I love my Clover Yo-yo makers. Such little things, so simple, so much like my childhood sewing cards but it has been the gateway to hours of crafting joy. Yo-yos have been around since the Great Depression at least. Like so many old things they have come back into vogue of late for being easy to do, cute, and portable. When I made my first one using the large round yo-yo maker I bought with that fateful coupon I distinctly recall looking down at it for a moment in wonder, recalling a line from my favorite film, Casablanca, “This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” I also made some undignified squealing noises of joy.
Since that day I have made hundreds of yo-yos of different shapes, sizes, and colors for many different projects which I hope to show here at Technicolor Lily Pond. I keep coming up with ideas for new projects too, sometimes even in my sleep; they have ingratiated themselves into every level of my consciousness since that first yo yo.
This is actually a variation on an idea I had years ago for beads and wire but I never completed. When I saw the green sparkly holiday fabric on sale and the ecru pre-quilted fabric in Jo-Ann’s one day I had a Eureka! moment of inspiration. Using the oval yo-yo maker, the large yo-yo maker, and brown and green fabric I made yo-yos between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I hand stitched each yo-yo down putting different green buttons in the centers. I used all my old beads and buttons as well as some new ones as “ornaments” on the tree. The binding is green grosgrain ribbon which I stitched down by hand as well. To cover up my lackluster corner mitering and add some extra holiday zing I stitched together some holly berries and leaf accents using extra green ovals and small red round yo-yos. I think in and of themselves the holly accents would be fun Christmas magnets, ornaments, and package decorations as well as accents for any Christmas quilt project. I used extra ribbon tippets on the back to make a sleeve for a balsa wood stick. Since the wall-hanging is pretty heavy it needs the extra support to hang straight and flat.
In the corner I embroidered my initials and the date in sparkly green floss. I also hand stitched down an adorable frog button I found as a signature of sorts. Since I think frogs go with pretty much everything I think I’m going to make that my signature move from now on. I think it adds an extra dose of cute.
This is the first of many yo-yo wall hangings I plan to make. In coming days I hope to post pictures of the spring one I finished a month plus ago. I still feel like the coolest kid in school for thinking of using pre-quilted fabric as a foundation rather than a traditional pieced and quilted foundation. Much as I love piecing, my lifestyle of recent months necessitates hand-quilting and sewing. There is something meditative and relaxing about hand sewing that I enjoy. Making and using yo-yos like this also gives me a feeling of being a part of history; knowing that the essence of yo-yo making hasn’t really changed in almost a century. Hopefully young humans will still be stitching these for fun and art in another century.