Cloth Napkins

Cloth napkins are a beautiful way to dress up your table and reduce paper use. I prefer double-sided napkins because they're sturdier, they hide imperfect stitches, and you don't have to press any seams. And I love the way the pattern on the back of a double-sided napkin peeks out when you fold it. For this tutorial, I'm using fabric from Maureen Fiorellini's Blossom and Grow collection for Studio E Fabrics.

1. Cut 2 pieces of fabric. Cloth napkins come in many sizes and they can be square or rectangular. Choose your sizes based on preference and available fabric. My pieces for this tutorial started at 21 inches by 19 inches.

2. Place the pieces on top of each other so that the "right" (correct) sides of the fabric are facing each other. 

Five Patch Design cloth napkin corners

3. Using a pencil, draw lines where you plan to stitch. These lines will help you keep your stitches straight. Leave plenty of space between your stitches and the edges of the fabric.

4. Pin the fabric together every few inches so it doesn't slide around while you sew. The head of the pin should face the outside edge, and the tip of the pin should come up just over your pencil line.

5. I like to draw an arrow where I plan to start sewing and place 2 pins and a pencil line where I plan to stop. You'll be sewing along 3 sides and then about two-thirds of the way along the fourth side. Here's a closer look at my starting and stopping marks:

Five Patch Design cloth napkin step 2

6. You're ready to sew! You can sew each side separately, or sew all 4 in a single "go." For the latter, stop at each corner when the needle is in the fabric and raise the presser foot. Turn the fabric so that it's positioned properly for the next side that you'll be sewing. Lower the presser foot, and continue sewing in the new direction. Do this at each corner. Remember, follow your pencil guides and stop when you reach the 2 pins, leaving an opening of several inches.

7. Remove the pins and gently turn the napkin right side out. Use the eraser end of a pencil to gently shape the corners, if necessary.

8. To close the opening, tuck the fabric towards the inside of the napkin and use your fingers to smooth it flat. To hide your stitches, you can hand sew the opening using a slip stitch. Or, use your machine to sew a straight line across the opening, like I did below. My stitch isn't perfect but remember, it's only a napkin!

Five Patch Design cloth napkin step 3

Five Patch Design cloth napkin step 4

Try different sizes and fabric combinations and enjoy the beauty you've added to your table!

Five Patch Design four cloth napkins