Cloth Napkins with Mitered Corners Tutorial

Matching set using Art Gallery Fabrics in Summer Grove

Matching set using Art Gallery Fabrics in Summer Grove

I love cloth napkins! They are reusable, and washable, and they can be made in any cotton fabric that you want to use! They make great gifts too, which is what I did for Mother’s Day this year (if my own mother reads this blog frequently: stop reading or ruin the surprise!). In this case, I chose some nice brightly colored fabric for my parents to use in their gazebo this summer. I picked 4 half-yard cuts¬†and was able to make 2 napkins from each. I started by cutting all my fabrics into 18″ squares. You could do 20″ as well, but then you’ll need slightly over 1/2 yard, so it makes it a little trickier. For this tutorial we will be finishing the edges using mitered corners. Start by marking a right angle shape 1 3/4″ in from each corner.

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Clear ruler marks 1 3/4″ from each side.

Once you’ve done that you will want to snip a corner off. If you have a ruler with a 45 degree angle line on it, use that to mark the corner, measuring up 1″. You can also mark a point 1″ up from the corner on each side– the diagonal line that connects those points will be the mark you’ll follow to cut the corner off.

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Marking the corner piece to snip it off

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After snipping, your corner now looks like this

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Fold the corner up until it meets the right angle you drew in a previous step. Finger press so it stays folded while you do the other corners.

Repeat this process with all the corners of each napkin. Once that’s done you are going to fold over each edge 1/2″ , with the wrong side of the fabric facing you, and press it down.

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Please excuse my horrendous ironing board cover…. it got like that after 1 week!!

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Once you’ve folded the corners once by 1/2″ your napkin will look like this.

The next step is to fold the edges over one more time, again by 1/2″. When you do this the corners should been up, forming a 45 degree angle.

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Mitered corner

Sew along the edge of the folded part, keeping the needle down to pivot at the corners.

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Pi-vot!

I sewed two times around each napkin, one toward the outside edge and one towards the inside edge of the folded part of the napkin, just for some extra security.

Finished set

Finished set

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Half Square Triangle Baby Quilts!

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Fabric Pull!

 

Recently I got an email from a friend requesting a baby quilt that will be for a little boy. The only restrictions were that it be modern, crisp, and use the color scheme of navy, turquoise, and grey. I added a little black and white in, and was set! I love this color palate so much, in fact it’s one of my faves in recent memory. I have been wanting for ages to try a quilt made with randomly placed half square triangles (like here, here, and here), and so I thought this would be the perfect time to try!

 

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Pieces cut and ready

 

I started by cutting my fabric into 7″ squares and then dividing them into 2 piles of light and dark fabrics (28 square of each). I matched a light square up with a dark, right sides facing, for my favorite half-square triangle method, and drew a diagonal line across the square.

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Chain piecing

I happen to have a 1/4″ foot for my machine, which is very handy for this method. Just line up the diagonal line you’ve drawn on the fabric with the blade edge of the foot, and you’ll get a seam that’s 1/4″ away from the line. I chain pieced my squares and then sent them through the other way, getting a second seam 1/4″ away from the other side of the seam. Before I had this foot I simply used a ruler to draw lines 1/4″ away from the center line, then sewed over those. But this method was faster!

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Trim blocks!

I must admit that for the first quilt I didnt trim my blocks, so the seams did not exactly match up. I can get a bit lazy at times. But I made the quilt again, for a baby girl, and I trimmed down the finished half-square triangles to 6″ squares. Much better.

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Baby boy half square triangle quilt

I just laid out the squares in a manner that I thought looked random, but wasnt actually random because I tried not to have the same fabric right next to itself. It mostly worked out, though I didnt realize until later that one row had three triangles of mustache fabric in it. How do those things sneak past?

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Straight line quilted

For the blue quilt I did diagonal quilting about every 2 inches. I didnt want to do anything that relied on the seams, since they were no where near perfect, so this was a good option. I used Michael Miller’s Domino in navy for the binding, and I cant for the life of me remember what the backing is called, but it is from Spool, in Chatanooga, TN.

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Girls half square triangle quilt

I made the second version in a ¬†really fun palette of pinks, orange, yellow, gold, and a big of white and neon and I really like this one too. It seems cheerful and warm and a good summer picnic/play blanket. (they both measure around 42″ x 48″)

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More straight line quilting

I did the quilting lines 1″ apart and 3″ apart on this one, which I think I like a little bit better, for whatever reason. The binding is a cute pinwheel pattern by Anna Maria Horner, and the back is an extremely soft Micahel Miller print called Pollen. Sending them off to the recipients this week, so I hope they like them!