Yo-yos are one of the most versatile craft projects; these simple little circles can be used to make yo-yo quilts, purses, jackets, and jewelry, as well as decorating scrapbook pages and cards. A yo-yo quilt can become a cherished heirloom, and making yo-yo quilts is an unintimidating and inexpensive introduction to quilt-making, as well.
For your quilt, you will need only fabric, a needle, and thread. Yo-yo quilts can be assembled from fabric especially purchased for the project, from scraps from other projects, or from worn favorite garments (to create a memory quilt). When choosing fabrics, it is a good idea to select fabrics that require the same laundry care, unless you plan to dry-clean the yo-yo quilt.
To create the yo-yos, start with a circle template about twice the desired size of the finished yo-yos, plus ¼-inch. You can cut a template from cardboard, and jar lids and plastic container lids also make great templates. Trace the template onto the back of the fabric with a pencil, and cut out the circles.
Next, mark a line ¼" from the edge of the circle; fold the edges toward the wrong side of the fabric and finger-press the fold line. Starting from the wrong side of the fabric, stitch a large running stitch (basting stitch) around the circle, making sure the edge is folded down. Gather the thread tightly, and press the yo-yos flat.
At this point, you have several choices in making your yo-yo quilt. You can stitch the yo-yos together in a straight grid, leaving spaces between the rows, or you can set them in a honeycomb design, with no spaces. Either of these yo-yo quilt options may also be attached to a backing fabric (like a bed sheet), layered with batting and a back layer, and tied.
Now that you've mastered making a yo-yo quilt, stitch up some extra yo-yos and attach them to pillow forms to match your new quilt. Add a few yo-yos as a border for window treatments, or hot-glue a few to picture frames or a tissue box cover to coordinate bedroom accessories.
As a next challenge, use your new skills to design special patterned yo-yo quilts, like flags or flowers. Making yo-yo quilts can be a lot of fun, only limited by your own imagination!