Saturday, October 6, 2012


Recently, I decided to make some cloth napkins. You probably know all the arguments for using cloth napkins -- they're good for the environment, they're cheap (in the long run), they last forever, and so forth. My reason for making (and using) them is maybe a little different: I have six young boys! I want to teach them good manners, to teach them that being formal is sometimes good, especially in this world that seems to be getting more and more casual. Don't get me wrong -- I'm a big fan of casual , as my friends who've caught me at the store still wearing my pajamas can attest.

So since I have such a large family, I decided to make a lot of cloth napkins -- the number is currently at thirty-two, though I do have more fabric in my stash that I could quickly turn into napkins. I also decided I didn't want them to be extremely matchy-matchy, but I did want them to work well together. Since I had recently purchased all blue (unbreakable) dinnerware for my boys, and since I had several red accents in the dining room already, I chose to work with red and aqua and picked my fabrics accordingly.

 I also purchased personalized napkin rings from Etsy so the boys could put any clean-enough-to-use-again napkins back in the rings for the next meal and not argue about whose was whose.

There was enough fabric left over that I decided to make a runner simply to beautify the table. I don't have much experience with patchwork, but after a little trial and error, I came up with the exact runner I wanted.

Hopefully this tablescape will help my little ones to learn to wipe their hands on napkins (not shirts) and also give our whole family a greater sense of the importance of sitting down at meals together (and staying seated, if at all possible).