Satisfying Sewing

During my recent two-week stay at sister Diane’s home in Georgia last month, the only sewing I did other than new valances for her garage was this pair of napkins with machine-mitered corners:

The days leading up to our departure were so busy I didn’t take the time to organize a quilt project as I usually do, so I wound up throwing this fabric in my suitcase with the idea of making napkins. We use only cloth napkins at the Portland White House, and some of the older ones are pretty faded. This fleur de lis print will go very well with my blue and white transferware dishes.

I usually make my napkins with a 1/4″-wide hem using a method involving folding the fabric at the corners to form the miters. In fact, one of my very first tutorials — from 10 years ago! — describes this method. Folded miters work very well with narrow hems — say 1/4″ to 3/8″ wide. For anything wider, a miter stitched by machine is a better choice.

Because I had decided to finish these napkins with a 1/2″-wide hem, I looked for tutorials online to refresh my memory on how to machine-stitch mitered corners. I found a few that described the process with photos but every tutorial was lacking what I consider important information.

I want to make a couple more napkins now that I’m back home, and this time I’m going to take process shots so I’ll have them on hand the next time I decide to make some.

Is there interest out there in a tutorial? Let me know!




This entry was posted in family, mitered corners, table napkins, tutorial, update. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Satisfying Sewing

  1. Candy says:

    I would love to see a tutorial … your directions are always so clear, so the end result is great

  2. Christine J Lentz says:

    Yes, please. I always appreciate tutorials!

  3. Anna says:

    Yes, please. I have fabric purchased on our 2016 road trip that is waiting to be made into napkins.

  4. Carolyn B says:

    Yes. I always learn so much from you. Your directions are always perfect and easy to follow.

  5. Sandi says:

    Yes, I would love a tutorial!! I love cloth napkins, and would like to make some for myself. Yours are so pretty. Hugs,

  6. Linda says:

    Yes, please! Your tutorials are excellent.

  7. Nita Davis says:

    Dawn, I’m always interested in learning new skills from you. I’m curious what factors influence the decision for the width of napkin hem. What would you do for a linen napkin hem? So yes, I’m interested!
    Nita Davis

    • Dawn says:

      Hi, Nita. For a linen napkin I would probably go for a 1/2″-wide (or maybe even 3/4″) mitered hem made by machine. Linens can be soft and ravelly so it might be challenging to press narrow 1/4″ folds. Most of our table napkins have 1/4″ hems made by folding rather than machine-sewing. I think machine-sewn mitered corners are a bit dressier. They also take a little longer to make, which is why I haven’t moved in that direction before. I guess I’m just ready for a change of pace!

  8. Linda P says:

    yes please

  9. Diane says:

    Wow Nubs, your tutorials are really sought after! Very very nice!

  10. Janice Shipman says:

    Yes please!

  11. Terese says:
    This is what I have used. It’s pretty long and dark though.
    Great idea!
    I have trouble finding the right type and quality of absorbable woven fabric that’s got color on both sides when trying to make nice big dinner napkins. (Like the expensive purchased napkins) thank you!

    • Dawn says:

      Hi Terese. I much prefer photo tutorials to video; they always seem to be too long. As for fabric, 100% cotton is what I go for. Quilting cottons in particular are tightly woven — and what a choice we have!

  12. Rosalind McCormick says:

    Dawn, welcome home! You always have such good ideas about those little details that make the final project just right. I’d love to learn your insights on mitered corners. Take care. Rosalind

  13. Linda says:

    Lovely napkins! Yes, I’d be interested in learning how to machine miter napkins. We use only cloth napkins and I’ve made them with narrow hems. The wider hem is more attractive. Thanks!

  14. Sandy says:

    Yes, Dawn, I would be interested in a tutorial.

  15. Jo Ann Janes says:

    Dawn, would love a new tutorial. There are no paper napkins in the Janes household either. I love making napkins as gifts so new information will be helpful.

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