Sewing Napkins from Pieced Fat Quarters - Easy Project by Malka Dubrawsky

4 Sep 2013

There is something about crafting the items you use around the house that elevates them from just functional to both fabulous and functional. Malka Dubrawsky showed how to make fabric napkins and napkin rings from fat quarters in the 2010/11 issue of Quilting Arts Gifts. Though humble in their purpose, they can make a weekday dinner special or serve as a sweet and thoughtful gift.
 

quilted table linens by malka dubrawsky
Quilted table linens make lovely gifts.
Project by Malka Dubrawsky.

Here are Malka's detailed instructions for how to make napkins with patchwork flair, with brief instructions for the napkins rings below.

Patchwork Table Décor
By Malka Dubrawsky

For one napkin, 20½" square:

  • 5 fat quarters of different prints in a similar color palette
  • Napkin backing fabric, 20½" x 20½" square of a coordinating print
  • Napkin binding 1 fat quarter of a coordinating print
  • Sewing machine and notions
  • Small circular template or dessert plate to mark curved corners

From the 5 fat quarters, cut the following pieces for the napkin:

  • One 11-7⁄8" x 15-1⁄8" rectangle (piece A)
  • One 11-7⁄8" x 3-1⁄8" rectangle (piece B)
  • One 17¾" x 9-3⁄8" rectangle (piece C)
  • One 13" x 3¼" Rectangle (piece D)
  • One 8" x 3¼" rectangle (piece E)

From the napkin binding fabric, cut 1½"-wide bias strips.

how to sew napkins from pieced fat quarters
How to sew fabric napkins with coordinating
pieces from fat quarters.

Making the patchwork
(Note: All seam allowances are ¼". Unless otherwise noted, press the seams open.)

1. Pin pieces A and B, right sides together, along their common 11-7⁄8" edge. Sew the pieces together and press the seam. With coordinating thread, topstitch 1⁄8" from both sides of the seam.

2. Pin piece C to the sewn pieces, right sides together, along their common 17¾" edge. Sew the pieces together and press the seam. Topstitch 1⁄8" from both sides of the seam.

3. Pin pieces D and E, right sides together, along their common 3¼" edge. Sew, press, and topstitch.

4. Pin sewn pieces D and E to the other sewn section (pieces A, B, and C), right sides together, along the common edge measuring 20½". Sew, press, and topstitch.

Finishing the napkin

1. Layer the napkin backing, wrong side facing up, and the napkin top, right side facing up, on a table that is protected with a self-healing mat. Pin the layers together.

2. Using a small circle, such as a dessert plate, as your template, round the corners of the pinned layers with a rotary cutter.

3. Sew the binding strips together using diagonal seams. Use the resulting long strip to create a continuous binding around the napkin.

The homemade napkin rings are constructed by stitching 3" strips of fabric in varying widths together along their common 3" edge to make a 10" strip. Sandwich rickrack along the edge, baste, and then stitch the patchwork to an equal size strip of backing fabric leaving a 2" gap for turning. Turn, press, topstitch, and add a buttonhole and button. (More detailed instructions in the magazine.)

Each special issue of Quilting Arts Gifts includes instructions for making quilted table linens to give as gifts or to grace your table on special occasions. We also have table runner patterns in the Quilting Daily store, like the Reflected Wedges Table Runner by Jacquie Gering and the Craft Tree Table Toppers booklet full of quilted table linens.

P.S. Do you bring out handmade or heirloom table linens for special occasions or every day? Are there tableware traditions in your family or do you like something fresh and new each year? Leave your comment below.


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Reflected Wedges Table Runner

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Give your table a new look with this patchwork table runner, as seen in Modern Patchwork 2012

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Comments

MGQuilts wrote
on 7 Sep 2013 10:13 AM

My Bible-study group of 10 meets here every Mon morning. We have coffee and goodies and I set out seasonal napkins. To make these, I tore the fabric into 8-10" squares (you don't need much of a napkin for coffee and kuchen) and pulled the outer threads to make a small fringe. I've 12 sets, one for each month, and they wash up beautifully in the family laundry. No need to iron, just hand press as I fold them in half.

I do have heirloom napkins that are used for special occasion dinners.

Karen M wrote
on 10 Sep 2013 11:19 AM

I do like alternative edgings (other than binding) for napkins, such as MGQuilt's fringed edges. I also use zigzag or satin stitched edges.