November 21, 2016

embroidered thanksgiving napkins (+ free pattern!)

Embroidered Thanksgiving Napkins (+ free pattern!)
One of my favorite Thanksgivings of all time was the year my mom decided to do a themed dinner. It was the first in a succession of themed Thanksgivings - including a chocolate-themed year, which made for some amazing desserts & some very strange entrĂ©es. The year I loved the most was when my mom cooked cranberry into every dish. I don't remember much of what was made, short of a very, very tart after-dinner parfait (it was that year we all learned the importance of never serving cranberries totally raw). What I do remember is how much fun we all had. My mom cooked from all sorts of inventive recipes that she pulled from the internet - back when there was only one recipe-hosing site, & everything else was on message boards. My older brother, who now runs his own box lunch business, was just discovering his love of cooking & had a blast coming up with experimental ideas. My little brother, a person who has always been a bit adverse to change, kept his eye on the traditional turkey my mom made just for him. Then there was me, who has never been good at cooking, marveling at how my mom managed to make my favorite dish (marshmallow cottage cheese salad) under the Top Chef-like constrictions of the cranberry theme. We all had so much fun was because it was so totally different from how we normally spent Thanksgiving. 

Part of the reason I think Thanksgiving can get such low marks on the "Favorite Holiday" scale is because it can feel so rigid. The traditions are kind of limited (e.g. turkey, football, Black Friday shopping, etc.) which can sometimes feel more like a chore & less like a relaxing holiday tradition. For me, Thanksgiving is what you make of it.  It's simply a whole day off from work (or two, if you're lucky!) to get together with family & be grateful. A whole day to cook good food, hang out, & maybe watch the Macy's Day Parade. Or not. Whatever you end up doing, it's just about enjoying the day, showing a bit of gratitude, & getting stuffed.

If you have a bit of time before Thursday, I have a simple embroidery project to decorate your table's landscape. They're a little cheeky, but like I said before: Thanksgiving is what you make of it. This year I'm making mine cheeky.
Download this "Get Stuffed" embroidery pattern for your holiday napkins
To make these embroidered napkins, you'll need:

NOTE: READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS FIRST BEFORE STARTING! One of the steps calls for quick action, & I don't want you to miss it!
Transferring embroidery patterns is totally easy with mylar paper & a printer
Lay your napkin on a flat surface. Cut the Dura-lar paper down to letter-sized (8.5 x 11") so it fits in your printer. You can do this by holding a piece of regular paper up to your Dura-lar & cutting around the regular paper. Print the "Get Stuffed" pattern on the Dura-lar paper. Immediately press the wet/inked side of the pattern onto your napkin, & rub the paper in a circular motion to transfer the design. The ink will transfer from the Dura-lar to the napkin.
"Get Stuffed" this Thanksgiving with this downloadable embroidered pattern
Follow the lines of the pattern with either a chain stitch or a backstitch, & fill in the leaf. I also added a running stitch along the edges of two of my napkins. 
Happy Thanksgiving. Let's get stuffed.
For timeframe reference on how long it takes to make these, I got them all done in the time it takes to watch a 2.5 star-rated Christmas movie on Netflix (nothing says "the holidays are here" quite like terrible acting & hole-filled plot lines). Cheers!


P.S. Add this "Things I'm Thankful For" printable to your table for your guests to fill out on Thanksgiving.

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