The Cloth Napkin & It’s Perfect Corners
I needed a batch of cloth napkins for our everyday meals at the table. Napkins that weren’t “precious”; something you could use when you eat spaghetti. As I was looking at quilting cotton fat quarters, the idea struck me. I grabbed ten fabrics with some type of food item on them; grapes, sushi, pomegranates, bananas, sweets, pancakes, avocado toast, and sundaes. My kids had fun picking their favorites too.
You know me, I couldn’t keep a good sewing technique to myself. I documented the process for you too. We all could use or gift a set of cloth napkins, right?
The perfect mitered corner… it is easier than you think! I’ll show you the easiest way to get a crisp corner every time.
Find all the tools I used in this tutorial HERE.
Napkin Sizes & Cut Size
Cocktail (6×6″ with 1/2″ hem): cut 8×8″
Tea (12×12″ with 1/2″ hem): cut 14×14″
Lunch (14×14″ with 1/2″ hem): cut 16×16″
Dinner (20×20″ with 1/2″ hem): cut 22×22″
Formal (22×22″ with 1″ hem): cut 25×25″ (1/2″ turned once and 1″ turned again, like the yellow example below)
Video Screenshots (pausing at the right spot)
- Cut a perfect square. 16 inches for this example. Iron in 1/2″ on all sides.
2. Fold on the diagonal and match the folded edges exactly. Place you ruler along the diagonal fold.
3. Mark a line perpendicular to the diagonal fold where the raw edge of the hem meets the diagonal fold (OR at the 1 inch line as in the yellow example below *scroll down*)
4. Stitch the line you marked on all corners. Back stitch at the beginning and end of the stitching line. Clip off the excess fabric on a angle being careful to not cut too close to the corner. It should look like a little wedge.
5. Press open the seam with your fingers. This balances the seam allowance in the corner.
6. Turn and pop the corner out with something pointy but not sharp. This silver pointer isn’t specifically a sewing tool… something similar would be *this point turner.
7. Press the corners and edges.
8. Stitch close to the inside edge of the hem. Start in the middle of one of the sides.
9. Slowly stitch into the corner and stop right at the corner seam. Be very precise here. With the needle down, lift the pressure foot and turn the napkin. Lower the pressure foot and continue sewing until you get to the next corner. Sew until you reach your starting point, overlap 4-5 stitches and back stitch 3-4 stitches. Pull all the thread ends to the back side and trim.
Voila! Look at that pretty mitered corner. In this photo you can see where the seam allowance of the corners are. It looks balanced and smooth.
The Yellow Example (1″ hem)
The technique is exactly the same, but where you stitch changes. I marked a pink line to show where the 1″ fold would be. The point at which that pink line meets the diagonal fold is where your stitch line will be. You can adjust this to any point. Mark the hem you desire and find where it meets the diagonal fold. You will cut the excess exactly the same as the narrower example.
Go get creative and make a napkin you love!