DIYdiy projects

DIY Project: Chain of Heart Napkins

by Natalie Stopka

D_S embroidered hearts.13
Class up some ordinary cloth dinner napkins with a charming chain of hearts for Valentine’s Day. Based on the chain stitch, this simple embroidery technique can be learned in a snap. Along with delicious food and a little candlelight, these eco-friendly reusable decorations are a sweet way to share some love. –Natalie

The full how-to is after the jump!

D_S embroidered hearts.1
Materials
-cloth napkins
-6 strand embroidery thread
-needle
-scissors
-optional: vanishing fabric marker or chalk pencil

Steps:

Select your embroidery thread; here I’ve chosen a range of corals and reds to complement the muted tomes of my napkins. Cut a piece about 2’ long, separate the 6 strands into two 3-strand lengths, and thread your needle with one of these. Tie a knot in the long tail.

D_S embroidered hearts.3

All of the stitches in your chain of hearts will fall on three parallel lines- two outer points for the peaks of the heart and a center axis of symmetry. You can draw these three lines onto the napkin with a vanishing fabric marker, with the outer lines about 1/4” apart. I’ve labeled them A, B, and C in the images below.

The chain of hearts stitch:

1. Insert your needle at the beginning of chain through line B, drawing the thread from the back of the napkin to the front. About 3/16” up the line, insert the needle into line B and bring it out at line A at a 45 degree angle. With the tail of the thread underneath the point of the needle, draw the needle through. You have made the left lobe of the heart.

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2. Reinsert the needle at the point on line A it just exited, with the thread wrapping over the peak of the heart’s left lobe to hold the arch in place. Come back through the napkin on line B where you began step 1, at the point of the heart.

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3. Repeat step 1 for the right lobe of the heart: About 3/16” up the line, insert the needle into line B and bring it out at line C at a 45 degree angle. With the tail of the thread underneath the point of the needle, draw the needle through.

D_S embroidered hearts.8

4. Reinsert the needle at the point on line C it just exited, with the thread wrapping over the peak of the heart’s right lobe. Come back through the napkin on line B between the peaks, at the start of the next heart in the chain.

D_S embroidered hearts.9
D_S embroidered hearts.10

To finish the chain, end on the back of the napkin at line C after completing a heart. Draw the needle under one of the stitches, make a knot around it, and cut the tail.

D_S embroidered hearts.11
D_S embroidered hearts.12

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