Elizabeth’s Fabric Focus ~ Yo-Yos

on August 25 | in Products, Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 109 Comments

Every month Elizabeth from Oh, Fransson! shares a new project featuring one of our current fabric collections. You can see Elizabeth’s beautiful quilts, bags and other sewn items on her blog.   She has a knack for pairing just the right collection with an innovative project idea. Today’s Yo-Yo rosettes give a traditional hand sewing technique a modern feel. In case you’ve missed any of Elizabeth’s other fantastic free monthly tutorials, you can find them here:  July, June, May, April, March, February, January.  Elizabeth also has unique PDF patterns for sale in her Etsy shop.

From Elizabeth: Hand Sewing Month is a great time for projects using fabric yo-yo rosettes. They’re easy to make and look great made from Michele D’Amore’s Porcelina collection!

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Coverlets and other household items made by joining these rosettes were popular during the first half of the twentieth century. If you’ve never tried to make a yo-yo yourself, you might be surprised how easy it is! As a bonus, it’s a portable project that doesn’t require many supplies– perfect for commuters or relaxing with a good movie.

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This month’s PDF Pattern Download includes instructions for making yo-yo rosettes and using them in simple projects, including a brooch and a small pillow.

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For my pillow, I made yo-yo rosettes from Firefly Dot and Dot Mosaic. The pillow is backed with Butterflies on Cream. The pretty, muted colors in this collection are at home with both traditional and more contemporary decor.

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Show off your own yo-yo projects in the Sew,Mama,Sew! photo pool.

Comment in any post this week for a chance to win a SMS Deluxe Hand Sewing Kit, one of 4 $20 gift certificates to Sew,Mama,Sew!, or a Clover Rotary Cutter Gift Set!

Add your photos to the Hand Sewing pool.

(In case you missed it yesterday, learn about Iraqi Bundles of Love!)

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109 Responses to Elizabeth’s Fabric Focus ~ Yo-Yos

  1. Lauren says:

    I think this would look gorgeous in all neutrals. Grays and cream maybe?

  2. Jennifer says:

    I have been wanting to learn how to make yo-yo’s! Thanks

  3. Marie says:

    I am soo happy I came across this tutorial today! I have been wanting to try making some yo yo’s but have never found the inspiration before these easy instructions! I am going to make these pillows today they are adorable! Thanks so much 🙂

  4. Mary says:

    I love this!! Was looking for a project for a homeschooling fabric/fiber class I am doing for elementary students. I think this is it!

  5. Vicki says:

    Thanks for the wonderful tutorial. I love to make yoyos while I am riding as a passenger in the car. It is such a convenient craft, requiring so little in the way of supplies. I use a plastic lid (from oatmeal or cool whip) as my template. After I have a bunch cut out, I store them with a needle, spool of thread, and tiny scissors in a small cookie tin

  6. Arzella says:

    I love the pillow. I have just started making my yo yo’s so that I can make a lap quilt. I know it will be great. I saw a yoyo bedspread go for $1000.00 That is something.

  7. Laya says:

    I’m finding that my yos are not coming out perfectly circular or matching.

    I’ve even purchased the clover yo-yo makers and am frustrated to say that I am still having problems getting all yo-yos to be perfectly circular and matching.

    I’m using a brocade fabric so maybe it has something to do with the slipperiness of it or I’m not shaping them correctly.

    If you could give me any tips on why this could be happening I’d really appreciate it.

    Thanks so much in advance for your time,
    Laya fromAustralia

  8. Those pillows look nice, but not very comfortable.

  9. SewLindaAnn says:

    I love yo-yo’s and have a lovely bag of them that I sift thru from time to time. When I have a good selection I’d love to make a quilt.

  10. Anitha says:

    Thanks for the PDF file. I will surely try it… I really liked it …

  11. Connie says:

    Its nice to see these come back! I have loved yo-yo quilts since I saw my first “antique” one.

  12. Layla says:

    I love the brooches, I think those would be great for covering holes in a cardigan. Thanks for the tutorial!

