Making Pieced Scrap Fabric Yo Yos

I have been seeing yo yos made from two or more pieces of fabric sewn together prior to cutting out the base circle and wanted to try something similar. Here are the results. Initially I took a 3" half square triangle block left over from a quilting project and made a very small yo yo. Then I used some of the scraps of fabric from my current quilting project which is comprised of snowball blocks interspersed with friendship stars.


While working on this project I noted the slightly more difficult task of getting the gathered yo yo to lie flat due to the inclusion of seams in the circles cut from the patchwork block that I started with. Additionally, although I am pleased with the results, I will be trying this method again in future with larger pieces of fabric to allow for much larger yo yos.

The ones that I have made here will potentially be used to decorate a corner block on the completed quilt. I am thinking of attaching them by sewing a button to the center and then onto the quilt.

Yield: 5 yo yos


  • fabric scraps
  • yo yo templates: 60, 70 (for the half square triangle block) , 80, 90, and 110mm
  • pen
  • wooden school ruler
  • scissors
  • seam pressing tool, optional
  • needle
  • thread
  • lightweight fusible interfacing
  • steam iron
  • press cloth, I actually used an old birdseye diaper
  • sewing machine


    Half Square Triangle Quilt Block Yo Yo

    1. Using a 90mm cardboard yo yo template, trace around the circle with a pen or fabric marking pen.
    2. Cut it out.
    3. Turn under a 1/4 inch hem as you go and sew a running stitch around the circle. Pull up both threads to create the yo yo. Click here to read a longer tutorial on Making Fabric Yo Yos.
    4. You are done with this one. See the size comparison of the finished yo yo to the original template.

    Scrap Fabric Yo Yo

    1. Next I chose some of the scraps from my current quilt and began sewing them together to create a larger block from which to cut the five yo yos. I did this step with only some attention to care in piecing and cutting. Some of the pieces were left over square blocks and others were rather even, long rectangles. But in general I cut to fit and just kept adding pieces until I had a block large enough. Sometimes I used a ruler to do a perfunctory squaring up of a piece of fabric. Note: Don't forget to press the seams towards the darker fabric piece when possible. You can use a seam pressing tool or your finger.
    2. I simply kept checking the size of the expanding block by laying out the size templates I wanted to use and adding more fabric as needed.
    3. I then pressed the pieced block to get it as flat as possible.
    4. Trace the circle templates on the right side of your fabric.
    5. I decided that because of the many seams, I wanted to add a piece of lightweight fusible interfacing to the back of the circles of fabric. I rough cut the interfacing and following the directions on the packaging attached it the the back of the cut apart circles.
    6. Then I cut them out.
    7. Sew up your pieced fabric yo yos as per the instructions referred to earlier. You may have to futz a bit with them to gather as tightly as possible and to have the gathers well adjusted.
    8. Finally I played around with the stacks that I want to use for the quilt embellishment. You can of course use these little yo yos for any project you like, including wreaths, jewelry, and of course a yo yo quilt. Enjoy.
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