Works For Me: Embroidered Tablecloth

WfmwheaderOne of the faithful readers here is Elizabeth, a high school friend of mine.  And I use the phrase "high school friend" loosely; a more accurate account would be "she was a senior when I was a 7th grader and I thought she was sophisticated and smart and pretty while I had a bad perm and braces."  But then the world aligned just right so that we grew up to live in the same city, and we are actually friends, and (saints be praised!) I no longer have a bad perm.

And this whole story has basically no point at all, except to tell you that today’s WFMW tip comes straight from Elizabeth’s grandmother, and I wanted you to know about whom I was speaking.  So techincally speaking, this doesn’t work for me, it works for her, but it’s such a cute idea I had to tell you anyway.

Where in the heck was I?

Ah yes, the tablecloth.

Elizabeth’s grandmother kept a white tablecloth on her dining room table.  Whenever any guest would come over, she handed them a pen and had them sign the table cloth.  Then every so often, she would go over their signature with a needle and thread, embroidering all her guest’s signatures right on to her table cloth.  Is that the most fun keepsake you’ve ever heard of? 

And hand-embroidering over a signature is NOT hard.  It’s a simple up-and-down with the needle.  If you can play connect the dots, you can teach yourself to embroider.  This also helps. 

If you have a fun idea you’d like to share with Bloggityville, leave your link below.  WFMW guidelines can be found here.  Remember, link directly to your WFMW post, not to the front page of your blog.

Oh, and don’t forget to check this week–there’s some really fun stuff over there!

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83 thoughts on “Works For Me: Embroidered Tablecloth

  1. Mandy Houk says:

    Oh my goodness, I love this idea! I most likely wouldn’t have it on the table every day, but I most certainly will do it on holidays. Maybe we could have each guest write the holiday and year, too, just to remember who was with us each Christmas and Thanksgiving and Easter …
    Thanks, Shannon, via Elizabeth!

  2. Michelle at Scribbit says:

    Okay for the first time in a decade I’m sitting here at the right time on Tuesday and I’m thinking, “Hey, I’ll actually get to be first–or nearly first–this week” followed by “Well, while I’m waiting for her to post I’ll just mosey around a few of these archived posts.
    D’oh! Twenty minutes later I’m number 16. You sucked me in.

  3. "Amanda" says:

    This would be an even better idea if my white tablecloth didn’t become permanently stained with koolaid and peanut butter. Maybe a wall hanging. Or something on the ceiling?

  4. Karen@FamilyBriefs says:

    This is such a neat idea! I’m afraid I’m up to my armpits in everything else, that I’d just have a tablecloth with a bunch of signatures on it πŸ™‚ Well, maybe when I’m a grandmother (or at least have everyone out of diapers πŸ™‚

  5. margalit says:

    I read about this for someone’s Thanksgiving table cloth, where the family members would write what they were thankful for that particular year, grandma would embroider it, and then add to it year by year. I think that’s SUCH a lovely idea. But I have to admit, I’ve been working on the same dumb tablecloth for about 12 years now. It takes FOREVER to do a whole tablecloth.

  6. Karen says:

    My friends did something similar for me at Jack’s baby shower. One of them purchased a handmade antique baby quilt and had each of the guests sign their name somewhere on the squares. Then one of the hostesses embroidered over each signature.
    It is something I will treasure for a lifetime.

  7. madridmom says:

    Hi. No time to post a WFMW today since I have to get ready for my son’s 12th bday party today … just wanted to comment on your idea. It made me think of some friends of ours that used to invite people to spend Christmas with their family. They would take an ornament (the plain spherical kind in solid colors) and write the name of the person in glue and silver or gold glitter. (this was before all the cool glitter and metalic marker pens they have now). Every year they would put all those ornaments on their tree and remember the guests they had over the years.

  8. Sasha says:

    That’s a pretty cool idea. I have a friend who has a table cloth she takes out for Thanksgiving and has everyone who comes for dinner sign and leave a message every year.

  9. warillever says:

    I love the tablecloth idea. Unfortunately, I am not very good with a needle, plus I’m not sure that I want to add another “chore” to m life right now.
    Plus it would be really depressing if the cloth was empty except for the immediate family, my mom, and my sister. I would definitely have to invite people over more often.

