Set a Stylish Thanksgiving Table

Celebrate at the table by dressing it up with these great ideas.
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Embroidered Tablecloth

Setting the Table with Style
The centerpiece of artificial
vegetables, brass candlesticks,
and two bud vases of fresh
flowers are nestled into a
cocoa-brown velvet sofa throw.

A bountiful Norman Rockwell-inspired Thanksgiving display makes this table especially inviting and sets the stage for a picture-perfect holiday. The hemstitched linen tablecloth and napkins were created on an embroidery sewing machine, or they can be sewn by hand. Either way, they promise to become cherished heirlooms for future generations.

To make a 108 x 54-inch tablecloth and eight 24-inch-square formal dinner napkins

What You Need:

  • 6 yards 58-inch-wide linen or linenlike fabric
  • 7 spools #112 Mettler embroidery thread (200 meters each, 30 wt.)
  • 3 spools #512 100-percent-cotton Madeira Heirloom thread (200 meters each, 80 wt.)
  • Size 80 universal sewing machine needles
  • 1 wing sewing machine needle, size 120/19
  • Size 80 embroidery sewing machine needles
  • Tear-away stabilizer
  • Temporary spray adhesive
  • Air-soluble marking pen
  • Adjustable magnetic sewing machine stitching guide
  • Adjustable seam gauge
  • Seam solvent
  • Embroidery disk with 30 mm (1.2-inch high) lettering design of your choice (we chose a Clarendon font)
  • Maple Leaf design #LV591, available for instant download at, or other motif of your choice

Preparation Instructions:
Setting the Table with Style
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Diagram 1

Note: This project was completed using a Husqvarna Viking, Designer 1 Sewing and Embroidery machine and Husqvarna Viking customizing software. You may use another embroidery machine of your choice.

1. For the tablecloth, pull a thread and cut along the pulled line to establish a true crosswise grain line. Measure a 112-1/2-inch length of fabric, pull a thread, and cut along the thread line. For the napkins, measure four 26-1/2-inch lengths of fabric, pull a thread, and cut along the thread line. Cut each 26-1/2-inch length into two 26-1/4-inch widths. (See Diagram 1.) Trim off the short raw edges along the selvages, but do not cut through the selvage.

2. Using a universal needle and heirloom thread in the machine, clean-finish all raw edges on the tablecloth and napkins.

Setting the Table with Style
Enlarge Image

Diagram 2

3. Miter corners: For each napkin, with wrong sides together, fold edges in 1 inch and press. For the tablecloth, with wrong sides together, fold edges in 2 inches and press. (Note: Just press about 6 inches out from each corner.) For each napkin and tablecloth: Open the hem so you can see the pressed crease. Fold over the corner so the fold line passes through the point where the two pressed creases intersect, as shown in Diagram 2; iron in place.

Setting the Table with Style
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Diagram 3

Mark a 1/4-inch seam allowance and cut off the corners. Sew along the pressed crease, as shown in Diagram 3.

Setting the Table with Style
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Diagram 4

Repeat until all corners are mitered; press seams open as shown in Diagram 4. Turn right side out and press the hem.

4. Hem: Secure the hem by topstitching close to the selvage or folded edge. To hemstitch, use a wing needle and pin stitch (stitch D6 on the Designer 1 machine). Adjust stitch width and length both to 3 mm. Position the fabric right side up; position the seam guide 1 inch from the needle, and tape to secure. Begin stitching about 5 inches from one corner. The lengthwise stitch should enter the fabric slightly to the left of the first row of stitching. Crosswise stitches should extend 4 to 5 threads to the right into the hem allowance. Make one stitch beyond the corner point. Lift the pressure foot and needle. Turn the fabric 90 degrees, lower the needle, and begin stitching again. Repeat for all napkins and tablecloth.

Embroidery Instructions:
Setting the Table with Style
Enlarge Image

Diagram 5

Note: Leaf motifs and "Give Thanks" should be positioned in the drop of the tablecloth. Measure the table, determine the length of drop, and change placement as necessary. Leaf motifs should be positioned in napkin corners.

1. For the tablecloth and napkins: Use an embroidery needle with embroidery thread; use heirloom thread in the bobbin. Download the leaf motif from the Internet or use another motif. Test all motifs by making a sample; adjust thread tension or size if necessary.

2. For tablecloth (before beginning, see Diagram 5): Program the machine to sew Give Thanks. Mark placement guide lines with an air-soluble marker. Hoop the stabilizer, apply temporary spray adhesive, position the fabric, and embroider the motif. Repeat until all 12 Give Thanks motifs have been embroidered. Prepare the sewing machine to embroider three leaves. Make a sample; adjust size or thread tension as necessary. Position the motif between each pair of Give Thanks; embroider.

3. For napkins: Prepare the sewing machine to embroider a single motif. Hoop the stabilizer; position one corner of the napkin on the stabilizer. Embroider one motif in the corner of each napkin.

4. For napkins and tablecloth: Trim threads; remove stabilizer. Dot thread ends with seam sealant to secure stitching.

Continued on page 2:  Flower Arrangement


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