Sew Easy Summer Napkins

Sew Easy Summer Napkins

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These easy to make napkins are ideal for a summer luncheon, picnic, or handmade hostess gift. Stitch a set of four napkins in an hour or less with Nancy Zieman’s sew-easy mitered corner technique.  Showcase your favorite fabrics by mixing or matching fabric groupings, or make them from one fabric.
The mitered-corner technique can be found in the book Sew Simple with Rectangles & Squares (Nancy shows this easy technique on a jewelry caddy), along with many other simple sewing projects. Watch online:  Sew Simple with Rectangles & Squares (Part Three).

Supplies for a set of four napkins

Cut four 21″ squares of fabric, using a rotary cutter, ruler, and mat.

 
Create color-coordinated cocktail size napkins by using quilter’s fat quarters and cutting the napkins 18″ square, instead of 21″.

Construction

  • Press under 1/2″ of the top and lower edges of each napkin.
  • Press under another 1/2″ along the top and lower edges of each napkin.

  • Edgestitch along folds.
  • Repeat pressing steps on sides of napkin squares pressing under 1/2″; then a second 1/2″.

  • Unfold the pressed areas at one corner.
  • Fold the corner at a right angle, aligning the point with the last pressed fold.

  • Refold along the first pressed fold; press the corner.

  • Refold along the second pressed fold; press the corner.

  • Repeat at each corner.
  • Pin if needed.
  • Edgestitch along the folds, locking stitches (back stitching) at each folded miter.

  • Clip threads close to the stitching.

That’s it!

Watch Sew Simple with Rectangles & Squares (Part Three) on The Best of Sewing With Nancy online.Sewing!

 

 
Team Nancy Zieman
Nancy Zieman Productions. LLC.
Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC

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58 Comments

  • Gayle Neely
    July 5, 2016

    I have some pretty florals I would like to use plus some fat quarters I bought from you along time ago which I should use up!

  • Kimberly Hubbard
    July 5, 2016

    I love these napkins Nancy! Our family is trying to be kinder to the environment and this is a beautiful way to help the environment and eliminate more paper use in our home. Thank you!

  • Margaret Morton
    July 5, 2016

    First, a fall print fabric that I’m also using for a table runner. Then, Christmas and other holiday fabrics.

  • Pam Hopp
    July 5, 2016

    Napkins for holidays should be at the top of my list, followed by seasons.

  • Cindy Schultz
    July 5, 2016

    I think some fabric with bikes on it would make a really fun napkin.
    Thanks for sharing this idea, it looks pretty doable. I made a couple dozen or so napkins a few years ago for my son’s wedding. I really struggled trying to make them. I wish I would have seen this method then. Thanks again.

  • Thunder
    July 5, 2016

    I think something with a crazy bright print design would be lots of fun. Great cornet tip! Thanks

  • Cyndi
    July 5, 2016

    With all of the wonderful fabrics now available, I love to make “fun” napkins for all occasions. A friend purchased a big screen T.V. for “the big game”, I brought a basket of munchies and included napkins with Team logos. They were a hit! Thank you for the give-away!

  • Tina Jeo
    July 5, 2016

    I need some Christmas napkins! Thank you for the idea.

  • Nina
    July 5, 2016

    Blue and yellow napkins. My favorite combination

  • Marsha
    July 5, 2016

    I will do napkins for the all seasons. Also for birthdays, anniversaries for those special people in my life. The fabric selections at my favorite quilt store will be a big hit. Thank you for all your wonderful ideas. You make sewing so much fun.

  • Karen
    July 5, 2016

    I sew with my grandson and we have a stash of scraps in fun juvenile prints. We’re making a “collection of kid napkins” (9″ square) to help the enviornment like Nature Cat!

  • Brenda Ackerman
    July 5, 2016

    My first choice is going to be using Christmas fabrics and make several Christmas gifts for friends, family and even myself! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful tutorial! I know I will be using it for many other seasons, gifts and holidays throughout the year!

  • Linda E in AZ
    July 5, 2016

    I have some fabric with chile peppers on it that would make great summer napkins.
    thanks!

