I am working on new Christmas quilt patterns and I am taking a short break to show you how you can use small panels of beautiful fabrics from your stash.
I have a panel with 10” blocks and thought to turn a few of them into napkins. But not the usual napkins, but embellished with a flange – that accent strip of fabric (red and green) in the picture below.
You can sew napkins in any size you want, the math is really easy, you will see…
If you want, you can even quilt the top layer and sew placemats or coasters or small quilts.
Here is what you need for a 10” piece, with 1” wide “binding” and 1/2” wide flange:
Accent fabric (top layer): 10” x 10”
Backing fabric: 12 1/2” x 12 1/2” (2 1/2” wider than the top fabric – this is the math you need to know).
Flange strips: 4 strips (1 1/2” x 10”); for a narrower flange (1/4”) cut strips 1” wide. Press the strips in half lengthwise.
Fold the backing fabric in half diagonally; keep the edges aligned. Place a ruler on the right angle corner, with the 2” lines aligned with the vertical and horizontal edges of the fabric.
Mark 2” on the left and bottom edges.
Join the 2” marks with a line then trim on the line.
Fold the piece in half on the other diagonal and repeat the above step.
Your piece should look like this.
Align the raw edges of the strips along the long edges of the backing and sew at 1/4” from the edges.
Here is the piece with all the strips attached.
Press the seams flat. Finger press the seam allowances toward the backing fabric then press; this is important- do not press toward the strip!
Make sure you don’t distort the short edges that are cut on bias!
Align the ruler with the short edge of the backing and trim the excess of the strips.
Repeat with all the corners.
Fold each corner in half (see the yellow arrow), keeping the accent strips aligned.
Sew at 1/4” from the edge.
Trim the bottom corner as shown.
Repeat with the other corners. Finger press the seams open.
Then press the seams open with the iron, making sure you don’t touch the outside folded edges.
Turn the piece right side out; push out the corners.
Finger press the fabric from corner to corner to create the outside edges then press the folded edges; make sure you keep a consistent width for all four borders.
Slide the front fabric under the border, keeping the layers smooth. Use pins to keep the layers together.
Stitch in the ditch between the flange and the border (see the yellow marking lines).
The napkin is done!
As I already said, you can vary the width of the flange as desired.
For the flange choose a color that contrasts with the top fabric.
For 10” napkins you can use squares from a layer cake – it is wonderful to have napkins in assorted prints from the same collection.
If you want bigger napkins, use fat quarters from the same collection.
I can’t wait to sew some quilted pieces!
I hope you will give this tutorial a try!
Do you need more ideas for Christmas sewing?
Check out my Christmas patterns.