Tag Archives: napkins

Holiday Traditions Package Received

Here are the goodies I received from my partner RaeAnn for our Holiday Traditions Exchange:

Traditions from RaeAnnShe made these beautiful and elegant looking cocktail napkins:

Cocktail-cookie napkinsShe also made this lovely turtle dove ornament with her scroll saw. I love the tradition behind this turtle dove ornament, where RaeAnn made two turtle doves, write on the back of both of them, and sends one to someone special for that holiday season.  It reminds me of a friendship exchange. Very sweet!

Turtle Dove OrnamentShe also included a festive Christmas CD and a candle, all packaged inside a lovely patchwork basket.

What a wonderful experience this holiday traditions exchange has been.  Not only did I learn about another person’s holiday traditions, but I learned how to look more closely at our own traditions.  I think RaeAnn and I would be fast friends if we lived closer to each other.  Thank you RaeAnn!

Curtain Call

I have been on a home decorating kick lately. This past spring, we finished painting our kitchen and living room. Since then I have been looking forward to making a valance, tablecloth and napkins using Heather Bailey’s Freshcut fabrics.

Finally, I had a free weekend! Here’s how the valance turned out:

First, I measured the width of the window and the length I wanted the valance to be (long enough to cover the blinds when they are open). That measurement came to 49″ wide x 13″ long. I added 2″ to the width for the side seams and then doubled the width to get more fullness. I added 2″ to the length for the lower hem, and 3″ to the length for the rod casing. My final measurement came to 102″ wide x 18.5″ long.

To hem the side edges, I hemmed the sides by turning under 1/2″ and turning under another 1/2″. Then I sewed close to the inner fold, repeating for the other side.

For the lower hem, I turned the lower edge under 1/2″ and then another 1-1/2″. Then I sewed close to the inner fold.

For the casing, I turned the top under 1/2″ and then another 2-1/4″. The top of the casing is formed by sewing 1″ in from the fold. The bottom of the casing is formed by sewing 1-1/4″ from the first line of stitching, or 1/4″ from the inner fold.

Finally, I finished off the hem with this cool ruffle trim, which added more length and a stylish accent.

I made a coordinating tablecloth from the Freshcut collection too. My table measured 41″ x 58″, and I had 2-yard piece of fabric, so I had to make that work for me.

I added a 2-1/2″ border to frame the main fabric.

Last winter, I found this cool tool – the EZY-hem by Dritz – which works great for ironing small hems, very handy when making handmade napkins.

great for ironing hems

I made the mixy-matchy napkins from Amy Karol’s Bend-the-Rules-Sewing book and some cocktail napkins from the Purl Bee to go with the new tablecloth.

I love how everything coordinates yet it’s not too matchy. Our kitchen has become the best room in the house! Wish I could have you over for coffee in the newly decorated kitchen.

Wait… I’m not quite done yet! I was on a roll Sunday afternoon, so I decided to make the valance for my sewing room, which has been on the sidelines for a couple months too. I used the Gothic Rose fabric from Amy Butler’s Belle collection.

I followed the same method as described above, and added a piece of lace trim for the ruffle. Isn’t that sweet?!

Wow, what a productive weekend!

Placemat Swap Part 2

I signed up to participate in the Placemat Swap for the Bend-the-Rules-Sewing swap. I finally finished making the set to be exchanged with my partner. She doesn’t know yet that I have her name, so don’t spoil the surprise before she receives my package.

She requested a set of six placemats and napkins for her family and guests. Her decorating style includes brightly colored paintings and artwork, and she likes Amy Butler and April Cornell fabrics. The fabric shop I went to didn’t have any Amy Butler fabrics, but I found a huge selection from the Kaffe Fassett collection, which I thought would be similar in style.

I chose to use some fabrics from the Kaffe Fassett collection. The focus fabric is Teal Paper Fans, which I chose because of its artsy look and the red accent that will match my partner’s red and white dinner ware. I framed the focus fabric in shot cotton white, which shot cotton teal backing. The napkins are a combination of the paper fans and shot cotton in teal.


I will admit that each placement and napkin are not perfect, but I tried very hard to make them as perfect and professional looking as possible, in the hopes my swap partner will still like them.

I have made other projects from the Bend-the-Rules-Sewing book, including the mixy-matchy napkins, but not the placemats. I must say I really liked this pattern. The directions and illustrations were easy to follow, and the results are fantastic. I hope my swap partner thinks so too!

Placemat Swap

My husband always teases me when a package arrives in our mail box. “Let me guess,” he says. “You ordered more fabric!” Well this week a package arrived, and for the life of me, I just could not remember ordering anything, even fabric. I had a feeling it was going to be something good because anyone who mails me anything mails good things to me!

I recently entered the latest Bend-the-Rules-Sewing Swap, where you agree to make a set of placemats and napkins using the pattern from Amy Karol’s famous book. I received my partner’s placemat set this week, and I wanted to call her to thank her (except that I don’t know her or her phone number). Isn’t this a beautiful set?! In my preferences, I said I love Amy Butler fabrics, which are featured in this set. I also said we just painted our kitchen Concord Ivory, which is a golden yellow, and these match perfectly.

She even went beyond the original agreement and made four matching coasters (in the upper left corner of the above picture), AND she included the scraps that were leftover from her project. What a nice touch!

(I included her picture above from her flickr page, since it’s cloudy today and my pictures aren’t as good)

The best part of this package was the letter Shawn wrote to me about her efforts in making this project, about her life, and her sewing experience. Now I feel as if I truly have a new friend. There’s always room in my life for new sewing friends! Much better than getting a plain old package of fabric in the mail. Thank you so much Shawn!

PS – the placemat set I’m making for my partner isn’t finished yet, so I’ll show that in another post.