Shall we call 2016 the year of the napkin? You would think that I'd had enough of cross stitching onto small squares of fabric this year, but no, it's still a lovely thing to do.
These are for Christmas and Boxing Day, for special family meals. Then they will be washed and packed away, ready to bring out next year. Isn't unpacking boxes of Christmas decorations one of the nicest things? Full of treasures you love and haven't seen for eleven months, waiting to be handled and displayed once again.
I really enjoyed deciding what to sew on each one. The robin was an obvious choice and I quite liked making the pattern on a piece of graph paper, trying to turn an organic shape into a series of squares.
Likewise the parcel wrapped in brown paper and the Christmas pudding.
The tree, snowflake and mittens are from the pattern for Alicia Paulson's Winterwoods sampler (which I think might still be one of my favourite things that I've made, ever).
I deliberately didn't iron these napkins. I like the way linen looks when it's freshly washed and softly crinkled.
I can't wait to use them this Christmas. I am already looking forward to setting the table on Christmas Day, making it look pretty and festive with a white cloth and lots of greenery and candles. Of course we all know that it only stays perfect for about five minutes before it is covered in opened crackers, paper hats, spilt gravy and dollops of cranberry jelly, but it's still something I enjoy doing.
But before that I need to: write and post cards, finish buying and making gifts, wrap gifts, buy a tree, decorate the tree, decorate the house...oh, you know, not much.
Thank you ever so much for your lovely comments about Molly. She is doing great. It's hard work but she's worth it and making big improvements in behaviour every day, and coming out of her shell more too.