Holiday Napkins

I finished these holiday napkins just in time for Thanksgiving!

5 holiday napkins

colorful holiday napkins

I love bright and cheery cloth napkins, and wanted a new set to brighten up our table this year. I’ve been collecting cotton remnants in solid colors for a while, with dreams of either making a quilt or making napkins. I decided to give the napkins a try first, thinking it would be a quick and easy project that I could squeeze in between the other sewing projects I’m working on now (like my Beignet skirt). I made a set of ten, two in each color.

pile of 10 napkins

I generally like how they turned out – love the bright colors – but the binding is a bit sloppy on some of them. I think I need a bit more practice on binding and boy-is-it slow! This project took quite a bit of time mostly because of the contrast binding. I think I made 2 napkins each evening (around 2 hours), so it took me about 10 hours to make these. Next time, I’m going for simple! Continue reading

Laminated Cotton Curtains

finished curtains

I recently made a pair of laminated cotton curtains for my son’s preschool, and thought I’d share the process here. The classroom has a couple of sinks with open shelving underneath, previously covered by a pair of well-worn, paint-splattered, curtains. The teacher requested something that would stand up to the usual preschool messes of paint and play-doh:)

Our first thought was to use oilcloth, which would be easy to wipe off, but after a bit of searching online I came across the warnings about unhealthy levels of phthalates present in oilcloth. Oilcloth is essentially vinyl (or PVC) – phthalates are used to soften the PVC so that it is flexible. When shopping online for oilcloth or laminated cotton, you may see statements about whether the product is ‘CPSIA compliant’. CPSIA is a U.S. regulation primarily regulating chemicals (namely phthalates and lead) in children’s products. Needless to say, I decided against using oilcloth in a classroom full of 2-3 year-olds!

Luckily, there are other options…enter laminated cotton! Continue reading