If you’re like me…
…you probably have all kinds of folders (one of which might be named “Misc Sewing”) on your computer desktop, waiting to be used for that one future blog post. Or maybe they are there so you can find them easily, rather than going through you whole “Pictures” file. Also, if you’re like me, your desktop is so cluttered with folders you want to be able to find easily that you can’t find anything there either. (So much so that you only use a tiny corner of your desktop for the above photo, and you straightened that up before you even did the screen shot.) You may be thinking, “Okay, how is this any different from your sewing room?”Well I’m glad you asked. This may look pretty good to you, but as you, know there’s always the photo that makes it onto the blog……and the one that doesn’t.Actually you’ve seen these but anyway. Back to the subject.I’m sure you’ve heard of stash busting, right? It’s where you try to get rid of as much of your excess stuff (fabric, yarn, etc.) so you won’t feel bad when you go to buy more.So a little before Christmas I saw a cool idea on Pinterest about how to make reusable “non-paper towels” out of fabric. I think the idea was to save the environment, but I saw it as a way to save money, because I was seriously going through a lot of paper towels by using them as napkins. Thrilled by the idea of using up tons of fabric scraps, I started on the project right away.My first job was to make a pattern, which I did by tracing around a regular paper napkin and making it a little bit bigger. Then I found pieces of fabric that looked good together, so the front and back would be different. I found it was easier to put the two fabrics right sides together and cut them both at the same time. If I’m making a lot of one thing, I like to use sort of an “assembly line” method. So after cutting a stack of napkins, I sewed around the edges, leaving an open space to be able to turn them right side out. After turning them right side out and pressing them, the next step was to top stitch around the edges and make a few lines of stitching in the center.Here is a stack that hasn’t been top stitched.These are the backs of some Christmas ones. The stitching shows up well in the photo.The same ones from the front.
I really like these blue ones. The first picture is the front, and this is the back. If my stitching isn’t perfectly straight, or if the bobbin thread doesn’t really match, for a project like this it doesn’t really matter. I figured, if it was a paper towel I’d be throwing it away after using it anyway, so there’s no need for perfection here.
Originally I thought I could put them in a napkin holder, but I quickly realized that I was going to have way too many for that. So I resorted to just stacking them up on the kitchen island. (And no, these photos are not an advertisement for grain-free cat food!)So by the time you could hardly get napkins or paper towels, I had about 40 cloth napkins that I had been using for quite awhile. (Don’t go there: I wasn’t ready for cloth “you-know-what”, although there are plenty of Pinterest tutorials if you’re interested…) But I still had fabric scraps, and I really enjoyed making the napkins, so I started making them and giving them away. (One person even bought some, yay!) As my fabric scraps got smaller I started experimenting with piecing, and I found out I actually liked the way they looked.
Some random views of different color and fabric combinations.
I think it’s fun to chose which color napkin I want from the pile on the kitchen island. And as you can see in the photo at the right, they wash up nicely. Machine wash, tumble dry. No ironing needed. (Or in my case, no ironing is going to be done, whether needed or not!) This probably should go without saying, but when you are busy in your sewing room and the rest of the house gets too quiet, it’s a good idea to check the guest room. Just in case.