How to Make Prayer Table Cloths for CGS
Easy sewing project to outfit your church's Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Atrium with prayer table cloths in all six liturgical colors. Fabric can be ordered from Spoonflower. Finished product will help coordinate your Atrium with the liturgical color of the current season and is machine washable!
- Fabric: cotton fabric in the pattern of your choice (amount depends on the size of your prayer table)
- White thread
- Optional: yardage of backing fabric (this works well)
- Fabric scissors
- Sewing machine
- Sewing pins/clips
- Turning tool (chop stick, knitting needle, etc)
How much fabric do I need?
1. Measure the top of your prayer table, length and width. Decide if you want fabric hanging over the edge (see photo above), but consider making it look different than the altar table cloth. Add a seam allowance to all four sides (1/2" or 3/8" are good).
2. Go to Spoonflower (linked above), choose your pattern, and select a cotton. Basic cottons have a 42" width, so a wider cotton like Organic Cotton Sateen could work better for your table dimensions. Looking at the dimensions for a fat quarter and a yard of the cotton fabric, decide how much fabric you will need in each color. Order yardage in all 6 liturgical colors, or you could make two: one a "light" color (gold recommended) and one a "dark" color (red recommended).
3. Decide if you want 6 single-sided cloths, or 3 double-sided cloths. For single-sided cloths, a white muslin fabric is the most cost-effective backing to look for, or you could find a solid color fabric that matches each cloth (also inexpensive but you'll have more fabric left over).
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 yardage down to the size you need for the table, including the seam allowance.
2. To make double-sided cloths, match two colors together with right sides facing and pin (red & purple, green & blue, white & gold). For a single-sided cloth, match one color and the chosen backing right sides together, pin together, and cut out the backing to match the printed fabric.
Make the Cloths
1. Sew around the rectangle with your chosen seam allowance, leaving a turning hole a few inches wide in the center of one of the sides. Backstitch at the beginning and end so you don't stretch the stitches when turning it right side out.
2. Clip the fabric at the corners, perpendicular to the point of the stitches. Do not cut any stitches.
3. 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.
4. Iron flat. Ensure the turning hole is ironed straight to match the rest of the seam on that side.
5. 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!