Yo-yo quilts are some of my favorites! It’s a simple sewing technique that rose in popularity from 1920’s to 1950’s. During the Great Depression it was a simple way for ladies to be resourceful with very little in the way of fabric. They would use round lids (coffee can, canning rims, etc.) of various sizes and trace circles on to scraps of material or sometimes even create from gently used pieces of clothing. The small circles were very portable and could easily be taken anywhere.
I have also heard the yo-yo referred to as a puff or a Marguerite. The technique dates back to before the Victorian era. They are never quilted but tacked together by hand. They can be referred to as a quilt but are considered a coverlet. Some wonderful patterns can be achieved by using different colors. Ladies would place a solid color sheet or blanket on the bed and lay the yo-yo quilt on top. The solid color would show through giving a lacy, three-dimensional effect.
When I attach my yo-yo’s, I begin by knotting the end of my threaded needle once. I poke my needle through the edge of the yo-yo so it’s between the folds of the material. I pull the needle out along the edge where I will attach to another yo-yo. I pull just taught enough to pop the small knot of the thread through to the inside of the yo-yo to hide it. I put the face side of two yo-yo’s together and whipstitch them, tie a small knot, and then run my needle through one of the yo-yo’s, about an inch, pull through and trim with scissors. This is how I hide the little end threads and make a cleaner looking back to my quilt.
The yo-yo quilt I’m currently creating has been a complete joy! I’ve been creating it in my idle moments. I would like to get it done sooner than later, but there is no deadline. I think I have enough yo-yo’s to complete it, so I’m now in the tacking phase. I like all colors bright, soft, or neutral. The material used is a compilation of my years of collecting, and my mother’s, grandmother’s, and mother-in-law’s scraps from former projects. I’m not exactly sure what my next yo-yo project will be, but I am sure it will be just as fun!
My deepest thanks to Connie for sharing this. I am looking forward to giving this a try. Hope you have fun!