  13. lea-ann says:

    This pillow is FAB-U-LOUS! I love it and can’t wait to make it!

  14. Amber W says:

    I love yo-yo’s. Thanks for the great project idea.

  15. Kathy says:

    Love the brooch. Would be great addition to teens wardrobe.

  16. Ilona says:

    What a great way to use these yo-yos! Great inspiration 🙂

  17. Kaye says:

    I love YoYo’s. Thanks for the great PDF’s. I already knew how to make YoYos, but it is great to have some new ideas on how to use them. I think I will be making some of the brooches soon.

  18. Jocelyn says:

    My mother in love taught me how to make yo-yo’s even before I ever started quilting. I love to make yo-yo’s!

  19. Cindy says:

    I have never tried to make yo-yo’s but this pillow has inspired me to give it a go. They are so adorable!

  20. Huimin says:

    Really nice pillow,must try it out!Thanks for the great tutorial!

  21. Lisa says:

    This is wonderful! I can’t wait to try it out with all my fabric scraps 😀

  22. Becky says:

    I love yo-yos!! Thanks!

  23. Ellen Pfitzner says:

    Love your Yo-yo pillow thanks for the tutorial. It’s so nice to see people making these again

  24. Mama Lusco says:

    I love yo-yos! Thanks for the great tutorial.

  25. Melissa Hubert says:

    Thanks for sharing! Love the project and I’m looking forward to trying it out.

  26. Miss C says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. I think a lot of people will get great use from it!

  27. Chris Stalnaker says:

    Thanks for this tutorial. I’m on my way to Alaska for 2 weeks to RV with my family and I think I’ll take some supplies to make some yo-yos!

  28. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve seen those yo-yo tools and, if I understand how they work correctly, I think they’re probably most useful for sewers who have a difficult time maintaining an even stitch length and keeping the size of the turned edge consistent. For me, just eyeing the whole thing is much faster but, if you’re someone who doesn’t like to work without marks and measures, one of those tools might prove very helpful.

  29. Kelli says:

    One of my best friends was asking me about yo-yos just the other day and I decided to surprise her with a yo-yo gift for her birthday next month…now I’ve got a great project in mind…Thanks Elizabeth and SMS!

  30. lahuitrefrite says:

    This reminded me of the yo-yo clown dolls someone gave my sister and I when we were children.

    I’m finally getting a beach break soon, and I’m so looking forward to digging into a few hand projects, like this one, to sustain me while I’m away. Hands always have to be busy, y’know? Sigh.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  31. Gerwerken says:

    I love this tutorial. Yo-yo’s are so cute, and have so many applications, but mine have never looked quite right. I am going to try to pull all the fabric up on to my needle to make sure the pleats are the same size. Perhaps that has been the problem.

  32. uta says:

    what a great work.

  33. Patti Tyrell says:

    I can’t wait to try these! What a great way to use up all those tiny little scraps that are too nice to toss!

  34. Lauren says:

    What do you think about using the Fabric Yo Yo tools that are sold at places like JoAnn’s?

  35. Shannon H says:

    So pretty! Thank you so much for sharing your directions! I’m a visual person and now I can make some!!

  36. Debbie says:

    I’ve never made yo-yos, but these seem like good projects.

  37. Mindy says:

    I love the butterfly button on the yo-yo!

  38. Aimee says:

    Cute project!

  39. Ramona says:

    I love the brooches. So simple but elegant.

  40. Angela says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! Great embellishment for so many things!

  41. Lisa says:

    I love Yo Yo’s and this is a perfect idea to use Yo Yo’s in but not have to make a whole lot of them…

  42. Jenny says:

    I just love yo-yos…really need to get to trying them myself. Thanks!

  43. Alana says:

    I have been trying to master yo-yos and this tutorial certainly helped me, and gave me great ideas – I just love that pillow!

  44. Sandra Chavez says:

    Wonderful ideas for using up all those smaller scraps of fabric or charms and making and embellishing beautiful and useful items. Thank you fo the wonderful article.

