Thursday, October 13, 2011

Vintage Yo Yo Pillows

I've mentioned before that I am a member of my local quilt guild, The Lincoln Quilters Guild.  My husband, Jerry, is also a member.    And it wasn't just , "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."  He REALLY quilts!   Some days we need to arm wrestle to see who gets dibs on the new Janome QC.

Last Monday night, Jerry won a guild mini raffle prize.   His fifty cent winning ticket won him four (yes, FOUR) vintage pillows.  Three are made with fabric yo yo's, and the fourth is a worn (much-loved by someone) little blue basket block pillow, hand quilted.

I wish we knew the history of these interesting pillows.  My favorite (and the one with the best workmanship), is the one with the bright yellow cotton background.  My best guess is that both cotton yo yo pillows were made in the 1930s.  There are some bed coverings of that era made entirely of yo yo's stitched together, row after row. 

The satin yo yo pillow may have been made in the 1940s.  It has also seen better days, but I love the bright colors, the satiny texture, and the light purple satin background fabric.  The center of each yo yo "flower" was tied with yarn.  I imagine some teenage girl hugging that pillow back in the day.

I used tiny yo yo's to make a vintage-inspired doll quilt that was the subject of a previous blog post.

For an excellent tutorial on how to make a fabric yo yo, check out fabric designer Heather Bailey's blog post:   To see how yo yo's are made using a yo yo maker notion, check out Sew Take A Hike's blog.  She's planning to make 1008 yo yo's, and she keeps a running tally on her blog!

Have you ever used yo yo's in a sewing or quilting project?      



LeAnn aka pasqueflower



  1. Great blog, the yo-yo pillows are awesome

  2. LOVE the yellow one. That is so cool!

  3. I've never made yo-yos before, but they are definitely on my to-do list now! Thanks for the inspiration and the link to the tutorials! :)

  4. I'm not really a sewer, but your post has made me take more notice of yo-yos.