Ode to Elsie’s Kitchen

Summer napkins

I think I’ve formed an unnatural attachment to our Summer napkins.  I don’t know if it’s the unseasonably hot weather of the past week, the eager anticipation of the summer after a particularly cold and wet winter, or just me being crazy, but I’ve been daydreaming again.  I switch out our cloth kitchen napkins every season, but never do I look forward to the process so much as I do this time of year.

Summer napkins

This is our fourth year using them.  They’re soft and well-worn, a pleasure against your cheek. I used Anna Griffin’s fabric collection called Elsie’s Kitchen for these, and the vintage cherries & lemons conjure up visions of simple living and the pleasures of summertime.  It must sound cheesy, but I look at these small cotton rectangles, and I see peanut butter and homemade strawberry-rhubarb jam on banana sandwich loaf for lunch.  I see farmers market cherries in an ice bowl on the kitchen table.  I see a family party with fresh corn on the cob out on the back patio.  I see strawberry lemonade smoothies by the kiddie pool, bacon and lettuce sandwiches on homemade rye bread, and wineberry crisp made from our backyard berries.

So many of summer’s pleasant memories revolve around food, and so much of that food is accompanied by these napkins.

My first oilcloth purchase

I was thinking these thoughts when the doorbell rang – it was FedEx, dropping off this yard of oilcloth I’ve been waiting for.  I’ve got a book review in the works, and the project I plan to do from the book is dependent on oilcloth.  I suppose it’s no accident that I was drawn to such a vintage-looking specimen, complete with cherries, no less.  The colors aren’t a perfect match, but the fabric still seems right at home in Elsie’s Kitchen.

Oilcloth and summer napkins

So I couldn’t resist.  I didn’t wait until Memorial Day this year.  I took those napkins out of their little shoebox in the linen closet, and put them in the wicker basket in the kitchen where they will be used and loved: used by all of us, loved mostly just by me. Because, let’s face it, I do live with boys, after all.  What are the odds they’ll even notice?

4 thoughts on “Ode to Elsie’s Kitchen

  1. I love most fruit prints, but what is it about cherries that makes me swoon? That one with the white background is especially adorable. My napkins aren’t as cute as yours, since I don’t usually buy fabric specifically for them, but you have inspired me to use any likely cotton leftovers of the right size to make napkins. Cuts down waste of fabric AND wasting trees just to wipe our faces. Thanks! “Green” is good.

  2. Hi,

    may I know what type of fabric do u use for your napkin? I know it is 100% cotton, but which category? Not the one used in quilt, right?
    Need to made the napkins for myself too.


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