  • Susan Spiers
    July 5, 2016

    Love the gingham fabric-bright & cheery on its own-I have colors of purple, yellow, baby blue & pink! Great idea!

  • LindaC
    July 5, 2016

    I host a spring dinner for family so I would use spring colors to make coordinating napkins.

  • Bonnie
    July 5, 2016

    What a great quick sewing project! Thanks for sharing your easy mitered corner technique. I have a colorful butterfly fabric that would make lovely napkins for the summer. Sewing napkins in seasonal fabric would add a festive touch throughout the year.

  • Starla
    July 5, 2016

    I hope mitering will come naturally to me someday. Right now, I have to think hard to do it! Thanks for the tips.

  • Pat
    July 5, 2016

    I’d make these napkins in a fabric I found that matches my vinyl place mats for my round patio table. I was lucky to find this fabric on sale and have always intended to make napkins. Now I have an easy and attractive way to complete this project.

  • Shirley Clark
    July 5, 2016

    I love these and all of your tutorials! I love handmade napkins to dress up the table because you can pic the prints that match your decor the best!

  • Beverly Smith
    July 5, 2016

    A blue or green toile for fabric with calming colors that are light and airy-very appropriate for those “lazy, crazy days of summer.

  • Priscilla Snider
    July 5, 2016

    I have so much fabric in my stash, I don’t know where I’d begin. Always looking for small fund raising projects, as I am a major fundraiser for American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life and Ride For Roswell–bicycle ride fundraiser for cancer institute in Buffalo, NY. Thanks!

  • Cheryl
    July 5, 2016

    I am teaching my granddaughter, Avery, to sew and this would be a perfect beginner project. She can make napkins for the next party she plans with her character prints and the guests can take them home for favors.

  • Diane C
    July 5, 2016

    First would probably be a fall print, but then I could see making napkins for all different seasons/holidays.

  • Judith
    July 5, 2016

    We are having a wedding shower this summer, it is to be an afternoon teas outside in the yard. I think these napkins would give a beautiful added touch. Thank you.

  • Angie
    July 5, 2016

    I want to make these great napkins with some cute 1930s fabric!

  • L Watson
    July 5, 2016

    I think a fun summer print with a robins egg blue background, with a print of birds, branches and leaves would be a pretty complement to a summer picnic or luncheon.

  • Candice
    July 5, 2016

    I recently purchased vinyl tablecloth fabric for picnic tables, so I’m going to use coordinated colors to make these and use as accents on the table for food placement, or the “silverware”, plates, etc. One set will be WSU Cougars!

  • Rosie
    July 5, 2016

    I think a beautiful summer floral or a blue check would be beautiful for a summer table.

  • Anne Z.
    July 5, 2016

    This time of year I would make napkins out of a beautiful floral fabric.

  • Patti
    July 5, 2016

    I’m planning for Christmas gifts already, and will make four sets for the seasons. I have some lovely fall leaves, a fun red and green stripe, an all over floral and a cheerful red, white and blue print. These will make a terrific gift for my in-laws.

  • Ell
    July 5, 2016

    The napkins would look good in a toile fabric.

  • Jan N.
    July 5, 2016

    My favorite fabrics are batiks so I would make napkins for my family using batiks. I’m going to make napkins for some friends for Christmas and will most likely use fruit/veggie fabric from my stash.

  • Bonnye
    July 5, 2016

    I would make napkins out of a yellow floral print. Just right for a summer tea party.

  • beth daniels
    July 5, 2016

    I would probably pick a flower cotton fabric for some napkins that is in my fabric stash.

  • Peg G
    July 5, 2016

    I teach kids 8-14 how to sew and this would make a great project for them. We’d probably use some homespun plaid so both sides of the napkins would look good.

  • Chris Moore
    July 5, 2016

    Definitely a woven plaid, (strong color on both sides,) that coordinates with a floral tablecloth! Think “outside the box” & surprise your guests!

