InstructionsI cut the fabric in 17" squares for the napkins, hoping for a minimum 16" square when they were finished. I used a serged 3-thread rolled hem on the edges of the napkins, and I hemmed them *after* the embroidery was complete. I used machine embroidery flower motifs that came with my new embroidery machine, and frames that came with the embroidery software. Many of these things are freely ...
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Type of item: Functional
Style: Classic, Retro / Vintage, Traditional
Cotton/poly broadcloth White cotton/poly serger thread Rayon embroidery thread
What was your inspiration?
I got an embroidery machine and decided on this project to use as a learning exercise. My husband really likes to use cloth napkins and I had the material already on hand for them. Turning it into a beginning machine embroidery project let me kill two birds with one stone. It allowed me to try different ways of stabilizing the embroidery area, digitizing designs, using existing designs and adding to them, and motif placement on fabric. The end products are nowhere near perfect, but perfection was not my goal - experience was.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud that I managed to produce some very pretty napkins with minimal crises. I got familiar with my new machine and learned a number of techniques with one project. It helped that the project had four parts so that I could push my learning envelope a little more with each napkin. If you are wondering, I did the blue napkin first, and the purple one last. Oddly enough, I would say that the blue one turned out the best and the purple one the worst, but I learned the most on the purple one as it is the one where I digitized a pattern for myself.
What advice would you give someone starting this project?
- Starch the fabric you are using for the napkins. Spray them with starch and let them dry completely before ironing them. My fabric is a poly/cotton blend so in use will require minimal ironing; however, the stability you get through starching and ironing helps your embroidery to be much clearer and minimize puckers.
- You don't need a serger for this project, you can of course do narrow or shirttail hems on a standard sewing machine.
- Don't be afraid to make a mistake in the embroidery. The fabric is not expensive, just make another napkin.
- Do not feel constrained by the colors listed for the embroidery design. If you want blue leaves, make blue leaves ;-)