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Amish-Star Tablecloth and Napkins

Amish "Evening Star" quilts—with their geometric pattern of 12 triangles surrounding a square—inspired the graphic print on these linens, which will look sharp year-round.

amish star table linens in basket

Photography: Lennart Weibull

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2020

Introduction

Set them in a woven basket or tray for serving at the table (Hawkins New York Woven Tray, $35, hawkinsnewyork.com).

 

For more ideas, scroll through our entire collection of folk-art Christmas décor.

materials

  • Wood blocks, 2 inches square (Woodworks Ltd. Wood Square Block, 2", $1.50, craftparts.com)

  • Foam sheets, 3 millimeters thick (Darice Foam Sheet, 3 mm, 12" by 18", in Black, $5.50, amazon.com)

  • Superglue gel (Gorilla Super Glue Gel XL, $7.99, amazon.com)

  • Ruler

  • Heat-erase or disappearing-ink fabric pen

  • Plaid linen fabric, cut to size that will cover your table, or tablecloth, and/or linen napkins (B&J Fabrics Linen Pin Check Fabric #711316172, in Natural, $27 a yd., bandjfabrics.com; Hudson Grace linen napkins, in Rust, Asphalt, Goldenrod, and Flame, $21 each, hudsongracesf.com)

  • Large foam sheets or paper towels

  • Transparent or opaque textile paint, in two contrasting colors (Profab Transparent Textile Paint, in Red 35 and White 01, $2.89 for 3 oz., prochemicalanddye.com; Profab Opaque Textile Paint, in Red 35 and Indigo 403, $3.68 for 3 oz., prochemicalanddye.com)

  • Paper plates

  • Sponge

  • Clothing iron

steps

  1. Trace one side of a wood block onto three-millimeter foam. Cut out foam square, then cut in half diagonally. Glue one of the resulting triangles onto one side of wood block to make stamp, as shown in illustrations A and B. Use remaining triangle to make a second stamp. Let dry completely.

    amish star table linens illustrations A and B
  2. On a firm surface, using ruler and fabric pen, mark fabric to help keep stamp at a right angle while printing. (Test pen on a small area first.) Draw a horizontal line two inches from edge of fabric, then add parallel lines every four inches above it, and perpendicular lines crossing them every four inches; you can also simply mark dots at the intervals. (Once you have a few prints going, they'll become their own guide.) Remove fabric; line work surface with large foam sheets or a few even layers of paper towels. Lay fabric back on top.

  3. Put a small amount of one color of textile paint on a plate. (Use transparent textile paint for light-colored fabrics, and opaque textile paint for dark ones. We used transparent for our tablecloth, and opaque for our napkins.)

  4. Using sponge, dab a small amount of paint evenly onto stamp, and press evenly onto fabric. (Test stamp on a scrap of fabric first.) Repeat, rotating stamp, to form star pattern, as shown in illustration C, and create a single star or row of stars (skip center triangles for now). Let dry completely.

    amish star table linens illustration C
  5. Put a small amount of other-color paint on a clean plate. Dab a small amount of paint onto a clean stamp with sponge, and complete star pattern as shown in illustration C. Let dry completely. Iron over paint to make it wash-fast, per paint manufacturer's instructions. If using fabric, finish raw edges as desired.

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