Sunday, July 05, 2015

Sometime before last Thanksgiving (i.e. November 2014), I came across an *adorable* English Paper Pieced turkey that the blogger was sewing onto a dish towel.  I'm not terribly big on fancy dish towels ... BUT ... I thought they would look fantastic on napkins!  It was "sufficiently" before Thanksgiving (for our non-American readers, our Thanksgiving is at the end of November) that I thought I could SURELY stitch them up in time to impress our dinner guests.  :-)

 HA!  Fat chance that.

 However, I did manage to make 6 napkins before Thanksgiving was upon me and I realized that there was no way, José, that they were going to be completed.  So, I put them away for later.  "Later" became July 2015 and I am in the process of finishing them up. 

The EPP tutorial comes from Mollie Johanson of Wild Olive.  Her tutorial is excellent: easy to follow instructions that are thorough.  A template for the hexagons is also included, if you don't have any of your own.

Mollie's tutorial calls for making the turkey "feathers" from 2 half-hexagons, which are then stitched together.  That's easy enough but *I* am terminally lazy.  I got the same visual effect by simply sewing two pieces of fabric together into a "mini strip set" and cutting my hexagon fabric from the stitched together fabric, making sure to orient the seamline of the fabrics as Mollie shows.  In this manner, I didn't need to fuss with a lot of small half-hexagons and I didn't need to sew them together!

I also took the "easy" way out for the turkey face: although I did hand embroider the wattle and beak, I didn't want French knots for the eyes ... so I used my Micro archival pens to ink in the eyeballs. :-)

Once the turkeys were stitched together, I appliqued them diagonally to the corner of a napkin.

Oh, the napkins.  Originally, I bought some coarse, rustic commercial napkins.  I liked the rough, textural look of them.  BUT ... they were cheap.   And *no where* near square.   Good Lord, when I folded them up, they were horridly askew.  There was no way I could ever use them.  Good thing they were inexpensive.  On the other than, I certainly got what I paid for.

Because I know how to make a mitered hem, I decided I would make my own napkins .... they aren't that difficult at all.  I like mitered corners because they are FLAT.  It's a MUCH better and elegant look than simply folding the hem back on itself .. that results in an ugly lump in the corner.  ICK.

I cut approximately an 18" square, made my mitered corners and machine stitched the hem.  Sure, it took a little more time but I'm pleased with the napkins and they didn't cost anywhere near what good quality commercial napkins would.

When both leaves are inserted into my dining room table, I can fit 12 chairs around it .. so I made 12 napkins.   Although I haven't done so yet, I may still make a table runner to coordinate with the napkins.

The tutorial instructs you to do a contrast running stitch around the perimeter of the turkey on the dish towels.  I didn't want to have that stitching show on the back of my napkins so I chose to not to do it.  But, to dress up my turkeys just a bit, I chose instead to do a feather stitch down the seamlines of the hexagon "feathers" surrounding the turkey.  I slid the needle between the turkey hexagons and the napkin fabric so the feather stitch never shows on the backside of the napkins.  The only evidence that something was done is the tiny, tiny knot at the bottom of the feather stitching.


  1. STINKING CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously!!! I NEED to make some of these as not only do I love hexi's but Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. I just bookmarked your post! THANKS!

  2. Thanks, Valerie. :-) I'm busily doing the feather stitching along the 'feather' hexies. It doesn't take long but ... aarrgghhh!!! I keep getting interrupted! Really, this is so annoying. :-)

    But, eventually they will get done. I suppose at some point, I ought to think if I want to do a table runner also, which would be a separate project. :-)

    Be sure to sew your feather fabrics together *first*, before making the hexie. It was so much easier to handle 1 large, complete hexie than 2 half-hexies ... and you end up with the same effect. So why not make your life simpler? :-)