Make an entire quilt of yo-yos or add just a few to your project for a touch of texture.

What Are Yo-Yos?

A yo-yo is a circle that has the edge turned under and secured with a running stitch. Yo-yos can be added to bags, quilts, wall art, and more. Because they are sewn by hand, yo-yos are great portable sewing projects.

Cut a Circle to Make a Yo-Yo Template

The size of the circle you cut should be approximately twice the size of the circle you want to end up with. You can use anything to make a circle template. Trace around a dish or make a cardboard template.

How to Stitch a Yo-Yo

Fold under 1/4" of fabric. Thread a hand-sewing needle with sturdy, 100% cotton thread and knot the end of it. Take small, evenly spaced running stitches near the folded edge all the way around the circle. Use a running stitch around the edge of the yo-yo -- bigger stitches are better than smaller ones because they allow the fabric to gather a little more.

Tighten the Thread

End your stitching just next to the starting point; don't cut the thread. Gently pull the thread end to gather the folded edge until it forms a gathered circle. The right side of the fabric will develop soft pleats as you gather the edge. Take a small stitch to hold the gathers in place, then knot your fabric and cut off the thread end.


Finish the Yo-Yo

When you've completed stitching around the circle, gather it up tightly so there is small hole in the center with no raw edges showing. After gathering, take a backstitch over the knot so that it doesn't pull out. You can press the yo-yo with an iron or you flatten the yo-yo with your hand to give them some shape.

Sew Yo-yos Together

To join yo-yos, place them with gathered fronts together. Using matching thread, whipstitch them together for about 1/2". Make rows of joined yo-yos, then sew together the rows in the same way.