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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sewing: Napkins, Place mats

Since the kids are learning to use napkins a lot at meal times (esp., the pre-schooler who simply rubs his food-smeared hands on his shirt and hair and whatever else is within reach), I've been making some napkins on and off.

Usually it is just a pretty printed cotton fabric, no fuss, simply cut a 15"x15" square and sew the edges. Dark color prints, so mustard and turmeric and ketchup and sauce stains don't show. Ana can use a white napkin and have it perfectly white even after several meals. Not Og.

Sometimes, I manage to embroider them, sort of like redwork, only not red but blue for Og as he likes blue.

Of course, not always a single color embroidery either as Ana likes it colorful... But usually very simple running stitch or stem stitch on the outline, nothing fancy.

Over the last seven years, we've drastically cut down on paper towels, tissue and other paper products usage around the house. The main paper consumption happens in the toilet - Toilet Paper.

For those incessant colds that stay with us nine months in a year, the snot gets wiped with a couple of small squares of TP, and hands washed right away as we are in the bathroom anyway cleaning the nose.

"Mama, I have a booger nose", "Mama I want to blow my nose" and so on automatically sends us to the bathroom. And, if we happen to have a particularly forceful sneeze with a huge yield of snot, we simply run to the bathroom wash our face and hands, and maybe change our clothes as needed...

Of course, there is always the "emergency" paper towel roll and TP roll in the car...

Anyway, I'll quit rambling. Here are a few appliqué place mats. The place mats were cut from an old saree my mom left with me. Napkins are just plain muslin.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good idea Sheela as always..Have a qn for you. Do you use cloth towels for cleaning the counter top etc.?
If so how/where do you leave them after cleaning? I tried using them but my hubby gets all irritated when he sees them near the the countertop etc. and I dont know where else to put them in this country!!! Please let me know.

1:20 PM  
Blogger Sheela said...

Anon, totally understand your hubby's irritation - it can be annoying leaving wet rags/towels on countertop :)

Yes, I use cloth towels and rags for wiping surfaces - floors, countertops etc. After each use, I wash them with a bit of the handy dish soap and rinse out so it doesn't smell sour.

There are a few ways I let them dry between uses:
1) Under the sink, on the inside of the door we have small towel racks just for this. (I leave the cupboard door just slightly ajar to avoid the musty smell from damp cloth)
2) I attach a small loop of elastic (or ribbon) at one corner of the rag/towel and hang them from the knobs on the lower cupboards. Not pretty, of course, but, since neither D nor I mind it on the countertop or anywhere in plain sight, it works out ok :)
3)For the most part, since no one is at home during weekdays, I spread them out by the kitchen sink and let them dry and then tuck them away in the under-the-sink cupboard.

These have worked for us well so far... But, do let me know if you found a creative way to put these rags away, out of sight, when not in use.

1:42 PM  
Blogger notyet100 said...

since i have just started sewing ,i will try doing these,thnks,.

8:18 AM  
Blogger Kay said...

wow! those elephant napkins are just adorable!!

12:40 PM  

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