Eucalyptus Leaf Napkins

Finished Chairs

Finished Chairs

Some of you may remember the dining room chairs that I finally finished about four years ago. The Eucalyptus pattern – which is similar to a frieze I stencilled above the picture rail – is a nod to my husband The Australian, and I have been intending for some time to work some napkins echoing the pattern.

In fact, I found some yellow cotton napkins and bought them some time ago, but didn’t get around to doing the embroidery until now.

I only got around to it now, because my back went into spasm a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been alternating stretches with sitting still in hopes that it would recover. The blanket is too heavy, and I can’t sit upright at a frame, so I’ve been casting around for embroidery to do in the hand….

Double Branch Motif

Double Branch Motif

Single Branch Motif

Single Branch Motif

Since there were four napkins, I’ve done two in a double branch motif, and two in a single branch motif, which I sketched out freehand, and then traced and transferred with prick and pounce.

The singles took an evening each, and I think the doubles took two – instagrammers will have seen them in progress.

Eucalyptus Napkins

Eucalyptus Napkins

What hasn’t worked at all is the photography. The napkins are a lovely bright, warm, golden-yellow, and I’ve not managed to get a true colour from either my smart phone or my camera.

But I assure you, they look delightful, and very appropriate in the dining room, echoing the golden yellow of the walls below the frieze, as they echo the pattern above it…


  1. Lady Fi says:

    Oo – I love those patterns! So stylish.

  2. Dima says:

    It’s a lovely pattern. I love that shade of green.

  3. Penny Baugh says:

    Oh, they’re fabulous! I would be afraid to have anyone use them *smile*! Hope your back gets better soon.

  4. Sue Jones says:

    Yellows (and to a lesser extent purples) are terribly difficult to catch on digital cameras. I did a couple of placemats in a lovely, soft, buttery yellow and every photo session was a struggle to fool the camera into seeing what was there. (Not to mention the silk primroses from a couple of years back, with subtler yellows.) I’ve got plans to do two more of the placemats soon, and I know it will be another battle of wills between me and the camera’s sensor…. I can sometimes improve things a little with my editing software, but rarely to my complete satisfaction.

    I agree with Dima – lovely grey-greens.

  5. Cynthia says:

    I hope you feel better soon. I had back spasms several years ago and it was no picnic. The embroidery is lovely, how nice to have napkins to complement the chairs. I just moved to Colorado from California where we had those blasted eucalyptus trees all over the place. They are really a nuisance, crowding out the natives and exploding whenever there is a fire.

  6. The napkins are lovely. My camera refuses to accurately photograph blue fabrics and yarn …….

  7. Carolyn says:

    I love eucalyptus trees. They are native to my area and they come in countless varieties. They have a natural oil that can be extracted and this is great for cleaning and when added to a wool wash makes you woollens soft. It also makes a great inhaler when you have a cold. When they shed their bark each variety shows a different colour. All kinds of birds and animals live in their branches and the noise the leaves makes when the wind blows is wonderful. I don’t like having to sweep up the fallen leaves as they stick to the path. See what you naplins have brought forth? I’m sure your husband will think of all those things and more when he looks at them.

  8. Alex Hall says:

    They are lovely! My back had the tendency to spasm but I’ve been going to an osteopath for the last 4 years for acupuncture and the results have been phenomenal. It really does work, not just to stop the spasming and pain but to prevent it coming back. Touch wood, I’ve not had a do with my back for about 3 years now. Highly recommended!

  9. Jillayne says:

    I love your chairs – the style of them is beautiful, and the seat covers are perfect. i do love a single leaf design… it has such elegance. I’ve never tried the “prick and pounce” method for transferring a design for embroidery so will have to investigate that one.

  10. Yes, I remember the chairs. I think I said that they were too good to sit on, or some such! The napkins echo the chairs wonderfully. I do hope you are a bit better now, back-wise! I am pretty much recovered from my three-month long chronic back pain, thanks to prescription painkillers, physio appointments and exercises. However, getting back to the (pathetic!) level of fitness I was pre-back pain, is proving more difficult. It’s a long haul. Protect your back at all costs. I no longer bend over – I kneel on the floor! xCathy

  11. Lovely. It’s not many people that have matching dining chairs and napkins.

  12. Wendy says:

    So sorry to hear you’re in pain. I hope it goes away quickly. I’ve never seen the chairs before, they are fab! The embroidered napkins are lovely, such beautiful embroidery

  13. Anita says:

    I remember these chairs..beautiful napkins . Sorry to hear about your back spasms. Get well soon Rachel!

  14. Karen says:

    dinner chez Rachel will be a riot of beautiful embroidery!!

  15. Terrie says:

    Beautiful work done. I love eucalyptus as you know I like to print with.