Suffolk Puffs and Soap

As quilters, we seem to Love gadgets!  Some are wonderful time-savers, like the rotary cutter.   But – now I ask you – what did we ever do before they invented yo yo makers?

I have made yo yo’s for years without a yo yo maker, and they came out just fine.  In fact, they come out better than with the yo yo maker I bought, which I found way too cumbersome for easy use.  I bought one a few years ago, just to see and try it for myself.  At this point, I have no idea where it is – probably stuffed in the unwanted bin, somewhere.  I have found, for me, that it is easier and faster to make yo yo’s the old fashioned way.   If you are new to the quilting scene, and think you need a yo yo maker, that is what the makers of the yo yo makers Want you to think!  Here are some pics of the ‘good old-fashioned way’ of making yo yo’s.

First you need a template.  This little cardboard circle came attached to something I just bought.  You can also use anything that is a circle – a cup, glass,  a plate – for a yo yo template – whatever size you want.  Just place it on a piece of template plastic, cardboard or even heavy paper,  draw around the edge, and cut it out.  Instant template.   Place the template on your fabric.  If you would like to draw around it first, go ahead.  Then cut it out about 1/4 inch larger than the template, all around.

This one was so small, I just held it while I cut around it.

When you have it cut out, then fold the outside edge in, that 1/4 inch (if you have drawn a line, you can crease around the circle on that line, folding it in on the wrong side of the fabric.

I have just folded it in, inserted my threaded needle, and started to do a running stitch around the edge.

As I go around the circle with the running stitch, you can see that it starts to curve in naturally, without my even pulling on the thread.

When I get all around the circle, I pull on the thread to close it up.   I am using a double threaded needle, but a single (strong) thread will do – whatever works for you – I am always afraid a single thread will break on me because I tend to ‘strong-arm’ things…. When it is pulled in tight, you can knot the thread, and then insert needle into the center and pull it through to one of the sides and cut it off, and it should be hidden inside your yo yo.

This is what the other side looks like.  I took my needle and gently pulled out the sides to make them more even looking.  You can lightly press it with an iron, if you would like, to flatten it out, some.

Here are yo yo’s made by my daughter at age 6, using this method.   I have arranged them into a little tree, with mine at the top.




But the tree made by Karin Hellaby of the UK is much cuter!  See below.  In the UK, yo yo’s are called “Suffolk Puffs”.  She has added buttons to the centers.  How cute is that!

For free directions on how to make this darling yo yo Christmas tree, go to

Karin’s website is

Karin also creates international holidays for quilters, and they look absolutely Wonderful!  That site is:

A note about  antibacterial washes and sanitizers:  Please do not use them all the time, or all over your body (check your body wash).   Our skin has natural oils that contain antibacterial properties – by using artificial sanitizers, we are stripping our body of what we produce naturally.  This is not a good thing.   It leaves us more exposed to infectious agents than we would be otherwise.  For example, a student of mine worked at a preschool.  She followed a normal cleanliness regimen with her students.  The teacher next door was obsessed with cleanliness, and routinely washed down her classroom with sanitizers, bleach, etc., and had her students use antibacterial agents.  The students in her class were sick about twice as often as those in my student’s class.  Our bodies are made to ‘deal with’ what we come in contact with in our normal everyday routines – it helps to built up our resistance.  Use the hand sanitizers after really ‘icky germy’ exposures.   But – most of the time – nothing beats good old soap and water!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s