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Nature Brights Kitchen: Mix & Match Napkins

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We love the cloth napkin here at Sew4Home! It's a green alternative to paper; it's super simple to make; and it adds a cheery splash of color to your table. That's a trifecta of winning reasons to give it a try today. We used a different fabric for each of our six napkin samples, because mixing and matching is fun.

Our Nature Brights projects were made using Patty Young's wonderful Flora & Fauna Collection. 

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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Our napkins are 20" x 20" finished, which means you need at least 21" x 21" of fabric to make one. If you're working with 44"-45" wide fabric, as we usually are, this means you need at least 21" in length. Here's your math quiz for today: If a yard of fabric is 36", what standard cut would you order to accommodate your napkins? (pause here for the theme song from Jeopardy) ... That's right! "What is ¾ yard?" ¾ of a yard is 27" - plenty of length. In fact, with 44"-45" in width and 27" in length, you can make TWO napkins. Multiply to your heart's content to make more.

  • For our six napkins we used six different fabrics from Patty Young's Flora & Fauna collection by Michael Miller Fabrics: Blossoms in Black, Daisy Dot in Lime and Stone, Ta Dot in Moss and Apple, and Dandelion in Raspberry
  • All purpose thread in colors to match fabric
  • Contrasting all purpose thread for edgestitch (optional)
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pencil
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Straight pins

Getting Started

  1. Cut 21" x 21" even squares from each fabric you're using for your napkins.
  2. We recommend a rotary cutter for cutting squares. It's faster and more accurate. If using a rotary cutter for the first time, we have a detailed explanation of the proper use of this tool in our article on Quilting Basics.
    NOTE: Need help selecting a rotary cutter that best suits your needs? Check out our Buying Guide on rotary cutting products.
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At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

  1. Fold and press a ½” double hem along all four sides on one fabric square. To do this, fold in ¼" and press, then fold another ¼" and press, encasing the raw edge within the fold. For a truly professional finish, see our tutorial on how to make easy clean finished corners.
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  2. Using a straight stitch and contrasting thread (the contrasting touch is optional; you can use matching thread if you prefer a simpler look), sew around the entire folded perimeter. Remember to stop at each corner, with your needle in the down position, and pivot.
  3. Repeat for each fabric square.

Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Kathy Andrews, What Sew Ever



Comments (9)

fabriholicgma said:
fabriholicgma's picture

For fabric economy, 5/8 yard will work (22.5"), or you can use the extra fabric from the 3/4 yd purchase to make coordinating napkin rings.

SandraTD said:
SandraTD's picture
I have printed out both of these patterns. I expect my dining room will be much brighter. Is cotton the best fabric, or can I use cotton/poly too?
mwlipari said:
mwlipari's picture
I just maade up a batch of these mix and match napkins. I made them two sided as Gaillic suggested. They turned out to be the perfect compliment to the solid colors of my mix and match Fiestaware plates. Thanks for the pattern!!!
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
Double thick napkins! Sounds like a dandy, and colorful, idea. Thanks, gailllcsmilies/cheesy.gif
gailllc said:
gailllc's picture
I love cloth napkins very much, and although I know how to do a very neat mitered corner, I don't love to do that part. I make all my napkins mix and match with two fabrics each -- kind of like an empty pillow. More fun, more mixing and matching options, less mitered corner work Win, win, win!
sewbusy123 said:
sewbusy123's picture
to make it easier for the "non-math" brains - buy your fabric in 1 1/4 yards to yield four napkins without the 6 inches of "leftover" from the 3/4 yard purchase.