Yo-Yo Pillow

Yo-Yo Pillow

Signature Yo-yos Pillow.jpg

The final installment in my pillow series is this fun Yo-Yo Pillow. Yo-yos and pillows made from yo-yos are nothing new but it's something I've not seen done for awhile and there may be lots of new sewers out there that don't know how to make them.

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Yo-yos are hand stitched from circles of fabric. I used a 6'' diameter circle to make mine but you can use whatever size you'd like. The smaller the starting circle, the smaller your finished yo-yo will be. They shrink considerably once stitched up and my finished yo-yos measured around 2-1/2'' across.

Yo-Yo Pillow

Materials needed to make an 18'' square finished pillow

  • For front foundation and backing: Two 18-1/2'' squares for 1/4'' seams Lapped Zipper Back or two 19'' squares for 1/2'' seams Hidden Zipper back
  • For yo-yos: Sixty-four 6'' diameter fabric circles
  • One 14'' invisible zipper
  • Aleene's No-Sew Fabric Glue
  • One package 1/4'' -wide Dritz Wash Away Wonder Tape
  • Zipper foot attachment
  • Needle and thread
  • Embroidery thread and needle
  • Marking tool and ruler
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Knot the end of a length of thread. Hiding starting knot on the wrong side of the fabric, turn circle edge 1/4'' under to wrong side while hand basting a running stitch 1/8'' from edge. Leave thread in needle and do not knot end when basting stitch reaches the starting knot. 

Pull loose thread end to gather, forming a yo-yo. The gathered edge will be pulled to the center. 

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Flatten the yo-yo, centering the gathered closure. Secure thread with a double knot and hide thread inside the yo-yo. Make a total of 64.

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There's a few ways you can connect your yo-yos for a pillow top. One way would be to stitch the yo-yos together with tiny stitches along the edges at four points like a compass then attach the connected circles to the pillow top. 

Another way would be to blanket stitch the yo-yos to the pillow foundation (leaving the appropriate 1/4''-1/2'' seam allowance around the edges of the foundation for pillow assembly.

I chose a middle road and "X" stitched my yo-yos directly to the foundation at four points. 

Signature pillow assembly.jpg

Since I only had an 18-1/2'' square piece of Art Gallery Fabrics Apricot Sunrise Smooth Denim I needed to take care not to stitch my yo-yos in the 1/4'' seam allowance area. I used the 1/4'' mark on my Omnigrid ruler as a guide. 

Since my yo-yos aren't perfectly sized and I wasn't sure if the amount made would fit my pillow foundation I wanted to have all the yo-yos in place before I started sewing. To keep my yo-yos in place without pinning, I put a dab of Aleene's No-Sew Fabric Glue on the back of each yo-yo and worked from the outside edges of the foundation in toward the center.

Signature pillow assembly 1.jpg

Once all in place and working on a flat surface, I hand stitched the yo-yos to the foundation with 3-ply strands of Aurifloss embroidery thread. Tip: Leave the side of the yo-yo nearest the foundation raw edge unstitched until after pillow is assembled. By leaving these sides free, the edge yo-yos can be folded in toward the center of the pillow durning assembly and stay free of the seam allowance area.

yo-yo Signature fabrics.jpg

Stitch at four points and secure on back with double knots. 

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Assemble the pillow using either my Lapped Zipper Back or Hidden Zipper tutorials.

I finished my pillow with a lapped zipper back in Signature fabrics Extempore Gala canvas.

Lapped Back Zipper.jpg

 

After the pillow has been assembled, go back and finish hand stitching the edge yo-yos to the pillow. Insert an 18'' square pillow form.

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Hand stitching yo-yos is a great take along pastime and perfect for lazy summer days of relaxing, mindless sewing on the go or just sitting at home. 

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I hope you enjoyed these pillow projects. I've still more projects to post here before the Signature Look Book is published so come back and visit real soon for more summer sewing ideas. 

Ruching Rose Pillow

Ruching Rose Pillow

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It seems that texture is the latest thing in home decor. If you step into any home department in your favorite store there's beautiful pillows with loads of character. I know I want to buy them all but after awhile that gets pretty pricey. Why not make your own decorator pillows at a fraction of the cost!

Ruching Rose Pillow 1.jpg

As I was coming up with project ideas to show off my new Art Gallery Fabrics Signature fabrics collection I wanted to off course show off the prints but also show you new ways to use fabric. 

Art Gallery Fabrics produces some of the finest quality quilting cotton and garment fabrics on the market. Their knit material is buttery soft and of thick weight that it can be used in more than just garment sewing. 

My Signature collection has three knit prints and for the Ruching Rose pillow I used two of them. Extempore Fest is the large floral background and Lacey Cosmos is used for the ruched flower. 

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Make a Ruching Rose Pillow

You can customize the size of your pillow by adding 1" to the finished dimensions of your pillow form. Example: If you want a 20" square finished pillow, cut two 21" squares for front foundation and backing.

Note: The material list is based on a 16'' finished pillow.

Materials

  • 16" pillow form
  • 1/2 yard knit for background
  • 1/4 yard knit for rose cut into (4) 2'' x Width of Fabric strips for rose
  • Needle and matching thread
  • One package 1/4'' -wide Dritz Wash Away Wonder Tape
  • (1) 12'' - 14'' invisible zipper
  • Zigzag and zipper foot attachments
Ruching Rose-03.jpg

Join the (4) 2'' -wide strips into one long strip. Pace ends right sides together at right angles and stitch on the diagonal as shown. Trim seam allowance to 1/4''. Trim dog ears. Press seams open to reduce bulk.

Ruching Rose-01.jpg

Fold the long strip in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and press to crease. Unfold and then refold the raw edges wrong sides together toward the center. Press. 

Knot the end of a long length of matching thread. Hand sew a basting stitch in a zigzag design down the length of the long strip, loosely gathering the strip as you sew for ruching. 

Tip: Use binding clips to hold the folded fabric while you stitch. If you reach the end of the thread but need to continue ruching, gather the strip as desired before knotting off the thread on the raw edge side of the strip. Continue with a new length of thread in the same manner. 

Note: For my pillow I only used about 3-1/2 strips out of the 4 strips. If you're making a larger pillow the 4 strips will make a larger rose.

Ruching Rose-02.jpg

Fold a 17'' square of fabric into quarters to find the center of the square. Press to crease. Cut a 12'' length of Dritz Wonder Tape. Turn one short end of the ruching strip under 1/4''.

Adhere the tape to the raw edge seam side of the ruching strip, holding the turned end in place under the tape. Remove paper backing.

Starting at the creased intersection, adhere the ruching strip to the pillow front, spiraling it around the center to form a rose. Tip: I let the previous row of petals slightly overlap the subsequent rows to give more of a 3-D effect to the flower. 

Note: Working on a flat surface, rotate the strip around the center while keeping the raw edge seam side down and the ruching flat and evenly spaced. Add more 12'' lengths of tape as needed to continue making the rose. 

Turn the end of the ruching under, tapering the end under the proceeding spiral to finish the rose. 

Starting on the outside ending point, sew down the rose with a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine to secure it to the pillow front. Spiral around as you sew, ending in the center of the rose.

See my Hidden Zipper tutorial for finishing your pillow with an invisible zipper. 

Ruching Rose Pillow 2.jpg