Friday, October 9, 2009
Our Cloth Napkins
My two year old daughter likes napkins. We keep our (paper) napkins on a turntable in the center of the table, and she tries to grab a new one each time the one she's using gets a little dirty. If you've ever had a two year old, you may have an idea of how often that is! Actually, I'm able to go through an embarrassingly large quantity of paper napkins myself even while using the whole thing.
So one day a month or so ago, after finishing a tote bag or something I realized that I had a fairly large scrap left, but it wasn't big enough to make a bag or anything. I loved the fabric and wanted to be able to see it often. Then it occurred to me that it was just large enough to make Abigail her own cloth napkin.
When I gave it to her, I emphasized that it was her napkin for her very own to use during meals. She liked the apple and pear print, and was pleased that it was her very own. She showed it off to her daddy and used it at each meal. After a few weeks (of course I wash it every few days), she started to lean toward the paper napkins again. That's when I realized that it wouldn't be an effective switch unless the whole family participated.
That night I went through my entire stash and pulled out varying sizes of scraps. You may recognize prints from a few bags I've made. The darker green has little cream hearts on it, and is from remnants of fabric from a dress I had made for a bridesmaid dress over ten years ago (yes, it's cotton, and yes the bride wasn't happy about my fabric choice).
I made several more smallish napkins for Abigail, a medium sized one for me, and a large (18x18) one for my husband. (Just like the three bears!) I love mine far more than I expected. I don't really care for cloth napkins at restaurants, but I now realize that it's the fabric quality that I don't care for. There is something to be said for making cloth napkins from quilting cotton!
One of the napkins is more of a rectangle than a square, none of them match, and none of them are the same size. I think they really fit our family well, though. I'm on the lookout for more funky fabrics as it would be nice to have extras. These are double-sided instead of hemmed, and I "quilted" a folding line into them to make them more like paper napkins (we can easily fold them into quarters). I think I got the idea from the book Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross.
We've hardly used any paper napkins since I made these, which is quite an achievement for our family. Yea for one less household expense!