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Cornucopia Placemats and Napkins

Weave a fall-themed set with these 8-shaft overshot placemats and napkins.

Handwoven Editors Oct 25, 2023 - 4 min read

Cornucopia Placemats and Napkins Primary Image

Anita Thompson's Cornucopia Placemats and Napkins can be woven on one warp . Photo by Joe Coca

Editor's note: You only have to warp once to weave these four lined placemats and four matching napkins with an inlay detail. Continue reading to learn more about the designer's approach to developing this beautiful fall-themed set and get your pdf download of the pattern below. ~Susan

Notes from Designer Anita Thompson

I am fascinated by the multitude of designs that can be produced with 8-shaft overshot on opposites. (See Madelyn van der Hoogt's book, in Resources, for a great explanation of this structure.) The design in these placemats and napkins is loosely based on a 1770 German manuscript by a weaver named George Matthias Statler. I took a portion of the pattern and used it as a profile draft, making adjustments for float length. Many more pattern variations could be made using different tie-ups with the same threading and treadling.

I am also interested in color interactions within this structure. Most often, the overshot warp and tabby weft are a single color, with any color variations occurring in the pattern weft. For a change, I used three different colors in the warp and tabby weft and made the pattern weft a single color.

The placemats are woven with overshot patterning throughout and lined with plain-weave fabric woven on the same warp, for a thick mat that protects as well as decorates the table. The napkins are woven on the same warp, but the overshot pattern is inlaid only at the corners. The napkin hemstitching was inspired by a Weavers of Western Mass guild presentation given by Lisa Green. Her clear instructions made it look easy, and once you get going it really is. The same technique can be found in Virginia West's *Finishing Touches for the Handweaver (see Resources).

I was happy with the finished pieces, and I look forward to playing with more drafts, tie-ups, and colors, excited by all this wonderful weave structure has in store.


van der Hoogt, Madelyn. “8-shaft Overshot on Opposites.” The Complete Book of Drafting for Handweavers. Coupeville, Washington: Shuttle Craft Books, 1993, pp. 45–49.

West, Virginia M. “Hemstitching on Four Sides.” Finishing Touches for the Handweaver. Loveland, Colorado: Interweave Press, 1988, pp. 22–23

Project at a Glance & Download


STRUCTURE: Overshot on opposites, in-laid overshot on opposites, and plain weave.

EQUIPMENT: 8-shaft loom, 19" weaving width; 12-dent reed; 2 shuttles; 4 bobbins; 2 small netting or stick shuttles for inlay on napkins; temple (recommended); tapestry needles for hemstitching and working in inlaid overshot ends.

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