How to Make Square Yo-Yos to Make a Comforter

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Hand-craft square yo-yos with fabric scraps, a needle and thread.
Hand-craft square yo-yos with fabric scraps, a needle and thread. (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

The yo-yo quilt was a favorite with thrifty home sewers during the first half of the 20th century. A yo-yo, usually round, is hand-stitched from a circle of scrap fabric and combined with many more yo-yos to form a bed covering or comforter. You can also make square, oval and heart-shaped yo-yos and hand-sew them together into a comforting coverlet that carries the timeless qualities of thrift, ingenuity and charm.

Things You'll Need

  • Ruler
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Fabric pencil
  • Scrap cotton fabrics
  • Needle, size 10
  • Gray thread

Measure and draw a 5-inch square on a piece of cardboard, then cut it out with scissors. This is the template for your square yo-yos.

Trace around the template with a fabric pencil onto a fabric scrap, then cut out the fabric square.

Thread your needle with 24 inches of thread and hold the fabric square in front of you, with the wrong side of the fabric facing you.

Fold in the top edge of the fabric 1/4 inch and secure it in place with a hand stitch. Continue folding in 1/4 inch of the fabric around the entire perimeter of the square, making hand stitches near the raw fabric edge that measure 1/4 inch in length.

Pull the thread to gather the stitches, creating a decorative circle with the fabric. Knot the thread to complete one yo-yo, then pull the fabric gently to restore the square form of the fabric.

Make 100 of these yo-yos with your fabric scraps, then sew them together into rows using small hand stitches at the corners to create a comforter.

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