Make a fun quilt that can be old fashioned or funky, you decide! In homespuns, ginghams and vintage prints, yo-yos can look country or shabby-chic. In fun novelty prints or bold colors, they can create a mod spotty-dotty look. No special equipment needed!* Shown below is a table runner made with a gradient rainbow pattern of yo-yos.

*No offense to those who use yo-yo makers but I simply see no point to them. Sewing yo-yos by hand is so simple, I can't imagine it being made any easier!

Step 1: What You'll Need


Pen for tracing-air-soluble markers work very well, but a regular pen will work on everything but the lightest fabrics.

Template (An old CD works great or a cardboard circle cut to your choice of diameters depending on the size yo-yo you want to make.)

Fabric-yo-yos are a great way to use up scraps!

Thread-regular cotton or cotton blend thread to match fabrics or mono filament for invisible stitches

Needle-for hand sewing

Great tutorial, I'm making a bolero jacket out of yo-yo's at the moment, will post when finished. I agree with using the double thread as I'm quite heavy handed and managed to snap some of my first ones. Yo-yo making is very relaxing and easy to do while on a long car journey or sat in-front of the telly. Thanks
This is an awesome tutorial. I will be teaching my girl scouts this and I do like that it is without a yo-yo maker which is part of the GS mantra! Thank you. <br />
oops! lining them up.
Nice tutorial. You use a better method for linging them up to join them than I have used in the past. Thanks. However, your Step 7 is extactly why I DO use the yo-yo tool that you dismiss as "having no point" in your first paragraph. It keeps them much more uniform than freehand sewing.
I have A LOT of drapery and upholstery samples from a fellow freecycler. Do you think that the fabric will work for the yoyo's? The samples are a decent size but some are pretty bulky.
These would certainly work for larger yo-yos. I wouldn't try to make them any smaller then a CD-pattern yo-yo like I make in this instructable. For working with bulkier fabric, my suggestion is to take larger stitches so that it is not as bunched in the center. The hole in the middle will turn out a little larger than shown here. I think upholstery fabric yo-yos would look great on a purse or decorative pillow cover!
my grandmother makes these, she had given me a mat made this way.
You have a very nice tutorial for yo yos, but I wonder why you would not suggest the yo yo makers? If you precut fabrics with circle cutter (4 to 10 layers depending on the wear of blade) you can make a yo yo in less than 5 minutes
Good question! I have a couple of reasons for not really liking the yo-yo makers. Being an extremely frugal person, I think they're a gimmicky waste of money. And I am able to sew a yo-yo edge MUCH faster without them. I think they slow the process down since they force you to bring the needle all the way through the fabric for each and every stitch. I can accordion my fabric edge and get 10-12 stitches on the needle at one time in seconds! The yo-yo makers come with instructions (so no real need for an instructable) and I think making them without a plastic gadget is a more versatile skill to know and to pass on to others. Just like with the yo-yo makers, you can make flower, oval and heart shaped yo-yos just by cutting the fabric out that shape and stitching around the edge in the same fashion as for a circle. One last thing I like about hand-making them is that I like to do a LOT more stitches than the yo-yo makers allow for so that my gathers are smaller and my yo-yos have more puckers. I like that look but I would say if someone liked the larger gathers of the yo-yo maker yo-yos or they were having trouble getting their yo-yos to come out anywhere near the same size as each other then go ahead and spend the $5-$6.
It takes me forever to fold over and stitch, so the yo yo makers really help me. I was just curious. Did you have the remark about the yo yo makers at the top, if so, I didn't notice it and would have answered my question. By the way I love the way you placed your colors.
Thanks, I think the table runner turned out even better than I planned and it won a 4th place ribbon at the county fair! Yup, it was there, but I added an asterisk so maybe more people will notice it. Thanks for your comments!
Neat! I've seen lots of neat old yo-yo quilts, but had no idea what they were called or how easy they were to make. They seem quite versatile. Do you usually iron the finished yo-yos out, or just flatten with your fingers?
No ironing, just squash them flat with your fingers. A few fabrics (like silky polyesters) may want to balloon out but once you attach them to others, they'll get the hint and flatten. :)

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