  45. Grace Wong says:

    I added this to my huge tutorial list!

  46. Kathleen C. says:

    I love hand work, though I haven’t been doing as much lately. I may make Elizabeth’s yo yos from reproduction fabrics in red prints to match my living room curtains and a strip pieced quilt.
    Thanks again for the lovely giveaway.
    Kathleen C.

  47. Adrianne says:

    Awesome tutorial, I’ve been wondering how to make those for a while! Thanks. Adrianne

  48. Dena says:

    I love your idea of using the Yo Yos to make a broach. Nice idea.

  49. Sarahe4e says:

    I love yo-yos, even making them. Right now I am making Christmas ornaments from them. All most all of the baby quilts have them.

  50. cassi says:

    thanks so much for the pattern — i’m excited to make these yo-yos!

  51. Gina says:

    I have yo-yo makers but am yet to make anything much with them! Love the cushion, it’s just beautiful.

  52. PenguitoSmile says:

    I love the creative use of Yo-yos! And it looks so pretty!

  53. Great new uses of those beautiful Rosettes!

  54. Junglewife says:

    Oh fun! I started my hexagon project just because I needed something easy to take along with me. This will have to be my next project!!!

  55. Lydia says:

    Thanks for the tutorial – I think I will add some as a finishing touch to the quilt I just finished.

    Have a great day!

  56. Jamie Keil says:

    I love the tutorial, and am inspired to make a pillow for christmas gift. Thanks.

  57. Marlene says:

    This reminds me a pillow my grandmother made, I always loved it, thanks for your instructions.

  58. Beth says:

    Another great idea from Elizabeth!

  59. Sara S. says:

    Wow. It amazes me that someone has enough patience to handstitch enough of these to make a pillow. I may do a few for embellishments, but I don’t think I have the patience to make more than a handful. Maybe my daughter will!

  60. Jennifer says:

    Oh dear, another gorgeous sewing project. There are so many things I’d like to sew. I have about six projects on the go right now, but I may have to put them aside to make one of these pillows – beautiful! I’m thinking some fall fabrics to grace the couch…

  61. Andi says:

    Elizabeth is always so clever! I wish I could be like her.

  62. Anne says:

    Oh do I love these yoyo’s.

  63. Michelle says:

    I’m declaring Elizabeth the Queen of Sewing Tutorials. She comes up with awesome ones every. single. time and they are among the most detailed and thorough I’ve found. I know how to do yo yos, and still, I enjoy looking at her tutorial and the great detailed photos. And I never started without a knot before, that’s a good idea. Love it, thanks!

  64. Nancy says:

    The fabrics in this collection are gorgeous!

  65. Julianne says:

    Beautiful pillow! And I love love love the fabric in the second photo!

  66. Bethany says:

    Love those yo-yos!

  67. Cynthia I says:

    Love this project. It very much inspires me to use the yo yo’s I made a few years back. Thanks for another great inpiration.

  68. Becca says:

    I have been attempting yo-yo’s for awhile now, and I could never get my edges to tuck under. After reading the tutorial, I realized that I wasn’t sewing through both layers of fabric… DUH! It was like I had never seen that part of a yo-yo tutorial before. Sometimes I wonder just where my brain goes. Thanks for the help.

  69. kriswithmany says:

    Those yo-yos are so pretty! I’ll have to try it.

  70. Dolores (DeeRoo) says:

    Oh, it is always so much fun to find a new “While you are waiting” project.
    The colors and patterns are beautiful!
    Thanks bunches!

  71. Julia M. in MI says:

    I love that butterfly print! Fun projects, too.

  72. sondra says:

    Love the pillow! Looks like a great project!

  73. I love this! I’m going to be re-doing my living room soon, and these are on my list!

  74. carol sulcoski says:

    Thanks for the instructions! I’ve often wondered how to make them…and looks like a good way to use up small amounts of fabric.

  75. Jennifer says:

    I always thought yo-yos were much harder to make. Thanks for making it seem so simple and making a gorgeous project. I know what I am doing with some of my scraps that match my living room!

