Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Last year I made two sets of Christmas Tree Napkins as gifts--for DD#2 and DIL.  Each time I struggled with how to fold them properly.  I looked for directions on the net, but wasn't happy with what I found.

I've just finished a set of 8 Christmas Tree Napkins as a gift for dear Kathy Brown, who has, again this year, made two tissue fitted patterns for me--patterns that I can now just cut out and sew without any fitting issues.  Last year I made two hot pads for her, with the Canadian maple leaf in red and white.  This year Christmas Tree Napkins were the choice for a "Thank You" present.

Two of my sewing friends and I were trying to figure out, once again, how to fold these lovelies.  Joan commented that she was making a set for her sister-in-law and would give them to her properly folded, but after that it was up to the SIL to figure out how to fold them after laundering.

So this morning, before giving them to Kathy, I set about finding a simpler way to do this.  I love to figure out "methods," especially methods that simplify a project.  So here's the "New Method of Folding Christmas Tree Napkins":
Fold one of your napkins to the desired finish.  Lay it on your paper pattern and draw the outline of the napkin on the paper pattern.  I made the paper pattern a few years ago by tracing an 18" diameter half circle on banquet table paper.  Note the pie shaped piece outlined on the white paper.


Place the finished napkin on the paper pattern.  At this point do a "trial fold" according to the following directions, but without pressing the folds.

Fold the napkin over, following the angled line.  Press that fold.

Fold the napkin back, matching the straight edges.  Press.

Fold the napkin back along the angled line.  Press the fold.

Fold once more along the straight edge.  Press the fold.  Looks perfect, doesn't it?  And it was easy, wasn't it?

This napkin must have slightly deeper seams.  It didn't fold properly on the "trial" fold.  I had to experiment a bit before I found the right amount.  It's easier to do this on a pattern than just offhand. See how it doesn't reach all the way to the straight edge?


Have some pity on your "giftee" and make a "Napkin Folding Pattern" for her.  Trace your own paper pattern onto some pattern paper and include that in the package.  You probably need to show her how to use this pattern.

I made eight napkins, which is the amount you get from one yard each of two contrasting fabrics.  Here's a picture of them all laid out in (an almost full) circle.  If I had made 10, it would be a complete circle and could be used underneath a center piece on your Christmassy table setting.
You will notice that the left edge of the napkin is longer than the right edge.  That's what makes the shape of the "boughs" of the tree possible.  If both sides were equal you wouldn't achieve that effect.  You will also see that I chose to fold half the napkins with the red side facing and half of them with the green side facing.  You can choose to do the all the same or half and half for variety.

If you need any help with this project, email me at "grammilou@hotmail.com".

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