I've been working on these embroidered linen napkins as a Christmas gift for a lovely someone who will appreciate a handmade Nana style gift from yours truly. They are simple but sweet and I've put together a little how to for anyone interested.
You will need:
Napkins - you can make them yourself or pick them up from a craft shop. I found mine on sale at Spotlight.
Six Stranded Embroidery thread - you could use white as I have, one colour or multiple colours
Embroidery hoop - slightly larger than your design, but not too large, so it isn't cumbersome
Washable Erasable marking pen - from a craft shop
You will also need designs for you napkins of course. I drew these myself, using a tin to trace around for the circles and decorating each one differently, six in total. You can draw your own or search for free Christmas embroidery patterns online. (If anyone is interested I can scan my pictures and add them to this tutorial.)
Print or draw your designs in a dark colour, lay your napkin in your desired position over the design and trace with the washable marker. If you have a light box you can use this. Or you can tape both pieces in place on a window with light coming from behind and trace it there. Mine was easy enough to see as is.
Place work in hoop, gently tugging on the fabric all the way around to pull it tight. Tighten the thread on the screw at top so everything is secure. Cut a manageable length of embroidery thread. I tend to use about a 40 - 50cm length. Divide the thread in half, so you are left with three strands in each half. Thread your needle with the three threads, make a knot at the end and start stitching.
I used back stitch and French knots on my napkins, but you can be as inventive as you like and use as many stitches as you like. Stitch happily each night for a bit of couch craft or sneak in some stitching while children nap or friends visit.
Pull your napkin out of the hoop, wash and iron it and admire your handiwork. Consider keeping it for yourself. Wrap it up beautifully with your other completed napkins and gift lovingly to someone special.