Free Tips on Fabric Napkins

Now that my Easter table-runner and placemats are done, I needed to finish the set with some fabric napkins. As you will see from the notes below – this can be a very quick project that yields excellent results.

When I make fabric napkins I always use the product “Wonder Tape”. The product has a ¼” paper attached to one side of a double-sided tape.

For making napkins, I take the Wonder Tape and place it at the very edge on the top side (right side up) of the fabric. I stop taping ¼” in from the ends which will become the corners.

After you have put the tape on all 4 sides, go to the ironing board. I fold the edge over ¼” and iron, leave the paper on the double-sided tape while you are ironing. After I go all the way around once, I turn a second time ¼” hem and iron as I go.

Now go to your sewing machine, unfold your pressed hem and take off the paper off one side at a time as you sew your ¼” hem. Because the tape holds everything in place as you sew your fabric doesn’t shift as you sew (which would leave puckers). Instead it lays very flat and you can sew around the napkin in no time at all. Note – you can note that you can sew right through the tape and it won’t gum up your sewing machine.
You will have a beautiful hem when you are done – without getting a major headache in the process!

Next – make coordinating Napkin Rings!
To make the napkin rings, I used the fusible Peltex cut into strips: 5½” X 1¾”.

Cut the fabric for the rings into 4” wide strips. You will then lay the Peltex strip down in the center of the fabric. Iron to fuse the Peltex. This will provide strength and shape to the rings. As you can see, I left a small space and simply fused all of my Peltex onto one piece of fabric, then I went back and cut each strip to size.

Stitch down the center to hold the fabric to Peltex after pressing. Overlap the two ends and hand stitch the ring closed. Add a fabric yo-yo made with the ex-large yo-yo maker and a leaf.

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Now you can make your own napkins in no time – just imagine the possibilities! And feel free to share your ideas!
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing

FREE Pattern – Easter Placemat

Yesterday, I promised a placemat to go with your new Easter table-runner, and even better, this is my own pattern (with the exception of the appliqué in the center), so I can offer this as a free pattern to you!

You will need the following supplies to make 4 placemats –

  • white cotton fabric – 1 yard
  • colorful accent fabric – ½ yard
  • fabric for appliqué of your choice – depends on design chosen
  • small fabric squares for yo-yo embellishments
  • buttons
  • neutral fabric for backing – 1 yard
  • a strong, flat batting (I recommend using Warm & Natural, or Pellon Fleece) – 1 yard
  • coordinating seam binding – 8 yards

Pattern Image A Instructions that follow will walk you through the creation of ONE placemat, repeat as needed to complete your set.

  1. Cut a white square 12½” x 12½”
  2. Apply your applique to the center of the white square
  3. Cut the accent fabric 6½” x 12½”
  4. Sew accent fabric to left side of white square, using a ¼” seam allowance.
  5. Sandwich together design fabric (top of placemat), batting, and backing fabric.
  6. Using a ¼” seam allowance, sew around the placemat, trim edges, and add seam binding.
  7. Quilt, using a simple design that will not detract from your center appliqué.
  8. Your finished placemat will be approximately 12″ x 18″.

Image Pattern BMy placemat also included some embellishements – the yo-yos that run down the seam between the accent fabric and the white fabric, as well as buttons to secure the yo-yos. I recommend adding any embellishments such as these after step 4, but before you continue on to step 5. This way all of your stitches will be inside of the quilted placemat. You will need to take care in quilting the finished product to avoid any damage to the yo-yos. The image to the left shows how the yo-yos were placed, and the approximate placement of the egg appliqué I used from the book “Quilted Holiday Accents”.

The sky is the limit with a pattern of this type, you can add multiple small appliqués, or just put in one large one as I did for my Easter placemat.   The Easter Egg applique used on this sample you will find in the book “Quilted Holiday Accents” featured in the blog yesterday.  Pick a copy of that book at Hancock Fabrics in the quilting department. The accent fabric down the left side could be a space to embroider the name of the person sitting at that place – turning your placemats into name cards. (What a fun way to make a guest feel special for a holiday dinner.)

You can also use your imagination when embellishing, just remember that if you want to use the placemats at the table with food, you need to keep things fairly simple. But with that in mind, imagine making special placemats up for your own little princess – using a marabou boa to trim the side of the placemat. These would make a fun party favor for the guests to take home with them as well as a great memento for your little princess of her special day.

Well, now you’ve seen the pattern, and seen a few suggestions for ways to make your own unique placemats. Below is the image of the finished piece. I think it will look great with the table-runner – don’t you?

Finished Placemat

What’s your inspiration? I’d love to see what types of ideas you can come up with for this fun pattern! Enjoy!
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing

Book Review – Quilted Holiday Accents

The weather warmed up a little this week-end and it made me think of Spring! And what better way is there to beat the Winter blues than to create something you know you will be using in warmer weather? So I began looking for inspiration – I remembered all the yo-yos I have recently made, and thought of the great spring colors I could make more yo-yos in, then I remembered this quilting book had a great Easter table-runner with yo-yo embellishment.

I went to the store to pick out some fabrics and started my project. Of course I choose bright spring-time colors, and the fabrics used for the yo-yos on the sides of the table-runner are the same fabrics I used for the egg appliqués.

This book is a wonderful book full of appliqué projects for all the seasons. There is also a 4th of July table-runner, as well as a tote bag and sweatshirt for the 4th – one of those may need to be made when I start thinking of Summer picnics! There are also several ideas for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Anyone who enjoys quilting and making new items for holidays, but doesn’t want to make a full quilt for a holiday celebration, should take a look at this book. And here’s the finished project!

Easter Runners

I used the Extra large yo-yo tool for the embellishments on each end of the table-runner. And, as you can see in the close-up below, I used buttons to finish the yo-yos and to decorate the egg appliqués. It’s been a long time since I sewed this many buttons on a single project!

Easter Runner Close

There are several places I could see placing this project. Of course, the obvious is the dinning room table – but it could also go on top of the piano or on my dry sink or even the coffee table. It would also be fun to add some stuffed or ceramic bunnies sitting with the runner.

Even though this book doesn’t show placemats – I have decided to make some using the same appliqué shape so they will coordinate with the runner. Watch for that project, and a small pattern just for you, tomorrow.

What are you doing to get ready for Easter and to chase off the Winter blues?
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing