In honor of September being National Sewing Month, I thought I would share one of my favorite embellishments. A yo-yo is a gathered circle. The yo-yo has been around for generations. For awhile they were seen as old fashioned. But with the release of Magical Fabric Yo-yos by Nancey Zieman and Donna Fenske, they have been give a newer, more contemporary life.
When I was pregnant, and could not reach my sewing machine, I sewed a mountain of yo-yos in hopes of creating a dresser scarf for the babies room. I still have the yo-yos, and no scarf. These were made the old fashioned way. Now, yo-yos can be manipulated into a multitude of shapes using the Clover Yo-yo Maker. This little plastic gadget makes yo-yos even easier. They come in various sizes and shapes and cost between $5 and $9. Follow the directions and you can have a lap full of yo-yos in no time.
Here are a few of my favorite embellishment ideas for the yo-yo.
1. Teach a child to embellish. Last year I taught my daughter to embellish a small art quilt. One of her favorites was the yo-yo. They make a great sun and flowers.
2. Create a fringe for a quilted wall hanging. After the last local quilt show I decided we needed a small wall hanging to hold our ribbons. O.K. we don’t have many ribbons, but let’s think positive. I hand sewed yo-yos to the bottom edge of the bound quilt. see photo
3. Decorate a small pouch or purse. This a traditional use for yo-yos. Use a flower shaped yo-yo, or a round one, to decorate the corner of a purse. Add leaves and a steam for added interest. These same flowers can be glued to a pen back and used as a broach. see photo
4. Make a snowman. Winter is close at hand. I can almost hear the sewing machines making winter inspired quilts as I type. Take 3 yo-yos in consecutive sizes. Place them smallest to largest. Sew little stick arms and you have a snowman.
5. Embellish clothing. Yo-yos are perfect for adding texture and interest to sweaters, jackets, and aprons.
6. Jewelry. Recently I have noticed a trend in making fabric based necklaces and cuff bracelets. Necklaces are usually on a ribbon and fabric base. Sewing together a variegated formation of yo-yos, in popular modern fabrics, would make a cool fashion accessory.
Cuff bracelets are super easy. They are basically rectangles of quilted fabric with a button or snap closure. A tiny collection of yo-yos, beads and buttons would be lovely.
7. Embellish a notebook or journal cover. Just hand sew on the cover. see photo
8. Sew a Christmas Garland. Sew a string of Yo-yos together to decorate your tree. Check out the new issue of Quilting Arts Magazine Gifts for directions and pictures.
Go ahead and get started. Make a pile of yo-yos today and start embellishing. They are fun, easy, and timeless.