March has arrived and I’ve already set the kitchen table with a “new” Irish shamrock cloth in anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day.
I’m actually the 12th Keeper of the Cloth to incorporate and style the Irish linen into a holiday table top.
My blogger friend, Linda of Life and Linda, bestowed me with the honor for 2022. See her Keeper of the Shamrock Cloth post for the origin and complete history of the tradition that began in 2010. There’s also a listing and pictures of all the previous posts as the shamrock cloth passed from one blogger to the next.
Six of those ladies are among a wonderful group of stylists who I regularly join in seasonal and holiday tablescape blog hops. Although I’ve never met any in person, they are all part of a supportive and talented community of acquaintances with shared interests. Sadly, we lost two fellow bloggers and bright lights recently; dear Paula of Virginia Sweet Pea, and Michelle of The Unpainted Hinge.
Lovely Linda sent me the Irish shamrock cloth — and it’s traveling leprechaun companion — all the way across the country from California to Pittsburgh. I’ve waited months for my opportunity to style the St. Patrick’s Day table, and hope you enjoy the results.
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Clovers & Celtic Knots
Having admired seeing the Irish shamrock cloth grace other blogger’s tabletops, I couldn’t wait to see how it would fit on my round kitchen table.
First, I laid a white translucent tablecloth over the clear glass. The square Irish shamrock cloth sits on top, with it’s four corners just reaching the edge of the 60″ round table. A trio of dark green, shamrock-shape placemats (Kohl’s years ago) are arranged like a runner down the middle.
In addition to clusters of three-leaf clovers, each corner of the cloth is decorated with a large Celtic knot. Stylized graphical representations of mostly basket-weave knots, they are widely used for decorative purposes in Ireland. Celtic knots are particularly well-known ornamentation of Christian monuments and manuscripts across Ireland. Most are endless knots — with no beginning or end — representing unity and eternal spiritual life.
I positioned the Irish shamrock cloth so that none of the four place settings would cover the decorative corners.
Ireland Pursuit Styling
As this year’s lucky Keeper of the Cloth, I was able to restyle a holiday setting using tableware and decorations I already have.
There are no other more appropriate and lovely dishes for a St Patrick’s Day tablescape than my Ireland Pursuit (by Kelcraft for Noritake) pattern.
Around the rims are dark green bands and animal medallions. Different hunt and pastoral scenes are depicted in the center of each plate or bowl.
See my entire collection of dishes and serving pieces in, Ireland Pursuit St. Patrick’s Day Table.
For this setting, I’ve stacked a soup bowl on the dinner plate. A small dessert bowl is placed in the upper left of each place setting.
I’ll be serving a St. Patrick’s Day meal of traditional Irish Stout Stew with Herbed Dumplings and Soda Bread. Bee sure to check back next week so see how I blend elements of three recipes for the flavorful stew.
Copper twig flatware (Pier 1 online, years ago) flanks each of the four place settings, including a large soup spoon. To the upper right, are leprechaun gold-colored glasses (Goodwill) and vintage, etched pilsners (for serving dark Guinness Stout) that had belonged to my dear in-laws.
Lucky Clover Folded Napkins
Laying in each soup bowl is a napkin folded in the shape of a three-leaf clover. Centered in each napkin is one of the leprechaun’s precious gold coins.
Last year, I adapted the three-leaf from the classic shamrock napkin fold. See the six-step, fully-illustrated Lucky 3 Leaf Clover Napkin Fold Tutorial to make your own.
It’s one of 20 different Napkin Folds for All Seasons, Holidays & Occasions I’ve incorporated into many table settings these last few years.
Although I love the fabric used in the tutorial, the large 20″ napkins overwhelmed the bowls. I also thought the green and white buffalo print clashed with the lovely Irish shamrock cloth pattern. Plus, the smaller 12″ napkins matched the forest green color of the shamrock-shaped placemats.
Folding a napkin in the shape of a clover or shamrock is an easy and inexpensive way to style a St. Patrick’s Day setting — without the need for seasonal dishes, glasses or linens.
Have Leprechaun, Will Travel
Back in 2014, Mary of Home is Where the Boat Is, discovered an impish leprechaun had joined her St. Patrick’s Picnic on the Porch. She generously sent him along as a guardian and companion to the Irish shamrock cloth.
He happily led a jig with my own two resident leprechauns (Byers’ Choice Kindles) in this year’s St. Patrick’s Day centerpiece.
Centered on the table, the trio of leprechauns are gathered on one of the shamrock-shape place mats. Scattered around the centerpiece are several white candles and more gold coins.
If you like wee green folk, you might also enjoy seeing my Quick and Easy Lucky Leprechaun Centerpiece.
Facing the opposite side of the table is a darling Irish lad (Lizzie collectible figure), gathering a bouquet of shamrocks — innocently unware of the mischievous leprechauns behind him. Laddie was a thoughtful gift I received many years ago from my sister A. Flanking him are small gold pots full of shimmering clover (Michaels, awhile back).
Overhead, I’ve decorated the chandelier with garlands of greenery, and hung shamrock-shaped ornaments — something I do every March.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my latest St. Patrick’s Day table styling.
But or casual March mornings, I set the Irish shamrock cloth table for just hubby and I to share a cup of coffee and maybe a scone.
I picked these two large mugs up many moons ago at Marshall’s. Aren’t they fun?
Over the years, I’ve been discouraged by the lack of St. Patrick’s Day tableware and linens stocked in stores. With the pandemic and Pier 1 closed, I haven’t even bothered to look. I’m lucky to have my decades-old Ireland Pursuit set (retired), which are actually my everyday dishes.
Do you have any St. Patrick’s Day theme tableware or linens? I do have my own authentic Irish-made runner that I frequently use to set a seasonal table. See it in, Ireland Pursuit St. Patrick’s Day Table.
More Holiday Inspiration
Past Keepers of the Cloth (Mary, Sarah, Rita, Jenna and Linda) will join me and eight others on March 10th for When Irish Eyes are Smiling. Included in the blog hop are table settings, vignettes, crafts and foods. Bee sure to check out all 14 posts, including my Easy, Hearty Irish Stew for St. Patrick’s Day.
It’s the second time I’ll be hosting a St. Patrick’s Day theme party. Last year, Linda shared her styling with the Irish shamrock cloth and leprechaun. See it, along with 13 others in St. Patrick’s Day Table Setting Ideas.
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