Free Design: In-the-Hoop Napkin Rings

November 1, 2018By Joanne BankoFree Design of the Month, Holiday, Projects 10 Comments Opinion by Paid Consultant

Cloth napkins and custom napkin rings add class to any table setting. We used the Brother Free Design of the Month to accent easy embroidered napkin rings. Create these using an In-the-Hoop embroidery technique and combine the Bonus Designs offered here along with our Free Design of the Month. Make as many as you like and dress up your holiday table in no time at all.

Materials and Supplies

Embroidery designs for creating napkin ring:

Basic sewing supplies including thread to match ribbon:

  • Low tack tape for securing appliqué
  • Embroidery needle for embroidering
  • Sharp, small scissors for trimming appliqué
  • Supplies for napkin ring:

    • 7/8-inch wide grosgrain ribbon, one piece measuring 9-inches long for each napkin ring.
    • Fabric for napkin ring, two pieces measuring 3 1/2-inches square for each napkin ring.
    • One piece of medium weight interfacing measuring 3 1/2-inches square for each napkin ring.
    Note: Napkin ring finishes at approximately 3-inches in diameter.

    Steps to Create Napkin Rings

    1. Gather squares for creating napkin ring. Fuse interfacing to the wrong side of one square. See Figure #1.
    Figure #1
    1. Tightly hoop a piece of water-soluble stabilizer in the 4-inch X 4-inch hoop.
    2. Transfer the following bonus designs to your machine:
    Figure #2a
    Figure #2b
    Figure #2c
    1. Place the hoop on the machine. Select the applique outline, Design #1, In the Hoop Napkin RingPt1.pes. Begin by stitching the Appliqué Material placement line. See below:

    1. Layer the two squares of fabric together with wrong sides facing. Place over the stitched placement line and tape corners to keep fabric in place. Stitch Appliqué Position next. See below:

    1. Remove hoop from machine, keeping everything intact. Transfer hoop to a flat surface and use curved tip scissors to carefully cut excess fabric beyond the straight stitched circle.
    Tips: When performing this step, be sure you do not distort the fabric in the hoop. Slashing the fabric along the outer edges of the circle makes it easier to trim. Simply hold pieces of fabric at a slight angle and trim close to the edge of the stitching line. See Figure #3a and #3b.
    Figure #3a
    Figure #3b
    1. Place hoop back on machine and stitch the Appliqué. Note how the tack down stitches cover the raw edges and the satin outline completely covers the edge. See below:

    1. Leave everything in the hoop. Return to menu and select buttonholes for the center, Design #2, In the Hoop Napkin RingPt2.pes. Stitch buttonholes.
    2. To finish the design, return to the menu once more and select Design #3, the Brother Free Design of the Month, Golden Circular Crest.pes. See Figure #4.
    Figure #4
    1. Remove from hoop, trim excess stabilizer and soak to remove residue. Press and then open buttonholes. See Figure #5.
    Figure #5
    1. Set machine for sewing. Slip ribbon through buttonholes. See Figure #6a. Bring the two ribbon ends together with right sides facing and sew ends using a ½-inch seam allowance. See Figure #6b.
    Figure #6a
    Figure #6b
    1. Use a straight stitch to tack down the seam allowances at each end and keep them flat. See enhanced photo of stitches in Figure #7.
    Figure #7
    1. Slip ring over napkin and admire your creation! See closeup below:

    Options and Ideas:

    • Consider making placemats or a tablecloth to coordinate with the napkin rings.
    • Embroider a small monogram letter at the center of the ribbon so it is prominent when the ribbon is laced through the ring.
    • Stitch the napkin ring using decorative fabric and skip the crest. See below:


      • Thank you for the comment Janice!

        Love your idea for different ribbon colors. I can picture all sorts of different seasonal napkin rings with various fabrics and ribbons!

      • Thanks for taking the time to write and comment Marlene! This is one of my most often used tricks for appliqué trimming. It works for so many different shapes and allows for accurate and even trimming.

      • Hi Brenda! This project is designed for an embroidery machine. However, you can mimic the look of the simple circular napkin ring with the following steps on your CS6000i. Here’s how:

        1. Interface a square of fabric and then cut it into a circle measuring approximately 3-inches in diameter. A compass would make quick work of drawing a perfect circle.

        2. Finish the raw edge with a close zigzag stitch, known as a satin stitch, or apply trim to cover the raw edges.

        3. Sew two buttonholes in the center of the circle, posistioning them like the ones you see in the project example. Add the ribbon as shown in the instructions and you are good to go!

      • Hi Sonni!

        Thanks for taking the time to comment on this post 🙂 There are so many creative ways to take a basic idea and make it into something new and different. This project also shows how buttonholes can be useful and even pretty when stitched with decorative thread on a nice piece of fabric. For the “ring” portion you could also use ribbon that’s fancier than the grosgrain style or create fabric strips from a complimentary fabric. One idea seems to lead to another and another! Happy Sewing!!!

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