Peppered Cotton Napkins Tutorial
with Ladyfingers‘ Owner and designer of “Dimples“, Gail Kessler!One of my New Year’s resolutions is to refrain from using paper napkins, which of course gives me a great reason to make beautiful, functional cloth napkins from Ladyfingers fabrics! Check out these great napkins I just made using shot cottons from Pepper Cory’s Peppered Cottons collection. These napkins are a snap to make, and great fun to use.The neat thing about Peppered Cottons is the fact that they are shot cottons – which means the yarns for the warp are one color, and the yarns for the weft are another color. When the two colors are woven, the color you see on the cloth is the “blend” of the warp and the weft. I thought it would be fun to reveal the mystery of what colors were used to create the look of the cloth, so I decided to make fringed napkins. My napkins are double thickness, which makes them nice and sturdy yet still soft, and hold up in the wash quite nicely. Here’s a picture of my first finished napkin using Peppered Cotton in Moss E38:
To start, you’ll need a half yard of Peppered Cotton per napkin. Press your fabric – I like to hit mine with a bit of Best Press to keep things nice and flat.
Trim to create two 18″ squares. Remember to keep the squares lined up so that the selvages are facing the same side. This will keep your fringe colors separated.
Now the fun begins! First, I make the fringe. Since the fabric may not have been cut perfectly on-grain, I find it easier to make most of the fringe first, THEN sew around it, and trim the fringe even (if necessary) after the napkin is made.
To make the fringe, start pulling threads on one side as shown. I pulled about 1/2″ of fringe on each side. Now since the fabric was cut, rather than torn, your fabric may be slightly off-grain. This means that the fringe on one end of the side you are pulling may longer than the other end. Don’t worry, you can just trim it up after the napkin is finished. You’ll have 8 edges to fringe – 4 for each layer of napkin.
After you are finished with the fringing process, it’s time to stabilize the fringed edges with some stitching. As shown below, I sewed the two napkin layers together with a straight stitch using my walking foot. Pin the layers together first just to keep things nice and even. Notice I sewed just a couple of threads from the beginning of the fringe. I went around the napkin twice just to “make sure”! I used Aurifil 50/2 in color 1114 and a Schmetz 80/12 Sharp machine needle.
And that’s it! Have fun making these great, practical napkins.