ITH Yo Yo Flowers

I have wanted to make something with Yo Yos since Sew Beautiful Magazine featured them in their July/August 2011 issue.  While there is a sewing machine attachment available that sews perfect circles, the $100 price tag was hard to justify.  So I went in search of some circles in my stash of embroidery files.

Souce information for designs:  For the circles, I used a button template from 8 Claws and a Paw.  The applique leaves were borrowed from the HangtoDry Frayed Flower.  The stem/leaves design is from Urban Threads (I copied the design 3 times and off-set it slightly to give it the scribbled look).  The butterfly is from the HangtoDry Flock of Butterflies and the frame is the  Vintage Luxe fame.  The fabric “buttons” are made using a circle applique, made like a patch.  The name is done in a TTF called Cinnamon Cakes.  The wipes case is a modified ITH design from YummyFactory.


If you don’t have similar design elements in your stash, not to worry! Our amazing Admin and digitizer Cassie, of East Coast Applique, has created a yo yo set for our Forum members.  Check out the “Free Designs” section to build your own yo yo design.  Thanks Cassie!

The yo yos on this baby set range in size from 1″ to  1.5″.  The fabric circle is cut about twice the size of the sewn circle.  I made a template for cutting the fabric circle2 – one about 2.25″ for the 1″ yo yo and one about 3.25″ for the 1.5″ yo yo.  The templates don’t need to be exact by any means, just not less than twice the size of the sewn circle.  Before starting the stitch-out, take the fabric circles to your sewing machine and baste around the edge.  Be sure to leave a good length of thread hanging so that you can pull up the basting stitches to gather the fabric once the circle is in the hoop.  Do this for each circle.  This can easily be done by hand if you prefer not to use your sewing machine.  Since I planned to cover the center of my yo yo, I didn’t worry about the raw edges.  When I was done stitching, I put some Fray Block on them.  If, however, you weren’t going to put something in the center that would cover those edges, you can “hem” the circle at the same time you are doing the basting stitches – just turn under the edge slightly as you sew in the basting stitches.

To attach the yo yos, hoop your project and stitch the placement stitch.  Remove the hoop from the machine.  I found it helpful to use a washable marker to mark the center of both the stitched circle and your fabric circle.  Lightly spray the right side of the fabric circle with adhesive spray, match up the center marks and lay the fabric circle right side down on top of the placement stitch.  Be sure to keep the length of thread from the basting stitches out of the way of the sewing area.  Return the hoop to the machine and stitch the tack down stitch.  Remove the hoop and gently pull-up the threads to gather the circle, forming the yo yo.  Pull gently so you do not break the threads.  Once you have the center tightly gathered, tie off the threads.   Repeat this process for each yo yo.

When finished, you can further embellish your design as you like.  I chose fabric patch buttons tied on with ribbon.  I also tried a trapunto technique by slitting the backside of the bib and adding a touch of polyfil inside the frayed leaves.  Then just tack the slits closed with stitches to keep the polyfil in place.

Thanks for looking!




  1. Cheryle – wow you create such beautiful things! I love this set and the previous frayed roses one as well. What is the rolled up item with the frame? Thanks for sharing this. Melissa in SC

  2. can you please send me the links for the designs you used for these yo yo flowers
    8 claws and a paw, hang to dry, urban threads, and Vintage Luxe fame

    thanks so much…

  3. janice thompson says:

    This is beautiful!! Thank you for sharing how you did this!

  4. Cheryle, again you are such an inspiration! Both you and Cassie have created a wonderful and fun design that can be used on anything. Thank you again for sharing your talents.