Growing up, my mother told me stories of how young women used to work away making all of their own tablecloths, quilts, dish towels, etc. by the time they got married. It seems like a romantic idea, doesn’t it? How lovely it would be to move into a new home and to be able to fill it with things you handcrafted. Think of all the time you would spend pouring love into your new home through stitching before the home even existed for you.
This week for the first time, I’m getting the keys to my very own house. Unlike days of old, I’m not getting married and moving into my own home with a partner. I’m still joyfully unmarried, but I decided it is time to invest in homeownership.
As the move-in date draws nigh, it has me thinking of all the handmade things I would like to bring into it, all the things I have not spent the last 20 years making.
I thought I could at least start with a few simple things using less than one yard of fabric. My first project is pink cloth napkins with mitered corners.
Is there anything more luxurious than using cloth at the dinner table? Whenever I’m a guest and cloth napkins are in use, I almost feel sinful getting them dirty by actually using them! But that’s the point, isn’t it? The point is that taking care of cloth napkins, getting the stains out, is more work. You put them out for guests because you want them to feel special, to feel like they are WORTH the extra work.
When I have guests over in my new (old) home, I want to have napkins that make them feel amounts of extra specialness.
Here’s how to make them:
With a really steamy iron, fold in your desired hem allowance. I used 3/8”.
- Fold the hem up again and press with a steamy iron.
- Unfold the second fold and press the corner up diagonally. To make sure you have it in the right spot, match up the fold lines on the corner with the fold lines of the second fold.
- Mark along the diagonal folded line.
- Fold in half, matching up the lines, and sew in place.
- Trim the seam allowance to about 1/8”
- Turn the corner inside out. Using a point turner, press out the corner to make it crisp.
- Carefully sew all the way around the folded edge of the napkin, as close to the folded edge as you can.
- They’re done!
I may not have been toiling away the last 20 years to hand embroider dish towels or bedspreads, but I do have my own pink linen napkin set.