In the slushy, hot doldrums of summer it’s the perfect recreational sewing project. A couple weeks ago I started making a few and lost control of myself. You know how that goes. There was no real plan for them but an idea for very scrappy and super crafty bunting emerged while I was stitching.
These little vintage Yoyo’s, or Suffolk Puffs, turned up at the French General workshop.
There is something extra dear and compelling about them and I was immediately charmed. Maybe it’s the size? They are smaller than I have seen before and the fabrics are fabulous.
Maybe you need some scrappy bunting or you are just in the mood to stitch a bunch of something, either way, I got you. It’s super easy and takes forever.
1. Start with a circle of light cotton fabric that is 3 and ⅜ th inches in diameter. You can use this template. Use sturdy thread – I’m using cotton perl. Put your needle in ¼ inch from the edge on the wrong side of the fabric and fold the edge over.
2. Stitch right along the folded edge with stitches about ¼ inch.
3. Gather tightly and knot – optional – iron flat – I like them very squished.
That’s the slow part. Making all those little puffs. The assembly part was much quicker than I expected.
To assemble the bunting lay out the triangle shape as shown – a row of 4 on top, next a row of 3, 2 and 1 (I used 10 but you could also make a smaller triangle with less for a mini bunting).
Stitch the string of 4 together with sewing thread. I connected them with 3 or 4 knotted stitches on top of each other. Pro tip – keep your thread attached and trim it later.
Center the middle puff of the next row and use a little scotch tape to hold it. Flip it to the back side and stitch it in place. Repeat – adding the next puff with tape and stitching in place until the triangle is assembled.
Clip the threads from the back.
Cotton seam binding makes a great string, twill tape works well too. Pin the triangles (I made 5) in place and, optionally, add single puffs in between. Whip stitch along the edge to attach.
Finished. So nostalgic. And super duper crafty. If there was a crafty olympics this would definitely be an event. While we’re here let’s talk about a couple other things on the work table.
I’m sewing some stuff from my patterns beginning with the goat and forest folk. I love the little black squirrel especially. It would be nice to have some stitched things for the shop this fall (it’s been ages) and I’m in a very sewy mood. Maybe I’ll even have a sew-along this autumn – I gotta figure out how those work and which pattern would be best – stay tuned and feel free to share ideas.
And these painted bottles. I’m making a huge collection. It has taken 2 years! to figure them out. I’m pretty excited about them and they will be in the shop this fall.
I love the yoyo’s ! They are great in all sizes, the tinier the cuter!
Thanks for the great ideas!
Thank you, Ann, for the crafty ideas. I’m not sure what a sew-along is, but it sounds fun!
I would love you to do a sew-along! They get me motivated and keep me focused on a project. And I always manage to learn something new. Which is exciting at my age! Thanks!
Yes! Yes! Yes! Sew along sounds fun no matter what the project is! Thank you for the inspiration Ann. How is your English paper piecing project coming along?
Im cross stitching Dedham Rabbits
I love Yoyos have made many
Love the bunting idea!
What a great idea! I like making yoyo’s but I really didn’t know what to do with them (a quilt is too large of a project to keep me interested). I think I am going to make a yoyo bunting for my sewing room!
You can use them on a needlebook, a journal cover, a tote bag, a bookmark, a scarf…
It’s hard to get motivated but looking at your creations makes me feel ashamed that I don’t my bones moving and create something. I love to carry hankies, and I make them for myself.
That is what I am working on when I get the urge to work on my projects. Thank you for making what you do so inspirational.
Hi Ann, fabulous post. Loving the idea ….time to get started! Thank you.
I’ve made hundreds of yo-yos, something truly addictive once you start. I’ve found the easiest way to cut circles is by cutting squares (or buying charm packs.) Then, in the evenings, sitting in a comfy chair in front of the TV, I fold the squares into quarters and round off the corners. If you practice with squares of paper, in no time you can eyeball a nearly perfect circle. I’m an old lady, and always hide my knots and thread ends inside anything I sew, but I sure could have used your tip about using tape when I made a bedspread and lots of table runners. Thanks, Ann – A yo-yo bunting is a great project!
I had a magnifier like on your work table. Please make a cover for it. Mine magnified the sun and almost burnt my house down!! The cutains were very scorched before I realized what was going on. I see new ones that have a cover that slide over. So basic but unseen!
your project is so cute – I never know what to do with yo yo’s a sew along sounds fun/
Hi Peggy- That’s terrible! Such a scary story. The thing on my table is not a magnifier – it’s a light and phone clamp for photography. But thanks for the heads up – good to know!
Love this idea of yours, tiny, tiny yoyos, perfect for TV watching.
Love love love your painted bottles( as well as your other work!). Was eyeballing them before you mentioned them, thinking you’d found treasures from centuries ago Clever you !!
