Finding beauty in simple things

Manchester linens 1

I can never resist a fat quarter bundle when the fabrics are as beautiful as Robert Kaufman’s Manchester, so I impulse-bought these at Purl Soho:

Manchester linens 2

After they arrived, they sat in my sewing room for several weeks, waiting for inspiration.  I considered a variety of projects – quilt top, pieced placemats, even a skirt for my youngest daughter.  In the end, I couldn’t bear to cut them up – they were so perfect just as they were! – but what to do with a bunch of fat quarter squares, no matter how gorgeous the fabric was?  Then last week, I was shopping at a boutique store full of handmade goods, and I kept coming back to a packet of three color-coordinated linen cloths.  These linens were simple squares (or maybe a little more like rectangles) and could be used for cloth napkins, or kitchen towels, or any other “napkin or towel” use that one might have.  They were so simple, yet it was that simplicity that let the texture and color of the fabrics shine, and I found that I wanted to buy them, even without any particular purpose in mind.

Manchester linens 3

And then I remembered my fat quarter bundle and I thought “ah ha” . . . and I knew what the Manchester fabrics were destined to be.  So, I just ironed and stitched a rolled hem – I didn’t even bother to cut the quarters perfectly square, because I liked them to be a little funky in their shape and style.  I didn’t wash them ahead of time, either – I figure that if they shrink when they’re washed the first time, it won’t matter, given that they haven’t been sewn into any kind of a larger overall project.

I’m thrilled with how beautiful they are in their simplicity, and how “completing” them hasn’t taken away my enjoyment in the texture and color of the fabric itself.  I think that I will bundle them in sets of three or four and give them as gifts with my hand thrown mugs or bowls – kind of a handmade kitchen set.  I hope the recipients enjoy and appreciate them as much as I do!

Manchester linens 4

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4 comments on “Finding beauty in simple things

  1. Oh my gosh, I love this! I’m heading over there right now, I need to make some napkins as gifts and these look perfect. I’m also looking for some good pant material, would you say this would work for that purpose? Sorry if I commented twice, it seems to be a little buggy this morning. Have a good weekend.

    • Yes, I think this material would make lovely lightweight pants – what a good idea, now I’m going to go look through my files to see if I have a pants pattern I like 🙂

  2. Really good looking napkins!

  3. Beautiful fabric, and it’s wonderful to celebrate simplicity 🙂

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