How to Make Prayer Table Cloths for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Atrium
Easy sewing project to outfit your church's Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Atrium with prayer table cloths in all six liturgical colors. Beginner-level project with instructions for any sized table up to 20" x 34". Fabric can be ordered from St. Tabitha's Workshop (link below), and remaining materials can be found at any store that carries fabric. Finished product will help coordinate your Atrium with the liturgical color of the current season, and is machine washable!
- Fabric: CGS Prayer Table Fabric (there are three patterns available)
- White thread
- Optional: 3 yards backing fabric (this works well)
- Sewing machine
- Sewing pins/clips
- Turning tool (chop stick, knitting needle, etc)
Prepare the fabric
1. Machine wash warm or cool with phosphate-free detergent on a gentle or delicate cycle. Fabric may have a funny feel ("inky") when it arrives, and washing it solves that.
2. Machine dry on a low heat setting. Iron with a hot iron on the reverse side.
Cut out the fabric
1. Cut off the white selvedge from around the printed fabric. Cut the yard in half where the two colors/patterns meet.
2. Measure your table depth, then add 6/8 inches (3/8 seam allowance on each side).
3. Cut the fabric to the width determined in step 1 above, to have a rectangular cloth that will hang over the edge of the table on two sides. If you want a square cloth that covers only the top of the table with no fabric hanging over the sides, cut the fabric length to be the same as the width.
4. Lay the rectangle of printed fabric on the white backing fabric with right side down, and use it as a pattern to cut out a matching rectangle of white. To make double-sided cloths, match two colors together instead of each color to a white backing.
Make the Cloths
1. Pin the two layers of cloth around the edge with right sides together.
2. Sew around the rectangle with a 3/8" seam allowance, leaving a turning hole a few inches wide in the center of one of the short ends. Backstitch at the beginning and end.
3. Clip the fabric at the corners, perpendicular to the point of the stitches. Do not cut any stitches.
4. Turn the cloth right side out. Use a turning tool (chopstick, knitting needle, etc) to gently poke out the corners to make them nice, and run the tool along the seams on the inside to push out all the fabric and make a straight rectangle.
5. Iron flat. Ensure the turning hole is ironed straight to match the rest of the seam on that side.
6. Topstitch around the edge to secure the turning hole and give structure to the cloth. Consider using two rows of stitches, using a decorative stitch, or attaching trim.
7. Bring to your Atrium and enjoy the fruit of your labor!