Circular Placemat and Mitered Napkin

Next week I begin the Sewing for Your Home e-course, and this week, I’m sharing a few of the projects to give you a taste of what we’ll be doing in class!  These are two of the Week 1 projects, a circular placemat and a mitered napkin.  The weight and body of this placemat are what really set it apart–I think I might make a set of these on a smaller scale for coasters for our den, since we live in the South and our glasses sweat like crazy all summer long. It’s thick and absorbent, and it muffles the sound of plates and glasses hitting the table (not to mention protecting your table from dings and nicks).  It’s actually coiled up on itself in a really cool way, which gives it some three-dimensional presence on your dinner table.  Plus, you can make it from any fabric you have lying around, including scraps and leftover bits of bias tape, so it’s a great way to use up some odd bits and pieces here and there that you weren’t really sure what to do with.

I think a placemat really does make the difference between sitting down to eat and sitting down to a meal.  I almost always serve our family–that is, load their plates–from the stove, but we always, always sit down at the table together.  Which could easily feel just like we’re sitting in the same place, but nothing more special than that. Except when you set the table with napkins and placemats, suddenly it makes the meal seem more special, as though it was planned and looked forward to.  I like that, and I like setting that expectation for my children, that meals are something important that we share with one another.

We’ve been all-cloth on our napkins for a looong while now.  I actually am not sure if I have ever purchased paper napkins outside of a party-prep situation.  And not in a snootty way, like you’re a terrible person if you use paper napkins, but more that I grew up using cloth napkins, and I think they’re nicer.  They dress up the table, dress up a meal.  We even pack them in lunches or when we picnic, because we can.  Once you get the hang of making napkins, you can make a set of four from a little over a yard of fabric in no time–one of my dear friends even makes new ones for her dinner parties, because she likes a fresh table and a theme.  Doesn’t that sound like fun?  Yes, it does, y’all.

The Sewing for Your Home e-course includes three kinds of placemat and four kinds of cloth napkins, just in the first week!  It’s a class I’m super excited about–and there is SO much more content there than just table settings.  I’d love to have you join us before all the spots are gone!

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  • Claudia
    April 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    I love your on-line classes. Even when I’ve been so busy that I wouldn’t have been able to keep up with an “in person” class, I was able to do it on my own time…instead of shopping on line at 11pm I’m taking a class! Looking forward to this one and have my eye on the fall one about making pants too. Great fun and being a self taught “sewist”, I really appreciate the help. There are definitely tricks and short cuts that can only be learned from an experienced teacher. I just finished some serger rolled hem napkins and I’m excited about trying some more sophisticated ones. LOVE the placemats!!

    • Deborah
      April 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm

      Oh, Claudia, you’re such a pleasure to have in class! I’m so pleased you’re going to be part of this one–I think the projects are all really great for the home, and (as you know) I love that the skills on all of them translate so easily and directly to other, non-home decor projects. Really looking forward to next week!!

  • Rachel at Stitched in Color
    April 19, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Hmm.. new napkins for every dinner party. Genius!