  76. Autumn says:

    Yo’s yo’s are so cute…..I’ll have to try this project with my daughters.

  77. Pamela Smith says:

    I love Elizabeth’s tutorials and yo-yos are a lot of fun to make! I found one at a flea market more than 20 years ago and just love it. I look forward to using her tute!

  78. Candice says:

    A great use for yo-yo’s, and thank you for the instructions!

  79. brandi says:

    LOVE this! the colors are great!

  80. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks, everyone!

    The dark gray fabric on the pillow front is Kona charcoal.

  81. Kathy says:

    Yo-yo’s have really come into their own! They used to seem more “crafty” whereas this pillow is more elegant. Thanks for showing us things in a different way!

  82. Rochelle says:

    I’ve been admiring that fabric for a while. What a great project to use it for.

  83. Cami says:

    Let’s hear it for yo-yos! they are so fun and quick to make! They are the perfect take-along project.

  84. Christine says:

    I love yo yo’s …when I quilted, they went on the applique blocks in various places. Now that I’m knitting, they go on purses for decoration.

  85. Wendy says:

    I love how she has the yo-yos sewn in on the edge, very nice!

  86. Krystina says:

    Also, what did you use for that blue fabric behind the yo-yo’s?

  87. Krystina says:

    I’ve had my eye on that Porcelina fabric! Thanks for posting this project, its great to see the fabric used in something.

    And thanks to Elizabeth! Oh Fransson is one of my favorite sources for inspiration and tips!

  88. Mrs. JP says:

    I’ve been enjoying this month of hand stitching so much. And now I have Yo Yo instructions!! I saw these done once before and wanted to try them because it’s something I can cut lots of and sit and sew in my comfy chair. Many thanks

  89. Heather says:

    I just love yo-yo’s! I love sewing them and using them in all kinds of fun projects! These are great. Thanks for featuring them!

  90. Amy Hodge says:

    I swear that I am finally going to make one of these! It’s been on my list for ages….

  91. Helena says:

    Cute, cute too cute. Love the dots and butterflyies. 🙂

  92. jennsquared says:

    So pretty. Love the brooches!

  93. jm says:

    I would like to know the history of this gathered circle and the name Suffolk Puffs.

  94. Leah says:

    Very nice and I love the fabrics!

  95. Carla says:

    I have a ton of yo-yos and this is a great way to use them up. I have also added them to my daughter’s head bands to match her outfits. So many ideas for these little circles!

  96. Stacy says:

    Thanks for sharing!

  97. Natalie says:

    Very nice tutorial. Thank you!

  98. Natalie says:

    Making yo-yo rosettes are like meditation for me… I need to go cut some circles!

  99. Margie says:

    So cute ! I love that pillow. I have never made a yo yo but really want to.

  100. andrea says:

    I love making yo-yo’s .Sometimes they add just the perfect little detail to a project.

  101. Sharmila says:

    Thanks for the Oh Franson link, i have browsed the previous months’ tutoirals. There is a bundle of ideas for me now. Thank you!

  102. Norma says:

    love the yoyo pillow. I’ll be making some of these

  103. Amy says:

    Lovely! I have an antique yo-yo pillow that’s a source of many smiles.

  104. Need to Sew says:

    I have wanted to try yo yo’s for awhile but didn’t know what to do with them when I was done – thanks!

  105. Sandra says:

    One of my favorite memories is of Aunt Esther teaching me how to make Yo-Yo’s. She has a lovely quilt, many decades old, made from bits of leftover fabric made into Yo-Yo’s. Thanks for the waltz down memory lane and thanks for your blog.

  106. Beth says:

    Lovely ideas for the yo-yos!!!

  107. I have a bunch of yo-yo’s made up just waiting for me to do something with them. Thanks for giving me some ideas of how to use them!

  108. Kerneknop says:

    Yet another great pillow…

  109. Andi says:

    Yay! I’ve always wanted to learn how to make yo-yos! That pillow is gorgeous!

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