Posts Tagged“for the home”

A case for textile napkins + a tutorial

When we moved the new house, one of the things I wanted to do was to replace the paper napkins we were using everyday with nice, hand-painted, mitered corners ones. I like the idea of just washing these and so reusing an item for a longer period of time. We still use paper napkins at home, but try to do it as little as possible.

There’s something quite elegant about using nicely pressed fabric napkins, and they look so good on the table. The problem is, if you’re going to make white ones like I did, you are going to have to commit to putting them in soapy water after each use or else you’d get unsightly stains on them and that elegant feeling will turn into an “ew, is this clean?”.

In retrospect, next time I make fabric napkins (and I will make more) I will make them in a darker fabric. If you don’t mind the texture, you could make them in a cotton and polyester mix. I found one that looks just like linen, it doesn’t stain and you don’t need to press it. But it doesn’t feel like cotton or linen, or any other natural fibre either.

hand painted avocado cotton napkins

colour pallette for painting avocado

I painted these with tiny avocados and I used acrylic fabric with a fabric medium. At first I though these were going to wash away quickly, but I even boiled them (in an effort to make them pristine white again – it works, don’t judge!) and the paint didn’t run or wash off. So I pretty happy about that part. I just used half fabric medium and half acrylic paints.

how to paint your own textile napkins part 1

To make sure the avocados were even I made a little stencil, reusing an “offers” magazine. I first painted the green, creamy, flesh of the avocados, then the brown pit and finally I traced the outer shell with a darker green.

how to paint your own textile napkins part 2

For the mitered corners I used this beautiful tutorial from Coletterie. I wasn’t sure about them first, but they look so much more elegant than my usual folded corners.

What about you? Do you use fabric napkins in your house? Did you mother use to? How do you feel about them on a scale from “eew” to “never paper napkins”?

Here’s a little pin bookmark, if you want to keep this for later!

how to make painted textile napkins

Hand-knitted washcloths !

hand knitted washcloth facecloth by sky turtle

It’s king of great that today is Earth Day and also the day I show you my first knitted washcloth. I know youre probably thinking, yeah, what’s the big deal, but for me, knitting is a whole new thing I can’t stop thinking about. And how great it is when you can make something useful and learn a new stitch or a new technique.

Washcloths are cool for various reasons: they are easier to care for and collect less bacteria than kitchen sponges (maybe beycause dry faster?). If you use them in the bath, the cotton bumps are textured enough to gently exfoliate your skin but they won’t scratch you. And they’re fun to make.

I love this technique because I learned how to knit on the bias, which is genius and I don’t know why it never occured to me before. The drape is beautiful and even just by knitting row after row, you end up with a nice pattern. And I also learned to yarn over, which for some reason was a big mystery to me. (I didn’t block these because I was going to get them wet and use them anyway, but if you’re making these as a gift, you could.)

hand knitted washcloths in 4 ply cotton made by sky turtle

To make these cute washcloths I used this tutorial below: it’s clear and easy to follow, even for a super-newbie like myself. I used a 4 ply cotton and a pair of 3.5 knitting needles and it took me around one hour (watching the video and all) to knit the first one and half an hour or so for the second, smaller one.

Learn to knit a dishcloth/washcloth

I also want to make a set of napkins and kitchen towels and reduce the amount of paper napkins and paper towels we use in the house. What about you? How are you keeping your house green(er)? Have you ever knitted your own washcloths?