  • Karen Patterson
    July 5, 2016

    I love the gingham fabrics for table Napkins. Thank you for your instructions on making napkins…..I hope to make some sets for gifts. I love to make gifts for friends and family. I think it gives that personal and special touch to the gift. Anyone can purchase a gift, but the hours of love as well as the funds invested makes it extra special for the one to receive it. I love all of your tuturiols and books and am always ready to learn more. Thank you again Nancy!

  • Maria H
    July 5, 2016

    I love this method! So much easier than a double miter.
    I will use some orange batiks for a friend I test knit for…she always uses cloth napkins.

  • Joyce
    July 5, 2016

    I would use some colorful floral.

  • Sherry Bartlett
    July 5, 2016

    I would start with blue and yellow to match my decor in my dining room. Then I would move on to gifts for family and friends. Would love to win the book on sewing rectangles and squares.

  • E. Ann
    July 5, 2016

    I would use batiks. Maybe different colors that compliment each other. Would love to win this book!!!

  • Mary Wippold
    July 5, 2016

    Gingham is one of my favorites for napkins-so versatile. A combination of blue and red gingham napkins for the Fourth of July.
    For summer I’d like to make napkins from fruit themed fabrics-I’m thinking watermelon in particular.

  • Linda M.
    July 5, 2016

    I would like to make them out of birthday fabric and use them on each person’s special day.

  • Lillian K
    July 5, 2016

    I am going to make Thanksgiving and Christmas themed napkins.

  • Jan
    July 5, 2016

    Definitely a bandana print for napkins and a tablecloth for a picnic basket set I want to make for my neighbor who is always doing something for us. Thank you for all the wonderful lessons, always so practical and helpful.

  • Janet Gyurina
    July 5, 2016

    Gingham checks of multiple colors and sized checks! Perfect for picnics!

  • Lynn Humphries
    July 5, 2016

    I have 10 napkins cut now for my daughter that should look great with her everyday table settings. I don’t usually miter, but I plan to give it a try.

  • Marie
    July 6, 2016

    I only use cloth napkins in my home and I love giving hand made napkins as gifts. At my first visit to a friend’s home I quietly take notice of their decor and treasured keepsakes. I then go on the hunt for fabric that will compliment their homes and they will be happy to put on their tables. It’s my way of saying, “You are loved.” I also try to find unique napkin holders that will coordinate with my gift napkins.
    I’ve tried other techniques, but prefer perfectly mitered corners. Nancy’s ‘never-fail’ tutorials are my go-to first stop for all my sewing needs. Thank you, Nancy.

  • Karen
    July 6, 2016

    I would love to sew these in an ocean print to remind myself of the beach.

  • Judy G
    July 6, 2016

    I’m partial to sunny yellow for a summertime dinner setting. I would need to go to the fabric shop (oh darn!) to find a nice reversible fabric in either cotton or linen.

  • Bev Hancox
    July 6, 2016

    Thanks for the easy way to do mitered corners, wish I knew this years ago. I would make woven plaid napkins so both sides would look nice.

  • Linda Rupe
    July 6, 2016

    I always use primary colors for summer tablecloths and napkins. I sometimes think I will use something different, but always find myself drawn to the primary colors. The prints vary: dots, stripes, checks (love gingham!) and plaids are favored.

  • Mary Ellen
    July 8, 2016

    I love iris’ flowers so I would make that my summer napkin theme. Floral fabrics are uplifting and perfect for summer time. Thanks for the miter lesson.

  • Kim H
    July 11, 2016

    I would do some summer theme fabrics that all coordinate. I think some summer fruits or picnic style prints would look great!

  • Kathleen B.
    June 3, 2017

    I plan to use some of the plaid homespun fabrics I have in my stash. Some are in reds and greens so they’ll make nice Christmas gifts. Thank you for the idea and the tutorial!

  • Nancy Von Arx
    July 14, 2018

    Using Wilmington’s Reason for the Season Fabric, for napkins, with coordinating red & green for placemats. Also ordered Lewis & Irene Hygge Christmas Cream for napkins, with the coordinating Tonttu for placemats. Great method for sewing these!

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