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How to Make a Yo-Yo Quilt

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About Yo Yo Quilts
How to Make a Yo Yo Quilt

Yo Yo Quilt Displayed on a bed

Photo © Denice Marriette

What Is a Yo Yo Quilt?

Yo Yos are little rosettes made by gathering the edges of fabric circles. Yo yos are typically hand sewn side by side into rows when they are used to make a quilt, but they also perfect for 3-dimensional applique.

Yo yo quilts were very popular in the 1930s and 1940s and we see lots of lovely examples sewn with fabrics from those eras. Some were structured, with yo yos arranged to form a pattern, but many yo yo quilts were quite scrappy.

It's common to see yo yo quilts with no batting or backing -- more like coverlets than quilts. Some yo yos are attached with a short seam, but others are sewn more closely to fill gaps and making the circles appear more mounded, like the quilt shown on this page.

Yo yos are sometimes attached to a large piece of fabric, which can then be treated just like any other quilt top. The layers of that type of quilt are usually tied, not quilted.

Other Uses for Yo Yos

  • Create yo yos in an assortment of colors and sizes and applique them to your quilt

  • Attach yo yos to a square or rectangular piece of backing fabric and make a throw pillow

  • Sew to a backpack, purse or other tote

  • Make tiny yo yos for a doll bed coverlet

The quilt above is courtesy Denice Mariette. View her quilts and other items on eBay. Denise's user name is mardyboy.

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