Napkin sewing is a popular theme around here-- in part, because they are an easy thing to sew and in part because there are a few different ways to get it done! Using fabric that is already half hemmed is probably the easiest way to get your table (or blanket) ready for picnic season. These are made from 16" wide, pre-hemmed (on each selvage), toweling in three retro prints. I chose stripes this time, but my hands lingered over the floral reproductions-- all from Moda Fabrics.
Make sure you pre-wash and factor in shrinkage in your calculations. After a single yard was washed and dried it measure 15 1/4" by 32" (as compared to 16" by 36" unwashed). I got three rectangle napkins 15 1/4" by 10" for each yard (for square napkins you would end up with two per yard). I sewed small fold-over hem that measured 1/4" (first press) and then another 1/4"-5/8" (second and final press) on each raw edge. That's quite a lot of shrinkage as compared to a quilt weight cotton, but fairly average for cotton that is a more loosely woven, like toweling. The great news is that they washed up nice and soft-- perfect for drying hands and wiping noses. These are getting monograms by way of an alphabet stamp and fabric paint. Embroidery would be my first choice, but there is no time-- summer is coming!!
Bolt sells toweling by the yard ($4.49) or individual flour sack style dish towels. We also carry super cute embroidery transfers from Tigerpup and Sublime Stitching in case you're feeling like making your napkins extra special.