Saturday, September 24, 2016

How to make simple cloth napkins - 3 edge options included

Today, we are going to make simple cloth napkins for our kitchen tables.  I love cloth napkins.  There is something elegant about using a cloth napkin at the table.  Early in our marriage, I made us some that we used for a while.  Then, when they wore out, I went back to paper for a while.  Recently, I decided I missed having cloth on the table and decided to make some more.   They are very simple to make and only require a few things.

Supplies needed:

Fabric - I used 4 different small print calicos I had on hand.  If you need to get some fabric, 1 yard will make approximately 6 napkins.  So base how much fabric you need on that calculation.
Matching Thread
Optional - Cutting mat, Rotary cutter, Quilting ruler
Sewing Machine 
Optional - Serger

First you want to make your pattern.  Any type of paper will do (even wrapping paper)  You will need a square 13 inches by 13 inches.


Make sure all your fabrics are pressed.  This photo was taken pre-pressing.  It is easier to work with unwrinkled fabric.  Fold each fabric in half, long ways (or selvage to selvage).  

Lay your pattern on top of fabric.  This is where a quilting ruler comes in handy (but not necessary).  You lay it on top of the fabric and pattern lining up the edge of it with the pattern.  Then, using a rotary cutter, you just cut through the fabric on the edge.  A cutting mat is an absolute must with a rotary cutter or you will damage your cutting surface.  However, if you have no rotary cutter, no mat, and no ruler, scissors are a great option.  You should be able to cut 2 napkins out.  Then open it up, and you should be able to cut one more.  Keep cutting until you have all the napkins you need.  We have a large family so I made 3 dozen napkins.  These last for about 4 days before we run low and I need to run a load of wash.

The next couple of steps are only useful to you if you have a serger.  These can be made without one, so keep reading.  At your serger, you have 2 options.  You could set your serger for a rolled edge, serge a 1/4" all the way around and then you are done.  I like my napkins to have a folded over edge to hide the stitches, so I like to use an overlock stitch.  Again, I serge about a 1/4" off the edge.

For those with just a sewing machine, you can fold your edges over 1/4" and then 1/4" again to hide the raw edges.  Then, proceed to sew with a straight stitch all the way around the napkin.  Once your done all your napkins this way, you are done!

For those who used a serger first and did not use a rolled edge, take your napkins to your sewing machine and finish off the edges by folding over 1/4" and stitching with a straight stitch all the way around.   Once you're done all your napkins, you are done!

I love all the colors and the tiny prints in these calicos!

Happy Sewing!  Have a question, post in the comments below.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

20 years......

(arial view of our wedding party and our families)

This week you get to reminisce with me about our engagement and wedding.  This past Wednesday, we celebrated 20 years of marriage.  It really doesn't feel that long but when I see my 19 year old, I am reminded it is true.  Time flew and with it we have made many memories, some good and some we would rather didn't happen.  But that is life, isn't it?  So, here is our story.....

We began dating a few months after he graduated from Liberty University and I was a freshman at Washington Bible College.   I still remember that first date.  We both helped coordinate events for our church's singles group.  So, when he called and asked to talk to me, I thought it was just about another event coming up.  My dad just smiled as he handed me the phone.  I should have known it was not that at all.  He asked me out, I said yes, and we were off to downtown Annapolis for icecream.  It was fun.  We started off dating here and there, nothing regular, but that all changed within a few months.   

We had many memorable dates and trips together and gradually but steadily fell in love with each other.  Funny when I look back on it all.  We had grown up together.  His parents and mine did much together.  I was a student to his mom in Sunday School and his dad in our Christian school.  But, he is 4 1/2 years older than me.  I didn't give him much thought as a kid.  He was the weird guy who grew plants and read tons of books.  I don't even think he knew I existed much. But, here we were dating and falling in love.  Funny how God works.  A couple of years after we started dating, he asked me if I would marry him.  It was snowy and my birthday.  And, I said yes.  