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks, Shannon- I’ll be impossible for weeks, now that I am sophisticated! Maybe my mom will be able to get a photo of the table cloth. It’s been in use for over 30 years and is still going strong:-)

  11. Barbara says:

    I just posted my first post, too. I was hoping 7:00 am Eastern would be early in the list. Next time I will add my link on a middle-of-the-night trip to the bathroom. Thanks for bringing these great ideas together.

  12. Kathleen Marie says:

    That is a wonderful idea. I went to a wedding shower once and someone made a quilt for the bride-to-be and we had to embroider our name. I did not have a clue and you are so right. It would have been much easier if I had signed it first and then played “connect the dots”.
    Thanks for a wonderful keepsake idea!

  13. Scratchin' the Surface says:

    What a precious idea! I’m going to do this the next time my sewing girlfriends come over, and the next time we have dinner guests too. I love it! BTW, I bought the latest Good Housekeeping just to see your blog in print! You all looked great – good for you! xoxo

  14. Michelle-This One's for the Girls says:

    Shannon– get thy camera and show us pictures!! This is the 2nd fantastic idea you’ve had where I was wishing I could see a photo!!
    I really don’t know what you do with all your spare time– what with raising 4 children and blogging 15 hours a week. πŸ™‚

  15. Pink Jeweled Cat says:

    This is an absolute WONDERFUL idea. I might just think about doing that. I haven’t read through ALL of the WFMW listings, but wow, the few I did read through were really great ideas. Ta for now dahling!

  16. phyllis@imabima says:

    i love this idea. i once read something similar where the family traced children’s hands each year at thanksgiving or other holiday and then signed inside their hands. a little more embroidery (to do the hands) but what a cool way to track growth…you do run out of room faster, though, especially with lots of kids!

  17. pippi says:

    As a teenager, I had a pair of jeans that I did this with. It was one of my most treasured posessions. All of my highshcool friends, people I met at church conferences, etc signed. I embroidered over each til the jeans were encrusted with embroidery and almost too heavy to wear. Hadn’t thought of translating it into adulthood.

  18. Rachel Anne says:

    Oops, the first link I left (145) just linked to my blog and not the page. SORRY!!!!!!! Can you delete it so I don’t look like the idiot I am?
    I KNOW I would never actually embroider a tablecloth, but there are some cool fabric pens that guests could use (remember puff paint??) Just a thought.

  19. Amy says:

    I did something similar for Thanksgiving, using a tablecloth to record what we are thankful for, only we’ve used fabric pens instead of embroidery.

  20. Mrs. Pear says:

    I LOVE this! I have to do it!
    I am working on an old fashioned friendship quilt to be the quilt for our guest room, and our overnight guests are asked to pick a square and we then embroider their name on it! Very fun!

  21. Bree says:

    This is such a cute idea… what a way to honor your guests. Thanks for hosting this wonderful wednesday of ideas! I will be printing this idea out and saving in my “things to try” file.

  22. warillever says:

    Have I mentioned how cool WFMW is? Where else can you find tips for visiting Los Vegas, plus resources for teaching your children Bible passages?
    And the best part is, I find a lot of really cool blogs.

  23. Anita says:

    I like this idea. Also a friend of mine uses a guest book. You know the kind you see at weddings and stuff. She has everyone sign in when they come for a visit. You are to put your name, address, and the date you visited.

  24. Cris says:

    I did a version of this in high school. I had all my friends sign one of my uniform shirts and I stitched over their names. The shirts were a short sleeve button down pale yellow. It came out really cool. If I ever find a picture and figure out how to post it, I will. But I like the tablecloth idea. Nice!

  25. Gego says:

    These make GREAT gifts for teachers! It need not be a tablecloth, a set of 8 napkins will do. My gift came from 8 moms many years ago and I still have them. What a treasure to remember those children in that class and those special moms. They aren’t perfect and that is what makes them so much more special. It was about the time these wonderful women took out of their time to remember me. I also received a covered brick with a Razorback iron on on the top. I don’t know if Coach and Mrs. Horton read this blog, but that was one of my all time favorite gifts.

  26. Deborah says:

    Wonderful ideas! Such a super way to make daily life a little easier by sharing what we know with one another. Thanks!

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