Play Date & Yo-Yo Tutorial

11 06 2008

Yesterday several members of our Quilter’s Anonymous group went to Bobbie’s house for a play date.  The purpose was for people to learn how to make the Blocks I showed in my June 6 post.  By the way, I was wrong (see Guy I can occasionally admit I’m wrong) none of Bethany Reynolds’ books had a square four patch using the Stack N’ Whack Method.  The square in her book was made from triangle units. 

Since I had already played with the four patch units last week, I decided to play with the triangle units similar to those in the “Stack N’ Whackier Quilts” book.  I stacked my four layers just as Bethany describes in her books, but at that point I stopped following any direction.  Rather than cutting squares and cutting them into quarters diagonally, I used by Omni Grid Quarter Square ruler.  It looks like this –

(I had never played with the triangle rulers until I took a class from Debbie Caffrey.  Both this ruler and the half square ruler are great fun.  I noticed when I went to the Dritz web page to find a picture of the ruler they now have a pdf file called Tips and Techniques for Cutting Geometric Shapes it has directions on using the triangle rulers.)

I measured my repeat and this time it was 17″ and then measured the height on my ruler to determine the best use of the fabric.  I ended up getting four rows (half the width of the fabric) which resulted in 16 blocks.  The finished size of my block was 7″.  I can see now why the finished blocks in Bethany’s books are smaller.  You start to loose the kaleidoscope effect when the blocks get bigger.  Anyway, these are my blocks

I think they are too busy, so I have a plan to calm them down.  Would by believe that small striped border is part of the plan and so are these.

I’m not telling what the plan is at the moment, but I’ll show you when it gets further along.  Since I was showing Yo-yos, I thought I’d give a little tutorial on the Clover Quick Yo-yo maker.  The original sizes have been out for over a year.  There are now four sizes in the circles, two sizes for hearts and two sizes for flowers.  The one I’m using in the tutorial is the Large round one and it makes finished yo-yos of about 1.8 inches.

This picture shows the two parts of the yo-yo maker and the fabric I’m using to make the yo-yos.  The fabric goes face down in the “bowl” portion of the device and the two pieces snap together with the fabric between them.







This picture shows the device put together with the fabric between the pieces.  There are five lines on the pice you can see and they correspond with five notches that protrude from the edge of the other piece.







Trim the fabric to slightly less than 1/4″ of an inch all the way around.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.








This picture shows the other side of the yo-yo maker.  You will need a strong thread.  I used hand quilting thread.








Thread your needle and tie a knot in one end of the thread.








Choose a slot next to one of the five notches/lines to start stitching.  Put your needle down through one side of a slot








(This picture just shows the needle coming through to the back of the yo-yo maker.)








and finsh the stitch by going back through the other side of the slot.








Hold the fabric down with your thumb as you continue stitching through each slot.








This picture shows stitching all the way around the yo-yo maker.  When you get to your starting point take another stitch in the first slot you stitched, being careful not to pierce your knot.  Don’t cut the thread yet!







Push the center disk and fabric out of the bowl shaped piece by pressing your finger through the hole.








Loosen the stitches and remove the disc from the fabric.








This picture shows the fabric after removing the disc.








Pull up the thread to gather the yo-yo.








Continue to pull up the thread until it is tight.  Once the thread is tight stitch a knot to hold the thread.








Now you can manipulate the yo-yo to get it to lie flat and round.








I’ve made yo-yos with out this gadget so what are the advantages of using it?  It is not necessary to precut circles, the gathers are even so you always get a nice even yo-yo and you can easily keep them all the same size.  Besides, I love gadgets.

After the tutorial, only 15 more yo-yos to go.




10 responses

12 06 2008

Thank you for posting this! I’ve been wanting to know just how this little gadget works. I think I’ll buy one next time I run across it in a quilt shop.

14 06 2008
Sarah Stevens

Yes, I agree with Randi. Thanks for the lesson. Since I am a gadget junkie too, perhaps I will add this to my arsenal even though I’m not a big fan of the “H” word stuff.

29 03 2009
Another Non-Fat Cupcake « Welcome to

[…] my yo-yos using the Clover yo-yo maker.  I have already posted a tutorial on using the yo-yo maker here so I won’t cover that […]

21 08 2012
Jessica Nichols

Hi Sonya,
I’m Jessica Nichols, and I’m the editor of I wanted to let you know that we featured this tutorial on FaveQuilts. You can see the feature here: If you could please let me know if it’s alright that we used a photo and linked, that would be great! Just shoot me an e-mail when you get the chance 🙂

22 10 2012
Margie Stanton

I inherited a bizillion already made yo-yo’s many years ago and could never decide what to do with them. I understand they were made by a lady who was in a mental institution, probably 60 plus years ago. Some are already attached to each other and she may have started to make a bedspread. It is an unfinished project that I hope to complete one of these days.

22 10 2012

Thanks for the yo-yo but do you have a pic of the full quilt when its finished?
whatdo you do to fill in the holes.

28 10 2012
Margie Stanton

Debora, I would think you don’t fill in the holes and let your white/colored sheets or blanket show through the holes. Yes, I would love to see a finished bedspread too.

1 05 2013

Great tutorial. Thank You

21 02 2015

so um why do you need a template to sew a running stitch approx 1/4-3/8″ from the edge and then pull and tie off? seems that too much “perfection” takes away the fun from being homespun. 😦

5 09 2015

It isn’t particularly necessary to have a template to sew 1/4 to 3/8″ away. The yo-yo templates make it possible to make the yo-yos very quickly with a consistent size. Obviously yo-yos were made for years without a template. However, I made over 200 yo-yos in just a couple evening with these templates.

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