Napkins are a great project for beginning sewers and an excellent way for anyone to practice hemming. Adding a simple fabric border kicks them up a notch. We used the same trim on all our napkins, but it would make a fun mix-and-match table setting to use a different, coordinating trim on each guest's napkin. Our wide fabric napkin ties are a cute alternative to place cards with letter beads spelling out each name. At the end of the meal, everyone can detach their beads and use them as bookmarks, bracelets or hang them from a keychain.
Nearly every sewing machine has at least a few decorative stitch options. Most of our Janome studio machines have dozens and dozens. These stitches are like tiny pieces of thread art; it’s hard to believe a single threaded needle can produce such an intricate design. Even though we love them, we often forget to use them, but they are an easy solution to take a simple surface from ordinary to special in the blink of an eye. We created a traditional linen placemat, added eight tiny tucks for texture plus 15 lines of decorative stitching in sparkling metallic thread. Bring a little bling to your holiday table!
If you’re used to table linens being long and narrow, like a runner or even a traditional tablecloth, it’s time to take a look at the Table Throw – also known as a Table Square. The square format gives this type of cloth much more flexibility for how it can be placed as well as the type of table on which it will fit. Ours finishes at a generous 50” x 50”, and is a showcase for a bold patchwork design in gorgeous linen from our newest sponsor, Fabric Wholesale Direct. We used six colors of their 60” natural linen accented with a unique Kente African cotton print. It’s would make a stunning choice for your upcoming holiday gatherings.
When browsing for great fabric for a seasonal table runner, we kept returning to the home décor category because of the bold designs and striking colors you can find there. These traditionally heavier fabrics are where most people turn for larger projects, such as curtain panels or upholstered items, so the motifs tend to be bigger and the tones more dramatic. Not only is it beautiful fabric, it's also often thicker, tougher, and more durable. Batting is usually necessary with runners made of standard quilting weight cottons in order to protect the tabletop from hot or wet dishes. But with this fabric, two simple layers provided plenty of protection... unless, of course, you plan on serving sizzling fajitas at the table for your holiday dinner!
It's the age-old square peg in a round hole conundrum... or vice versa: round peg in square(ish) hole. Plates are traditionally round, but placemats are usually rectangles. Sure, you have that extra real estate off to the sides for your napkin and utensils, but circles do come in any dimension. Our round placemats finish at 16" in diameter, giving you plenty of room for a variety of place settings. And they're reversible: patchwork on the front, solid on the back for twice the table topping power.
Start with a simple yet bold fabric, add some distinctive decorative stitching, and the result is a stunning table runner that's a perfect backdrop for any gathering or occasion that calls for a pretty table setting. Remember, "Life is short; use the good china!" We chose a canopy style striped fabric, which is easy to find in a myriad of colors. We offer two options from Premier Prints below. Thanks to our amazing Janome studio machines, we found the perfect stitch pattern, picked a strong contrasting thread color, and sewed our long lines of embellishment with perfect form and precision... even when running for over 100 inches! Industry-leading stitch quality is one of the main reasons we are so happy to be an exclusive Janome studio.
The word "only" gets kind of a bad rap. Maybe because it seems a little too close to "lonely," but the flip side is the heart of its true meaning: to focus on one thing. If you do one thing very, very well, then you are likely an expert. So it is with the Janome Memory Craft embroidery-only machines. Yes, they only do embroidery, but they do it expertly and with Janome's trademark ease-of-use. We chose the Memory Craft 500E to create this beautiful set of embroidered placemats and napkins, selecting two built-in florals and stitching them against a shear ribbon lattice on a 100% linen background.
My grandmother, an immigrant from Lithuania, was an unbelievably talented seamstress. She did everything by hand, including free-hand embroidery, tatting, and crocheting. She never needed a pattern; you could just sketch something and she would create it. It was the sewing equivalent of the musician's 'hum a few bars.' Her vividly artistic creations seemed to flow from her fingers like water from a pitcher. In fact, as a young child, I thought everyone had handmade and hand-embroidered sheets and pillowcases and dresser cloths and curtains, and, and, and... I was shocked the first time I slept over at a friend's house and saw her sheets were (gasp!) plain white. My grandmother's influence is likely a big part of why I love the idea of antique linens, and why I steadfastly refuse to give up my dresser cloth.
When you’re full of love, let it show! We’re hanging our hearts on a curlicue clothesline for everyone to see. The Sew4Home Fast Fridays series is all about whipping out something wonderful in no time at all. When you start with a set of purchased napkins, all that’s left is the easy appliqué. We show you a clever trace and stitch technique that will make quick work of one, two, three or a table full of napkins.
Although I have no proof, I feel certain that somewhere in my past there is an ancestor of regal bearing. Perhaps a Baltic princess or a brooding prince from the moors of Scotland. I have a deep affection for well-appointed luxury. For a formal occasion, I love the look of a table runner with place mats. The rich dark wood of the dining table sets off the fabric, and the individual linens act like beautiful little frames for the china and silver. This very elegant table runner in a sparkling platinum damask with rich mahogany accents is certainly fit for a king or a queen or... for your own royal family this holiday season.