I’m a big fan of the cloth napkin. There’s really been no place for throw-aways in my home for a number of years. And when I find that I have a big-enough bit of fabric hanging around after finishing some sewing project (17″ square is enough for my purposes), I’ll occasionally whip up a napkin to add to my collection (which is now a chaotic but I think pleasing mix of the handmade and the vintage/thrifted). My napkins don’t boast fancy mitered corners or elaborate edgings–though I applaud those who take this trouble. Nope, mine have always just been fabric squares with rolled machine-hemmed edges. Until recently, that is.
Last week I was invited to rethink my austere approach at a napkin-embroidering crafternoon. I took along a handmade napkin for each attendee to use (made from some natural linen curtain panels that I’ve been harboring for far too long–the refashioning continues). And after we all talked a bit and sewed a bit, we had transformed our neutral squares into useful objects that were unique, colorful, and altogether better than plain. My own napkin (pictured above–thanks, Amy, for the great photo and for the gathering!) was based on a design found in a Japanese craft book that I picked up at Kinokuniya.
Now, having embroidered just this single napkin, I already feel that I might be ruined for the unadorned napkin life I’ve led until now. And plus, it was such fun to hang out with friends and embroider, and I want to do it some more. The only solution, as I see it, will be future embroidery parties! You can see the rest of our embroidery work, and read more about the gathering, here!