Friday, December 6, 2013

Cloth Napkin Tutorial

Over the week-end, I made up a batch of new cloth napkins for our family.  They were really quite easy to make, so I thought I'd write up a quick tutorial.

I personally like my napkins on the bigger side, so I started by cutting out the main fabric into 15 x 15 inch squares.

I had some shot cotton in my fabric stash that is a bit thinner than regular quilting cotton, and cut out 1 inch strips of this, joining them all together at the ends to make a continuous strip of the 1 inch wide fabric.I'm sure you could also use regular cotton for the edging, or even linen.

Once again,

15" x 15" main napkin fabric

continuous 1" narrow strips of "binding" or edge fabric.

On the back side of the main napkin fabric, I sewed the 1 inch strip all along the edge.

The corners, I treat as you would a quilt binding, stopping a quarter inch from the end, leaving the end of the needle in the fabric (or not), folding the corner up creating a 45 degree fold, then sewing down the other edge.

Then I flipped the napkin over, and folded the edge of the binding edge over to meet the edge of the seam, then the whole thing over to the front, or a double fold hem that encloses the raw edges.

Then it was just a matter of stitching a decorative stitch with a contrasting thread color onto the top!
Here's how I mitered the corners on the front:

And finally, here's what the back looks like.  It's actually more of a facing than a binding.  I think it's much easier.


  1. I love how you used the decorative stitching! I need to do that more.

  2. I do not usually like the machine embroidery stitches but seeing them on your napkins you have changed my mind they wok very well here, maybe I will start using mine now! Thanks for the close up of the mitred corner, will be using that soon when I bind my first quilt.

  3. Very nice option for those finished edges!