Friday, December 21, 2012

Tutorial: Super Easy Fat Quarter Napkins

Is anyone panicking about eleventh hour gift fails? That one relative you forgot you had? That pivotal missing link in your holiday tablescape?? Well, take a deep breath and a big gulp of grownup egg nog, because you probably have a last minute project lurking in your fabric stash.

I mean, I almost couldn't bring myself to call this a tutorial, it's that easy. By the end of it you'll have a set of cute fabric napkins. But forget pressing all the edges over twice and topstitching, or any such nonsense. We're just going to do a little quickie zig zag and let a little natural fraying take its course.

All you need is one fat quarter of medium weight cotton fabric per napkin. Linen would be lovely as well. If you don't have any fat quarters, just take a 1/2 yard of fabric and cut it along the fold to make two fat quarters. [That's all a fat quarter is. Now you know, and can confidently work the term 'fat quarter' into as many holiday party conversations as possible.]

Here are the simple steps:

1. Trim off the selvage and trim any sides of the fabric as necessary to make a nice even rectangle.

2. Sew along all four edges with a small zig zag stitch at 1/4" seam allowance. I set my stitch length at 1.5 and my width at about a quarter of the total width dial. Pivot at the corners and backstitch at the beginning and end.

3. Make as many napkins as you wish and then toss them all in the washer. The edges will fray down to the zig zag stitch. [Tip: Don't wash the napkins with other clothes, otherwise you'll have little threads all over everything. This may or may not be experience talking.] Then dry all the way.

4. Once dry, pull any remaining threads off - you should be able to just yank - and press the napkins to make them nice and flat and pretty.

5. Gloat about your last minute gift-giving prowess, and present napkins with pride.

6. Or just keep them for yourself.

Safe travels everyone!!

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