Posted on 19 Comments

Seasonal Napkin Disorder


Can one ever have too many seasonal cloth napkins?  Is there really such a thing as an overabundance of soft, gentle, go-ahead-and-use-them-everyday kitchen linens?  It’s been over two years since I made my first set of napkins out of quilting cottons, and in that time I have not bought a single package of paper napkins.

And why would I want to?  These feel so much better on our faces than the paper ones do, and they are environmentally-friendly.  I keep a basket of them in the kitchen, and when one becomes dirty, I just toss it in the laundry basket with whatever load is next to be washed.  We rotate through a stack of about 25 of them, and as long as I keep up with the laundry, we never run out.

I also find them to be a great way to celebrate the changes of the seasons in my kitchen.  I have one set of “everyday” prints that are just your basic reds and blues, and coordinate with the blue and white of the kitchen table.  When summer comes, I switch them out for some kitschy lemons & cherries. In the fall, I’ve got leaves and pumpkins to look forward to, and there’s a special Christmas set, too.

It sounds silly, I suppose, but I’ve really come to enjoy the changing of the seasonal linens.

As time has gone on, I’ve made coordinating aprons and table mats for most of these sets using leftover fabric.  The fabric collections I chose, though, are becoming hard to find these days.  I would jump at the chance to accumulate a few more precious fat quarters if I were to find them.


As it turns out, I got pretty lucky last week online.  And I did, indeed, jump.  New fabrics in all three of the collections I was longing for.  My stash is so happy now.


This afternoon I cranked out nine new Fall napkins in colors we didn’t have before.  I had pumpkins on green and brown, but never on white.  And I had leaves on orange but never on blue.  These things excite me – what can I say?

I have an 18″x9″ piece of each of these nine prints leftover now, and probably some scraps from before, and they’re screaming Fall Quilt at me.  I’m trying to ignore them, as even a lap quilt will inevitably require more fabric than I’ve got, but I’m not having a whole lot of luck.  I mean, really. October nights were made for sitting on the couch under a quilt-in-progress, hand-sewing a binding, weren’t they?  Who am I to argue with that logic?


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Posted on 19 Comments

19 thoughts on “Seasonal Napkin Disorder

  1. Oh, I am soooo inspired by these! Our local fabric store is closed with no guarantee of opening soon. I’ll be breaking down her doors when she does, though. I just love these.

    We use a set of over-the-top spring napkins year-round.

    I’m getting really tired of looking at Mr Easter Bunny at each meal.
    .-= See Kat’s latest blog post: Lemony Cheese Tart with Sour Cream Glaze (by Kat) =-.

    1. Easter Bunny? Oh, I’d have caved long ago! I like to check eBay for fat quarter bundles so I can be all mixy-matchy without buying a lot of yardage.

  2. Last weekend I had two grandsons staying with me-cousins, four and five. The five-year-old turned to his cousin and explained, “You don’t throw Grandma’s napkins away-you wash them and use them again.” When four-year-old Sam finished with his napkin, he headed into the kitchen to wash it. Cute, huh?

    I need to get busy and crank out some more napkins. I’ve been recycling a sheet I just demoted from my bed. Got a lot of sheet left to use.
    .-= See Marty’s latest blog post: Service =-.

    1. Oh, that’s cute 🙂

  3. Hi Lisa,

    Love, love, love the napkins. I’ve been collecting some materials to make placemats and napkins – but never did I think to do a stack of different ones – LOVE IT!!!! Do you have instructions for how you make them – the first ones I made were a touch on a small side. Also do you use mainly fat quarters? If so I’ll be sure to pick up some more.


    1. I just love the mixed-up patterns. They save me from getting bored 🙂

      Ask, and ye shall receive. I just photographed the napkin-making process and will have a tutorial posted just as soon as I can write it up.

  4. What a really lovely idea – we have a big basket of vintage finds and even some passed down from relatives, but they are all so white and really show up pasta sauce! – I think I will be adding some nice coloured ones to our collection -Will save my blushes when my eco wash liquid fails to do the trick on those orange stains!!
    .-= See Mousy Brown’s latest blog post: Thinking Pink. =-.

    1. Oh, I know what you mean. Some of my older lighter-colored ones don’t look so hot. I always fold the stains towards the inside when I can, and if I can’t, I give the guests the dark colors 😀

  5. I second the idea to post the pattern you use. I know a square with a turned hem doesn’t sound that involved, but those of us up half the night with small children would really appreciate it. lol.

    1. You got it 🙂 I just took pictures, and I’ll try to write up instructions tonight.

  6. Every time you post about your napkins I think that I’m going to make some for myself. I was thinking I might just do rolled hems on all four sides, but I can’t decide on optimal dimensions. How big are yours?
    .-= See Lisa’s latest blog post: What’s on your desk Wednesday? =-.

    1. Mine are roughly 15×10, but there’s nothing special about that number. It’s just the size piece I had laying around when I made my first napkin. Now I just make all the rest to match.

  7. I give what is the name of that fabric? I tried to look for it, and for that matter I tried to forget how much I like it, but I can not do either.
    .-= See zoe’s latest blog post: Craft and Fall and Stories (what more could you want;) =-.

    1. Funny 🙂 It’s “Fall Back in Time” by Sandy Gervais for Moda, and it’s out of print, but you can still find a few pieces of it here and there.

  8. I do the exact same thing! Rotate napkins, placemats, etc. that I have made. It also makes me feel very happy and very eco friendly. And I too have not bought napkins in almost 2 years. Yea us!

    1. Yeah, go us! 🙂

  9. Beautiful, what great inspiration, I need to make some fall ones. Thanks for sharing.
    .-= See Kristin’s latest blog post: Scary Cookies =-.

  10. Hi there! That is quite a fetching stack of napkins you have there. I’m working on a set for our home…starting with Halloween napkins. I think I just found myself a favorite new blog to read!
    .-= See Miranda’s latest blog post: Cooking Panel: Meet the Panelists! =-.

  11. […] is doing to me??  I am this close to making a coffee cozy for every season, you know, to go with the napkins. And the aprons.  And the table […]

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