Friday, March 4, 2011

GreenStitch Episode 27 - May I serve you a serviette?

In this episode, I talk (and talk and talk) about cloth napkins, or serviettes. They're great! Listen here.

Above are a few of the calendar napkins I made this weekend, inspired by Ginger. (BTW, I realized that in the recording, I referred to Ginger as "our old friend" -- a comment referring only to her revered position in the GreenStitch community, not to an actual span of years!) Super idea. I think I'll keep some to use and share the rest with my daughter. I think she'll love them.

A few other links from this week's episode:

These cloth napkins from Williams Sonoma are so adorable. They really are. But do you want to spend $28 for a set of four? I didn't think so. Yours will be even cuter, I promise.

Here's the quilt basting tutorial - pretty amazing. This is part 1 - be sure and go on to part 2 as well.

Oh, and here are the results of the most recent blog poll - looks like nearly 90 percent of respondents either craft actively for charity now, or are eager to begin. This may help inform some future podcasts - thanks for participating!

Yes, a lot
7 (17%)
Yes, some
17 (42%)
Not yet, but I want to start
11 (27%)
Seldom or never
5 (12%)

Votes so far: 40
Poll closed


  1. - Your new napkins are so pretty!
    - Married over 30 years we've always used cloth napkins. So did my parents. I think I figured out the secret. When I tell people 'yes we use cloth napkins' they reply 'Oh, I hate to iron'

    Iron? The secret is that I don't mind a drawer full of slightly wrinkly napkins. Neither did my parents. In my mind, better a wrinkly napkin than an ugly paper one. We throw them in the wash every day. You're right we don't do a special load just for napkins. I doubt we do anymore laundry loads because of 2 napkins a day.

    - For dinner party napkins - I have a couple of sets I do break down and iron.. And when my daughter was little and liked the huge birthday parties I cut up some pink and purple gingham from my stash, with my pinking shears. Hem them? Nope! Used them for multiple birthday parties and I think, eventually, they migrated into doll clothes or the donation bin or general kid play.

    Have had people drop my cloth napkins in the garbage when they came over, so accustomed are they to the idea that a napkin is disposable!

    For party dishes - well I love dishes so I have acquired many vintage ones over the years. They come out for parties. A person can acquire simple plates , etc at thrift stores/garage sales/flea mkts they look much more lovely than plastic yuck. When my daughter was high school age and had a lot of friends over at the drop of a hat, we kept a box of old mismatched drinking glasses in the garage ( that a friend had given my daughter to sell at a garage sale - no one had bought them). Also we had mismatched flatware we kept in a bag for those times. All of that came out for parties. When my daughter moved into her college apartment I sent it all off with her for that.

    Also I use pieces of what is currently termed oil cloth from the hardware store, but is probably really plastic, for many things that there are paper versions of. When you have a party you can cover your tables with disposable paper cloths or pieces of oilcloth. The oilcloth has many different lives in our home. As it gets more and more faded it assumes more and more plebian origins. Some ancient pieces are currently serving as an outdoor cat rain tent draped over old chairs, for the cats feeding zone (they often won't come in to eat - don't ask me why)

  2. Loved the podcast, I had really never thought of using a cloth napkin, you really opened my eyes. I am going to gather mine up and use them! I also have some fabric that I can use to make a few. Thanks so much for your great podcast, the info on repurposing is really valuable.

  3. Loved loved loved this--just now had the chance to listen, and I LOVE the idea of embroidering about the special dates on the calendar napkins. Genius. And I've finished just in time to see you've posted a new episode. Yippee. I'm cooking dinner and listening happily.

  4. I've been wanting to make some cloth napkins for awhile but hadn't gotten around to it. I'm a little behind on podcasts so I just listened to this one today and realized as I was listening that napkins would be the perfect use of some souvenir fabric I bought in Germany about 10 years ago and never quite knew what to do with. It's sort of "kitschy cute" but nothing that would fit my decor--but what perfect picnic napkins they'd be! So I'm off and running. I'll be mentioning this in my own podcast (Quilting...for the Rest of Us) so thanks for the inspiration! Sandy