As you may know, we’ve been using cloth napkins around here since 2007. I’ve gone a little loopy over them from time to time (the evidence can be found here, if you need some convincing). I have an everyday set, and three seasonal sets of 20-25 coordinating prints each, and I change them out in January, May, September, and December.
I have been very happy with this setup. Sure, all of those coordinating fat quarters were a little pricey when I first bought them. But most of these sets have been serving us well for four to five years, and are still going strong. I’d rather not do the math (I like to avoid rude awakenings wherever possible) but I do feel some optimism that the benefits have outweighed the costs at this point. Plus if we keep using the same four sets for the foreseeable future, the savings will just continue to grow.
So why bring this up now?
A few reasons, actually. For one thing, there’s the state of my everyday napkins. They get used the most out of all of the sets, and they are showing signs of wear. I sorted through them today and discovered that of the original 25:
- four have gone missing – can’t find them anywhere
- twelve had visible stains
- nine are fine
Technically, I can deal with the missing ones by making some more. I have extra fabric from that collection.
And I’ve been thinking (for nearly a year now) that I could deal with the stained ones by over-dying them in navy blue and/or red.
So, problem solved, right?
Sure. Sure, it would be, if I didn’t know about this (“this” being French General’s Panier de Fleurs collection). I’m in love with the stripes, in particular, and the fact that there is blue in this collection. Most of the French General fabric I have seen in the past has appealed to me, but it’s been all reds. Red looks nice in my kitchen, but blue is really what belongs in there. So now that there’s one of these collections with navy blue stripes? Swoon!
I have started daydreaming again about kitchen improvement. About navy, cream, and red striped napkins alongside dark blue stoneware bowls. About new curtains, new seat cushions, and a new apron.
Our kitchen has gone largely unchanged since we moved here 14 years ago. The more I think about it, the more I want to splurge on that fabric, make some new napkins, rip down the old white+navy wallpaper, paint the kitchen navy blue, pull up the old white linoleum floor, put down some stone tile, or wood, replace the cabinets, get a new counter top…
The price tag on the striped fat quarters is hard enough to swallow on its own, but factor in the chain reaction of home improvement that could follow? Probably best to let this one go. But, oh! the wanties are strong with this one. Really really strong.
*sigh* Think I’m going to try the over-dying thing on the old napkins. I’m sure it will breathe new life into these designs. It’s a shame that no amount of dye could make watercolor flowers and teapots look like vintagey stripes, though…
Darn you, French General, and your old-fashioned, European countryside charm!