Handstitched Napkins

These lovely handstitched napkins will make a bright and beautiful addition to any Thanksgiving table! They are designed as a part of a set with my Thanksgiving Reverse Applique Placemats which you can find at this link.

The Materials


If you would like to make 4 napkins AND 4 placemats (pictured above) you will need:

If you would like to make 8 napkins ONLY you will need:

Finished Measurements

  • Napkins:  16-inches square
  • Placemats:  13-inches x 17-inches


Cut one 18-inch square from a solid fabric.

Use tailor's chalk or a pencil to mark a line 1-inch in from all four edges as pictured above.

Hemming Step 1

Press two opposite edges in 1/2-inch to meet the drawn line.

Fold these folds over 1/2-inch once more, encasing the raw edges.

Press and pin the folded edges into place.

Beginning 1-inch from the corner, at the intersecting drawn line, sew the two folds into place with a small running stitch approximately 1/8-inch from the fold. Stop at the opposite intersecting drawn line, 1-inch from the raw edge.

Your stitches should be neat and relatively straight along the fold.

Hemming Step 2

Fold all four corners in a right triangle shape as pictured above, press into place.

Press the two remaining raw edges in towards the drawn lines like you did for the first step of the hemming. Make sure to keep your corner triangles pressed down as you do this.

Fold the edges over again 1/2-inch, press and pin into place.

Starting from the inside of the mitered corners sew these folds into place with a small running stitch approximately 1/8-inch from the edge of the fold. (The miter of the corner is a great place to hide your knot!)

Repeat these steps for the three other solid fabrics.

If you'd like to make the reverse applique placemats to go with you napkins please visit my Reverse Applique Placemats Project Journal here.  --Molly

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3 Responses to Handstitched Napkins

  1. Mistresspage says:

    Thank you so much for this great tutorial. The hand stitching is quite relaxing for me. Everything you do is delightful.

  2. Deb says:

    I am thinking of making these napkins. The fabrics mentioned in the article are unavailable on your website. Could you suggest some substitutions?

  3. purl bee says:

    Hi Deb-

    I would suggest using Robert Kaufman Essex. It comes in great colors!

    Thank you!


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