Add a Vintage Touch to Your Kitchen with a Yo-Yo Hotpad

eHow Crafts Blog

In the 1930s and 40s, it was popular to make entire quilts from a series of hand-sewn yo-yos. Those quilts are not only beautiful, but insanely huge accomplishments.  Today, I’m pleased as pie to have sewn nine yo-yos on a hot pad. It’s a smaller accomplishment, but it looks just like Granny’s!

If you’ve never sewn a yo-yo before, read on.  It’s easy and you can make them anywhere, without a sewing machine and without any fancy tools at all.

How To Make a Fabric Yo-Yo:

Step 1:

First, you’ll want to make a circle template out of card stock. Just remember that the finished yo-yo will measure roughly half the diameter of your template, minus 1/4 inch from seam allowance.  If the math doesn’t seem to add up, you’re right: it would be 1/2 inch less from seam allowance — were it not for the hole in the middle of the yo-yo, which adds back about 1/4 inch.

Step 2:

Trace your template on the wrong side of fabric and cut out the fabric circle(s).

Step 3:

Cut a piece of thread long enough to go around the circle twice, plus an extra 10 inches. Now fold the thread in half, and thread your needle so that there’s a loop at one end and two tails at the other end.

Folding back a scant 1/4 inch at the circle’s edge, send the needle through until the loop appears. Send the needle back through from the other side — close to the loop — then pull your needle through it.  This forms your “knot.”

Step 4:

Folding back fabric as you go, make even stitches that are about 1 centimeter in length.

(If you make smaller stitches, the hole in the middle of the yo-yo will be bigger.)  When you get to the end, overlap by one or more stitches.

Step 5:

To form the yo-you, gently pull on the thread tails until all the fabric has gathered at the center and make a few extra stitches to secure (this will create the hole in the middle). Tie a knot and hide the thread tails inside the yo-yo. Finished!

Yo-yos are great for making quilts, coverlets, and for embellishing pillow tops, tote bags, clothing, hair accessories, soft toys and kitchen accessories — you name it, a yo-yo can improve it.

To make your own “Granny’s Yo-Yo Hotpad,” make nine yo-yos in coordinating fabrics and pin them onto a hot pad — store bought or handmade. Using the blind stitch, sew each yo-yo to the hot pad and hide the thread tails inside the yo-yos.  That’s it!  Your hot dishes will never feel more cushioned and your table will thank you!

Photo credits: Amy Sinibaldi

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