Thursday, March 26, 2020

Cloth Napkins

There's a funny story from my childhood that my mom still loves to tell about me and cloth napkins.

I was in grade school at the time, maybe first or second grade and I made some off-handed comment, yes even then, about how rich people have cloth napkins.  I think it stemmed from a movie or tv show we were watching at the time. 

My mom set about to make us "rich" people.  She took a pair of pinking shears to a white top sheet and cut it into squares.  Mom hemmed them and then hand-embroidered them with DMC thread she had leftover from other projects. 

We used these napkins for every holiday and special occasion dinner while I was growing up.  Those well-loved napkins, stained with many family meals and memories, now live in my table linen drawer. 

Do you have an old top sheet with no mate,  some cotton fabric, or maybe an old dress shirt or two?  Repurpose and reduce waste by making some cloth napkins.  It reduces the waste on two ends, with both the recycled fabric and reduction in the use of paper towels and or paper napkins. 

Fast forward to 2014, when I was trying to make us a little greener and I was kind of tired of the number of paper towels we were going through.   I made napkins from a stash of fat quarters I'd been hoarding, and I had a good stash to make some fun napkins.  Let me first say none of my napkins match.  Yes, that's right I said none.  I literally used up a stash of fabric with no care in my soul about matching sets.  You can totally make a pretty set of matching napkins if that's your thing, but it wasn't important to me.

I used the tutorial from Kristy.com - How to Make Easy & Stylish Cloth Napkins.  I'm resurrecting this because I'm thinking about making more, maybe matching this time.  I might even gift them to a few friends. 

We are still using these napkins.  They make for a great conversation piece when we have guests.  We talk about the fact that we have cloth napkins, we talk about how they don't match.  I have a funny story from New Year's about napkins.  While none of the napkins I made match I do have a set of cloth napkins, sent to me from a friend, that do match.  As we were sitting down to dinner there was a comment about the napkins matching to which my husband made the remark - "I didn't know we had matching napkins."

I love that our napkins are much like our dishes, an eclectic collection of colors and things I love.  Tell me, do you have cloth napkins?  Or even a funny story about cloth napkins?

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