(our engagement picture)

A month later he was gone.  Before you think it was a tragic ending, it was not.  :)  He is a remodeler and he was asked to go to France to help with a chateau remodel.  So, off he went to work there until we got married.  Our whole wedding was planned via phone, email, and snail mail.  There was no texting, facetime, skype, and email was really new.  LOL!  So hard to remember those days with all we have today.  Our kids are positive it was totally weird.  But, that is how we did it and it all worked out very well.  I had so much support here back at home with wedding plans and keeping me from missing him so very much.  

We didn't have much money so creating an inexpensive wedding was a must, but again, we had a very supportive and helpful family and church and the plans came together without breaking the bank.   My mother in law made my dress and his vest and bowtie.  I made my flower girl, ring bearers, and sisters wedding gear.  I also designed the cake and then took it to a local Safeway to have it made.  My college friends and church threw showers.  His family and mine played heavy hands in all the little details and making decorations.  Our church family volunteered to help with the food preparations and serving.  Another did all the photography.  And others helped in so many other little ways.  It was amazing.

About 2 weeks before the wedding, he came home and we finalized all the details and found our first home together.  

The date dawned beautiful.  It was warm but not too warm.  There was plentiful sunshine.  All the details were done.   My dad walked me down the aisle after the cute little flower girl and ring bearer.  Daddy gave me away, and we said our vows.  It was beautiful.  I cried.  That is just me.  :)

We had a simple reception catered by our church family.  We had the typical toasts, songs, and other things that most receptions have.  We did the meet and greets and had a great time with our family and friends. And, of course, there were pictures; lots and lots of pictures.  :)  And, then it was time to go.  One of my bridesmaid's fiances had a convertible mustang.  He was our chauffeur as off we went to my house to prepare for our honeymoon.  I remember the thrill of driving through my hometown with my veil fluttering in the wind behind me.  I was so happy.  It was glorious!

(his family)

(my family)

And, we were wed.  We traveled up the east coast and explored Quebec City, Acadia National Park, and Massachusetts.  It was a lovely honeymoon even if was cloud covered the whole time.  I remember seeing a newspaper with a heading, "The sun may make an appearance today."  But, it was a lovely way to start our married life together.  

And the rest, as they say is history.  Its been a blessed 20 years.  We've been blessed with 6 children here on earth and 1 in heaven.  We've lived in 7 different houses all in the same county.  We've had a plethora of animals, cats, dogs, and fish.  We've had our share of ups and downs.  But, I wouldn't trade one moment of it for anything else. 

(photo taken at the spot he asked me 20 years ago)

Thank you for reading as I reminisce.  I am so thankful for all we've been through and done for the past 20 years.  Praying for many many more.  Happy Anniversary to us!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Changing things up

As you can see by the post title, things are going to be changing a bit around here.   I enjoy blogging and writing.  I have written off and on for years now, but for many reasons, I am going to change things up a bit.  What you see on here is blog 2 that I have begun.  My first one, I ran for about 6 months several years ago when my kids were tiny.  I gave up, due to no time, and deleted it.  I set the whole writing thing aside for several years and focused on my little ones instead.  Well, my littles are big now, and I felt like I had the time again to devote to writing.  So, I restarted blogging (ta da, you are here) and wrote a book.  And, I am loving it.  However, I am not really scheduled about the whole thing.  I thought I could write as I see fit and be able to keep a good flow, but that hasn't been the case.  I write whenever and always seem to feel disjointed, so I have given it some thought and decided Saturdays would be my writing day.  If we should happen to have something going on all day that day or my kids are sick and need me, I will post later but other than that, you will hear from me regularly once a week. I will still have recipes, simple crafts, and updates about school or homelife.  Saturdays are the best day for me with no school, and Sunday is my day to totally disconnnect from the 'net and enjoy my family.  So, Saturday it is.  So, be watching for that change starting this week.  (yes, that means you will get 2 posts this week).

If you want to see me and mine more regularly, though, feel free to follow along with us on my instagram!  I post pics a few times a week and you can keep up better there.  See the link on the side bar.  I also started an instagram page for my book.  I am having fun posting pics from the book and will be adding random tips and other things I or my kids are working on lego wise.  It will be fun.  Find that page at worldoftinyfashion.

Well, thats a wrap for today.  See you on Saturday!  Have a great week.