Passing On the Skills in a Yo-Yo Tradition

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Many of us remember the summers of long ago, before air conditioning, when the heavy quilts were taken off the beds and they were covered instead with just a colorful yo-yo quilt over a top-sheet. If we had slumber parties everyone would want a yo-yo, too. Since they were generally made of scraps from other sewing projects or clothes-past-their-prime, you could see a mother’s dress or a brother’s shirt or even the kitchen curtains in them. Because there were so many yo-yo’s needed for a quilt/coverlet and there didn’t have to be a pattern to their layout, they seemed to contain the whole history of the family’s fabric.

We’d like to thank Ellen Conway Williams for sharing this one with us by posting it on our 24 Blocks Facebook page. Ellen writes:

“Yoyocoverlet made for my oldest granddaughter….she and her 90 year old great-grandmother made most of the yoyos……used scraps from my scrap bags that were picked out by 8 year old Kate…..”

Three generations helped with this project. The skill and pride was passed on. And we can imagine that during the process many loving family stories were passed on, too.

Let’s keep that tradition going… bring in the older ones and the young ones and let’s work together passing on the techniques and the traditions.

Making a yo-yo quilt (or coverlet) is easy. There are several good tutorials online. Does anyone else yo-yo?


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