Time for a Tablecloth

For the last decade or so, my husband and I have spent Thanksgiving week in Atlanta with my twin sister Diane and her husband Ed. Three years ago I arrived at her home with a gift of these table napkins, made from a fabric called Heavenly Peace by Verna Mosquera for Free Spirit Fabrics:

A Dozen Table Napkins for Diane

Diane loved the fabric, and I promised to make a matching tablecloth. After three years, isn’t it about time?

Since I like to work on a home dec project when I’m at Diane’s, I brought all the yardage I had left — which was considerable — along with a piece of fabric (from the American Jane line designed by Sandy Klop for Moda Fabrics) that was a perfect color match:

tablecloth fabrics 1-001

Diane and I worked out a simple design that would feature the fleur de lis fabric on the table surface. A few inches of the large floral print would also show on the table and continue down to a generous drop. I wanted to miter the corners and continue the miter around to the back so the stitching lines would be covered. That way no raw edges would be exposed.

I did the math (or so I thought) and created a little paper pattern to guide me in the preparation of the miters:

tablecloth fabric

Well, friends, it would have taken 11 yards of the floral fabric to make the tablecloth the way I originally envisioned it. That’s because I was going to cut a 25″ strip and needed 398″ inches. The modified plan used half that because I cut the fabric along the fold, getting two strips from a width of fabric instead of one. (I wish I could tell you I figured that out before cutting the first 25″ strip.)

The mitered corners came together nicely. Here is a shot from the back . . .

tablecloth mitered corner from back

. . . and from the front:

tablecloth mitered corner from front

On the back, where the folded edges of the miter meet, I used Steam-a-Seam 2, a double-sided fusible web, to fuse the folded edges together:

tcloth with fused miter


From the front, I stitched in the ditch where the two fabrics meet. The stitching line caught the folded edge of the miter on the back:

tablecloth stitched in ditch

Here is Diane’s new tablecloth in place:


And here is the table set with a matching napkin:

tablecloth with setting

Diane and I both declared ourselves very pleased with the result. An added bonus: the fleur de lis motif is a lovely reminder of our recent big birthday trip to Paris.




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9 Responses to Time for a Tablecloth

  1. Lisa D'Andrea says:

    Outstanding in every way! Geez, the math and geometry of it all made my poor little mind wobble!!! So lovely.

  2. Vickie says:

    Happy Thanksgiving! Math can be such a pesky subject. Your solution is spot on and everything looks ready for a grand celebration.

  3. Virginia Hammon says:


  4. Reigh Hays says:

    It’s really lovely! The perfect mitering is one of Dawn’s special talents. She is a gifted seamstress for sure!

  5. Colleen says:

    It turned out beautifully Dawn. I’ll be thinking of you and wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Dawn says:

      Colleen, I thought of you when making this tablecloth. Not “measure twice, cut once” but “think twice, measure twice, cut once.” Such good advice! Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving, too!

  6. Diane says:

    It is one of the great delights of my life to have a twin so happy to use her many talents for my benefit. I enjoy walking through my home to see her handiwork, which is literally present in every room!!

    Thanks, Nubs!

  7. Tracy Hayes says:

    Stunning. Absolutely stunning. Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Claire says:

    A very sophisticated looking table. The green can go seasonal when desired or neutral otherwise. Glad you could salvage the project with the math snafu.

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