Saturday, August 31, 2013

Retro Yo-Yo Quilts

Here's what you can do with all those little bitty pieces of fabric you have left over from sewing projects.  It's a yo-yo quilt!  Yo-yo quilts became popular during the Great Depression, and I fell in love with them from the first time I saw a yo-yo quilt.  Making yo-yos are great because you can take the materials in a little baggy in your purse and sew no matter where you are--even in church (yes, it's true)!  You can make pillow covers, table runners, coasters, decoration for a guest towel...the possibilities are endless!

Quilts Can Represent a Lifetime

My throw may not look like much but it means a lot to me because each yo-yo represents an outfit or project I sewed for my family over the last twenty-five years.  My original inspiration came from a photo in Better Homes and Gardens (I think?).  This clipping is beat up cause it was kept in my idea notebook and referred to often.

Probably published in Better Homes and Gardens many moons ago.

Yo-yos Are Easy to Make

I just kept the quilt in a storage box and added onto it as I had more yo-yos and yo-yo squares completed.  I found the instructions for yo-yo quilting in an old craft book from the library, and I'm sorry to say I didn't keep the source info. on the book :(  I just made myself plenty of circle patterns out of old manila folders I planned on throwing out.  Then I would pin my pattern to leftover scraps of fabric and cut the material out.  This can be done assembly style (all the pinning and cutting done at once) so that the yo-yos are ready to be sewn.  Make them whatever size you want.  Put two yo-yos right sides together and sew a few stitches (whip stitch is fine) to attach them.  Use a thread that will not be too obvious.  I prefer quilting thread for this project because it is a lot stronger than regular thread.

source unknown

Resurgence in Yo-yo Crafts

Yo-yo quilting has become popular again and Hobby Lobby keeps instructions and durable circle patterns in the hand-sewing isle.  Instructions and ideas can be downloaded from their website as well.  This is a great beginning sewing activity for youngsters and my children have really enjoyed having something useful to do while watching television or waiting in the doctor's office.  

I hope you will try yo-yo quilting too.  I invite you to share ways you have used yo-yos in your crafting :)


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