June 06, 2019

A Small, Practical Finish

Welcome to TGIFF! There's no better way to end the week than by celebrating our finishes 😊

I have a small, practical finish to share this week. Back in December I made two sets of Christmas fabric napkins, one for a gift and one for us. Right up until about the middle of May we were still using those Christmas napkins, reindeer and all, lol. It was definitely time to make some non-holiday ones. I've had them made and in use for a couple of weeks, but I'm only just getting around to blogging about them.

When I was trying to decide what size to cut the Christmas napkins, I took one of my precut 10" squares and pretended to wipe my hands to see if that would be big enough. It was, so that was the size I cut out of my yardage. This time around I made it even easier on myself and just used precut 10" squares.
fabric napkins | DevotedQuilter.com
These are all Island Batik fabrics. The brights on the sides were in the stack of Paisley Dot brights that I used for my March challenge. I took all of the blues out of that stack because I was using other blue fabrics and I didn't want the pinwheels to blend in. I've had those squares set aside for napkins ever since 😏 The other squares are from the Victoria and Albert line.

Most tutorials for making fabric napkins tell you to fold over the edges and press them before stitching to give you a nicely finished hem. I think that looks beautiful. I also think that if I had to fold over and press all four edges of 25 napkins (that's 100 edges!), then they'd never get made. People always say I must have "some patience" to make the quilts I do, but that patience obviously has a limit.

Instead, I used the overedge foot on my machine, which makes it so easy to get a nice zig zag finish right at the edge of the fabric. It's not as fancy looking as the folded hem would be, but it has held up well on the first set of napkins and it's so much faster. I used Aurifil 2311 for all of the stitching. It doesn't match any of the colours, but it's a perfect creamy colour and it works with everything. And again, using just one thread meant I could stitch one napkin after the other without stopping, which meant it was faster.
fabric napkins | DevotedQuilter.com
I made 15 napkins in December which was almost enough for our family of five. This time I made 25, mostly because the napkins tend to get stuck in the laundry room for an extended period of time and that would sometimes leave us with no napkins in the kitchen. It's not that they're not washed and dried, but that the mountain of clean laundy doesn't get folded and put away nearly as quickly as it should. With ten more napkins I'm hoping that means there are always enough in the kitchen ready for use because, let's be honest, I'm not likely to suddenly get better at folding the laundry promptly. Anyone else out there with a mental block against folding the laundry or is it just me?

I love using fabric napkins. They're so much prettier than the disposable paper ones I had been buying for years, plus we're now not buying and throwing out all of those napkins. I'm trying to take as many baby steps towards reducing our waste as I can and this one is so easy.

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  1. Folding Laundry? Is that a new quilt pattern we should all be looking for?
    Seriously, I thought laundry hampers were for storing clean laundry since the dirty laundry is piled on the floor in front of the washing machine. But folding laundry? I will have to google that to find out what it is.

  2. A very nice finish indeed!

  3. Folding laundry. Ugh. I finally broke down just last night and did it ALL and the laundry room is spick and span today! Well, except for that load that's in the dryer right now... It seriously never ends! Which is exactly one of the many reasons I quilt. Because at the end of the day, I can say I made that. Instead of having just another load of laundry to do again.

  4. I have yet to make napkins. I just wipe my hands on my jeans which is pretty pathetic l.o.l. Maybe I should take a cue from you. I'm all about reducing the waste. I do fold my laundry...but only mine. My husband does his own laundry but I do all the extra household laundry like sheets and stuff.

  5. What a lovely idea! I have some rolled hem presser feet for a couple of my machines that are supposed to turn the edges of things like this automatically as you stitch them, but when I've tried to use them... Well, let's just say there seems to be a LEARNING CURVE involved... I like your idea of just zigzagging the edges. I suppose this could be done with a 2-thread overlock on the serger too? Great way to reduce your family's impact on the environment -- and a wonderful opportunity to talk to your kids about WHY you're doing it, too. :-)

  6. Laundry often sits around in my house as well. I purposely have two weeks' worth of underwear LOL I like the idea of re-usable napkins, and I think I need to make some. And some for work as well.

  7. Wow, great job! I have a few cloth napkins that I bought several years ago, and that I am now using a lot more often. I felt really good last night that when I got our Subway subs, as the girl set like 10 napkins on top of our two subs, well mine was a wrap, I gently returned them to her pile and said, no, I have cloth ones at home! Every little bit helps I know it. I will have to make some now with some of my Island Batik fabric.

  8. I'm great at washing, slower at drying, and folding can take the rest of the week before we start it all over again! Glad the kids are all moved out and it's just DH and I, lots less to pile up!

  9. Batik napkins are the best - very little stains showing due to the nature of the fabric. I use cloth exclusively (unless my son is here and having tomato sauce). I love them.

  10. Do you iron the cloth napkins? And is Batik a better fabric to use? And do they get softer over time? I have purchased cloth napkins and they are stiff/rough and need ironing. I like to use them when everyone is here but that is 14 napkins i have to iron! Blah

    1. I don't iron them. They can be wrinkly, but these are just for everyday use and I'm not that concerned about the wrinkles. I have regular cotton ones, along with the batik ones, and I love them all equally. They are soft, but I don't think they were very stiff or rough to begin with.


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