Wedding present for Anlichan’s brother

Anlichan’s brother got married!  Yay!!! Anlichan’s family is the loveliest.  You should know that about them.  The kindest, sweetest, most welcoming people you can imagine.  So they invited all of us to her brother’s wedding and we had a habibi reunion. I thought for a little while about what I wanted to give Anlichan’s brother and his fiancee (I will call them BB, which is actually not their initials but short for the portmanteau we’ve made for their names).  Finally I decided to make cloth napkins for BB, because CLASSY.  Also, something I can make in a relatively short amount of time.

BB had delineated their color preferences for different rooms in their house, which was incredibly helpful.  For their kitchen they said reds, creams, and browns, and nothing crazy.   I then sent Anlichan an email with links to several different fabrics and she (and her parents?) helped me pick the best one.  They picked my favorite: I love the fans.  If you read this blog a lot you know my fondness for what are (somewhat awkwardly) termed “Oriental” fabrics in the quilting world.  We’ll call them Asian-inspired, because that sounds better.  They’re so pretty!  The color combination was perfect.

I googled cloth napkins to see what the normal size is, because I didn’t know how big they should be.  I’ve made cloth napkins before, I think, although I can’t remember for whom, but I really didn’t know what size is standard.  I went with 17″, so I cut 18″ squares.  (I also saw 20″ napkins.  I went with the smaller measurement to make sure I had enough fabric.)  I thought I had enough fabric for eight napkins, but I had only ordered two yards, I think with the idea that they would be more like 14″.  I was only able to cut six squares, but I figured that was still good.

I traced a line half an inch inside of the edge, and again another half an inch inside of that.

Then I folded the fabric in on each line and ironed it down, so that no rough edges were showing.  I sewed around the edges of each napkin to secure the rough edges down, and then I was done.

In short, napkins are easy, and I think these are gorgeous.  Final product:

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Quilted shawl for my grandmother

For my grandmother’s birthday I decided to make her a quilted shawl.  She’s frequently cold and I knew she’d like something she could just drape over her shoulders.  My mother’s family is Hungarian and a while ago I bought a set of “Hungarian print” fabrics.   (They’re inspired by traditional blue-on-white Hungarian prints.)  I decided to use them for her shawl.  I supplemented them with other prints in coordinating shades of blue.

I cut the fabrics into six-inch squares and set them on point.  I cut some of the squares in half to make a few triangles, where the design required.

I sewed the squares and triangles into strips running along the diagonal.  Then I sewed the strips together to form the top and I added a border around the edge.  I used blue fleece for the back, to make it nice and warm.  For the quilting I just did straight lines running parallel to the strips I’d sewn, using blue thread.  You can see the quilting in the picture below.  I wanted something quick and simple.  It adds some texture, too.  The whole project was completed in less than a day.

Sadly, I don’t have any creative pictures of her modeling the shawl like I do with my brother hooding himself with his quilt.  You’ll have to take my word for the fact that it looks lovely on her, and she was delighted with it.