.  Those pieces of fabric that you may consider ugly sometimes do actually make darn cute napkins.    

I use napkins every day.  Every meal.  I have not bought paper napkins for many, many years.  Here is most of my current collection...
my personal collection of snack and dinner napkins...
some florals, some dog-themed, some linen, and some fun ones
I must admit, though...these red and green napkins are used more than any of the other ones.  Just because.  

I usually have a few napkins on stand-by.  It is nice to have something on hand in the event a small gift is needed...sometimes a few napkins makes for the perfect choice.  This is my current stash of napkins (and I have several more ready to work on)...
this batch appears to be running in the flowery and bright theme!

Most of the napkins I make finish at 16"...not quite as large as a dinner napkin you will find in a nice restaurant, but certainly large enough to do the job.  These all have 3/4" hems and mitered corners.  

So, there you have it.  Do you use cloth napkins?  Do you make your own?

Napkins and kleenex cozies are my go-to for something to sew when I don't feel like expending much energy (i.e. brain power).

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11


kelley said...

I love your cloth napkins...I haven't bought paper napkins for years either, I use cotton dish towels...between mine and Mom's stash they might last forever...the good ones for napkins, then move to drying dishes then rags...paper towels last forever roll for over a year...I use cloth rags for most things...ratty socks are used for cat yak and then tossed...

WoolenSails said...

I am bad, I buy seasonal ones and paper towels for the rest of the year.
It is a good idea though and they can be washed, maybe I will have to make some. A good way to use old tablecloths too.


Sue R said...

Do you double the hem over? I have made napkins but hate the narrow hems, usually 1/4 inch and I double it so there are no raw edges.

C Reeder PhxAz said...

It’s what I am doing for lots of people on my list this year. Extremely limited budget and these make such nice gifts. Mine are leaning toward coffee themes.

Brynwood Needleworks said...

Hi Jacque:
I LOVE cloth napkins and also make them to share. My go-to size is 10" and they're double sided. I know...twice as much fabric! I love your egg fabric! Oh, how I wish we'd had time to sew together during your last visit. Perhaps next time!
Happy Christmas holiday to you, my dear.

basketsofwool said...

Love cloth napkins, I have never made my own. Where do you buy your cute fabrics?
Have a great day!