Yo! To yo-yo’s!! Love. Sooooo a Sew along eh? Yes to that too! All fun and something to look fwd to.
Ann what about the lady pin cushion on your work table??!!! Love her. Perfect Sew Along Project.
I believe she is a free pattern
I love your bottles also! Looking forward to them being in the shop!
I’m always in a sewy mood – I just need time! Love love love your patterns!
These are so beautiful and inspiring! I love your work and your approach to it. Thank you x
Now I want to make Suffolk Puffs. In the 1960s a friend of my grandmother made her a bag for her hair rollers with Suffolk puffs on the outside in tiny sprig prints. I adored this bag, even then it had the look for something from the olden days. I notice commenters above calling these yo-yos. I guess this is the US word for the wee puffs.
Love love love it ALL!
Fantastic idea and thanks for inspiration
YES!!! to a sew-along!!! Maybe even make it a swap??
Btw…I entered my Crow in The State Fair of Texas and won 1st Place!!! Thanks for a wonderful pattern!
Ima gone try the little puffs now!
Oooooo your work is always so inspiring. I’d love to do a sew along with your large birds, the owl or the crow. They are just beautiful.
I love these sweet yo yo buntings! A sew along.. yes.. the answer is yes please!
I have a bag of “left-over” yo-yos and now I know what to do with them. THANK YOU. And I would love to join a sew along with you. The squirrel is very cute, although the live ones can be a little bit of a nuisance!
I love everything you do, but this new Avenue has me by the heart! Please let me know when you put these up for sale and I want to be on the waitlist for the bunny on the delightfully odd shaped bottle!
Thanks so much!
Ann, I am always so happy when I see a post from you in my email! I know it means I’ll soon be immersed in one of your always charming, always inspiring projects. Thank you for your generosity.
Thank you for your lovely inspiring newsletters. I would love a sew along.
Did you paint those little blue and white bottles?? So cute!!!!!
I’m very in need of a slow, recreational sewing project at the mo, so may give the yo-yos a go! Thanks so much, love getting your emails
Gosh yes… My friend scorched their wooden windowsill when the sun shone through a hanging chrystal ornament. Very lucky. I even put my specs in the drawer or a case now when they aren’t in use. We all tend to craft, sew in the room with the best light. Mine is full sun most days.. So making a mistake with the magnifier is easy done.
Always such lovely inspirations on your table so Yes!! A Sew-A-Long please 🙂
J’ai fait les souris et leur bateau, j’ai préparé un oiseau et j’attends pour l’emplumer. J’adore ces yoyos en triangle et j’aime beaucoup cette guirlande très décorative…. Je vais voir si j’ai du temps (je fais des hexagones en ce moment)…. J’ai toujours tellement de choses en cours de travail qu’il me manque du temps pour démarrer de nouveaux projets…
Cute! They reminded me of the clowns we made in Girl Scouts many years ago. Too bad the clown faces don’t seem to be available anymore.
You can make embroidered cloth faces – or cloth faces with the features drawn on with Micron pens. Oh my goodness – I just googled yo-yo clowns! Try that for good ideas!
I just remembered that I do have a stack of circles that are now calling me to make them into yo-yos. Thank you for the reminder.
Me gusta la idea de los banderines.
Pero los botes de cerámica me encantan. Espero que estén pronto en la tienda
I have always loved your work Ann. About 12 years ago, when I was caring for my granddaughters, we made so many cardboard horses. I used spit pins to attach the legs so the girls could make them gallop. Eventually we made them into two hanging carousels for their room. They hung there for about 5 years with regular dusting, and given away when the girls out grew them.
We also made the tiny sailing ships, I still have mine, packed away somewhere.
I just want to say thank you for sharing all your creativity and patterns with us. I plan to make a crow one day, and so much more.
I love the bunting idea but I am so in love with your bottles. Hopefully one day you will share the process with us.
Thank you again Ann.
Hi Ann, Your post made me remember the yo-yo valences I designed for a craft magazine a while ago. These would be cute as valances, too. Looks like I’ll be getting out those fabrics I bought but never used to cut out circles. Thanks for sharing this idea.
BTW, read in your latest newsletter email about the woodchuck and your garden. I’ve got the same problem. Ours started with the bean seedlings, moved to the cucumbers, and now has eaten almost every tomato. Next year fencing will be put around each of the beds.
Love the newsletters!
How do I order the tiny doll pattern? It’s adorable.
Inspired by your yo-you! I found some packages of yo-you in my local thrift store. Now I’m trying to decide what to make with them. I love a challenge!
I think a sew-along would be fun!
I admire all your projects! I made the little whale for a baby gift. It turned out so well.
My sister in-law used to make hot plate holders with yo-yo’s. She would save her bottle caps and sew them into the yo-yo’s. I thought they were the most useful craft.