This post contains affiliate links for which I receive compensation

What is a yo-yo quilt?

by Mary Fuller
(Le Roy, NY, USA)

Mary writes...

I remember my mother-in-law many years ago making some kind of quilt or coverlet.

She cut out round pieces of fabric, she would then baste around the whole circle and then pull the thread, so that there would be a little opening in the middle.

She would make several of these and then she sewed them all together to make a quilt or coverlet.

Could you please help me out with this?

What would you call this type of quilting?

Julie replies...

This type of quilt is called a 'yo-yo quilt'.

There's no batting and not quilting required.

In the old days, the circles were all cut with a template. Folding the edge over and the stitching was eyeballed.

But wouldn't you know it! There's now a pretty slick tool for making yo-yo's by Clover. It makes the whole process a lot easier!

It's two pieces of shaped plastic that fit together with evenly spaced holes for the stitches.

Yo-yo's are frequently used as embellishments on quilts and clothing, so there are many shapes to choose from—flowers, shamrocks, ovals, butterflies...

Click here to learn about the other shapes and sizes of yo-yo makers.

Learn How to Make a Yo-Yo

Below is a short video that illustrates how this helpful tool is used.

A few things to note:
  1. Use a stronger thread. You'll be pulling the thread to gather up your stitches. It needs to be strong enough not to break from the stress.

  2. There's no template to trace around. Just use the tool and trim with your scissors. A big time saver!

  3. This project is portable with a bit of planning. If you have a pile of cut squares handy, pac a small plastic bag with your squares, needle, thread and thimble, the tool and a pair of scissors. You've now got something to keep you busy while you wait at the doctor's office or while you wait to pick up the kids from school.

Once you have enough made, the yo yo's are whip stitched together by hand at the edges. That's what makes the lacy look.

For oodles of inspiration for a yo-yo quilt, check out the pages on the The Quilt Index for this pattern.

Mary, I hope this has helped. Thank you for your question.


Julie Baird

Comments for What is a yo-yo quilt?

Click here to add your own comments

by: Julie

You're quite welcome, Mary!

~ Julie Baird

Yo Yo Quilt
by: Mary Fuller

Thank you so much for all the info on this type of quilt. That tool is sure handy. My mother-in-law didn't have that tool years ago.

Thank you again!

Click here to add your own comments

Return to GQP's Quilting Forum.

This article was printed from

Print Article

Follow Us