Do you know how old the Yo Yo is? Amazingly, the little round disc most likely originated in China but was first described by the written word in Greece about 500 B.C. according to Valerie Oliver of Spintastics Toys.
Come forward about 1420 years when Mr. Duncan popularized the toy Yo Yo in America and you begin to see Yo Yo quilts popping up, mimicking the toy during it’s rise of popularity in the 1920’s-40’s.
Hundreds of little round pieces of cloth gathered into circles with a running stitch, look like Yo Yo’s.
The simplicity and portability of the materials helped this pattern rise to popularity when the idea was first conceived. Even today, Yo Yo Quilt making supplies can be tucked in a purse or pocket and pulled out while waiting in the car or for appointments, traveling or watching a movie.
When making a fabric Yo Yo, use a double threaded needle to gather the outer edge of the circle together. Turn under about 1/4″ of the outside edge right before you sew to prevent unraveling. Cinch the running stitches to make the Yo Yo and tie off by whipping your thread with the needle in the same place several times.
The cirlces are sewn together with a few hand whips on 4 edges.
Sew Yo Yo’s into manageable segments, according to your overall design.
This is a wonderful way to use up scraps, keep history alive, and create a unique sampler of fabrics.