Heirloom Thanksgiving Bread Cloth (free tutorial)

It is not Thanksgiving at my house without some fresh homemade rolls.   If my son does not eat them all, they are pretty tasty for little turkey-cranberry sandwiches. I have a very pretty bread cloth that my mother in law gave me many years ago.  It makes me think of her when I use it and we lost her last year.  Everyone needs a little bread cloth to make Thanksgiving special and perhaps it will become an family tradition.  Here is how to make an heirloom Thanksgiving bread cloth for your hot, buttered rolls (homemade or not!). Use the fancy stitches on your sewing machine to sew the heirloom inspired hem. Then embroider one of my designs in fall colors for to match your Thanksgiving decor.  This would be a great gift too!

Materials needed:

  • 18″ x 18″ square of heavy cotton fabric (1/2 yd of linen or a heavy white kona works well)
  • Size 100/16 Wing needle (for those fancy heirloom stitches on your sewing machine)
  • White thread
  • Embroidery floss in Fall Colors
  • Free breadcloth pattern below


  1. First make the bread cloth.
  2. Cut out the Thanksgiving bread cloth using my FREE Pattern. It also has my free embroidery designs too!
  3. Iron and starch the cloth really well.  You may want to put down something on your ironing board for the overspray as it gets pretty crunchy with a lot of layers.bread cloth
  4.  Fold over 1/2″ all the way around the cloth and iron.bread cloth
  5. You will need to snip the inner corners to get the fabric to fold.bread cloth
  6. For the pointy corners, fold in the corner.bread cloth
  7. Then fold each side to form a miter.bread cloth lori miller designs
  8. After you have ironed,I like to hand sew the inner corners so that there are no raw edges. The rest of the sides get caught by the fancy heirloom stitching. Just fold each edge under and take some tiny whip stitches to hold them down. At the point in the corner, I just make about 3 or 4 satin stitches and it looks just fine.

Stitch the fancy hem

  1. Put your wing needle in your sewing machine.  I just used regular white all purpose thread.P1090318
  2. Choose an heirloom fancy stitch. Here are couple to try.  The ones I used were 701 and 711 on my Bernina 630. Just find a stitch on your machine that looks like one of these.P1090322
  3. Stitch about 1/2″ away from the edge so that the fancy stitch catches the raw edge of the hem underneath. Hint: If the fabric is puckering, add a little stitch and tear stabilizer underneath it.
  4. Stitch all the way around. This will take some time so be patient, but you will be so happy because it looks awesome. Now your bread cloth is ready for embroidery.
  5. I have included two FREE embroidery designs to try on the pattern, a little pumpkin and a fall tree.


  6. Here is the pumpkin.P1090326
  7. Using three strands of embroidery floss, embroider the pumkin and leaves with a stem stitch.stem-stitch-clean-and-sized-600x276
  8. Here is a diagram of a stem stitch.

  9. For the little tree, I made the trunk with a chain stitch (just a bunch of lazy daisies strung together) and the leaves are just lazy daisy stitch.lazy-daisy-stitch-clean-and-sized-600x276
  10. Now your bread cloth is all ready to place in your basket and fill with rolls or bread for Thanksgiving.  These would also be great with a holly design for christmas gifts.  Happy Stitching and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

4 thoughts on “Heirloom Thanksgiving Bread Cloth (free tutorial)

  1. Thanks for the inspiration and directions for the breadcloth, Lori. I am going to try making this with a bread or muffin motif. Will let you know how it goes. Sally

  2. Thank you very much. I have been thinking about making one of these for Thanksgiving, I can carry it easily to my family’s home and keep our rolls warm.

  3. Pingback: 25 Free Thanksgiving Quilt Patterns & Sewing Projects - Jacquelynne Steves

  4. Great little project! Thank you for sharing it can be used for any holiday or daily on your dinner table

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