Fancy Fabric Embellishments: Stuffed Yo-yos for Pinning or Wearing

I have quite a stash of hand-dyed silk ribbon, beads, buttons, and trims that I could use to embellish a quilt. The trouble is, aside from my small fabric collages, I haven’t been making embellished quilts recently.

Embellish these fabric embellishments by Michelle Muska with beads, buttons, ribbons, and trims.

Then I remembered Michelle Muska’s Embellished Stuffed Yo-yos from the first season of “Quilting Arts TV.” She makes theses gems in a variety of sizes: to embellish fiber art and accessories or as pincushions.

Michelle makes the yoyos out of scraps of cotton, velvet, or silk. The pincushions measure approximately 4″-6″ across. Each Embellished Yo-yo is one-of-a-kind, and finished off with buttons, ribbons, trims, and beads.

Embellished Stuffed Yo-yos
By Michelle Muska


1. Cut a variety of circles in different fabrics and sizes freehand or with a shape-cutting tool. I usually use 10, 9 and 7 inch circles, but by all means experiment and use what you like.

2. Choose larger circles for the flat-bottom yo-yos. Sew a running stitch 1/8″ from the raw edge, pull to gather in center, whip stitch closed through the back (you won’t see the stitches).

3. Repeat step 2 with the smaller circles but lightly stuff with poly fill before gathering. Whip stitch closed but do not sew through the other side.

4. Place stuffed yo-yo onto larger flat yo-yo, stitched sides together. Start with the needle underneath. Bring it up through the bottom yo-yo and catch sides of the stuffed yo-yo. Continue around until it is secure.

5. Embellish with beads, buttons or floss. If sewing ribbon on do so prior to attaching to bottom yo-yo.

6. Measure and cut a circle of leather or felt for the bottom.

If you can bear it, stick pins and needles into your new pincushion. Or, you could use these baubles as fabric embellishments, sewing or gluing them onto belts, hats, purses etc.

I’m so glad I have all of the seasons of “QATV.” Whenever I need advice, ideas, or tutorials for quilting and fiber art, I have it “live” right in my studio.

P.S. Do you embellish your quilts? What embellishment techniques do you use? Leave a comment below.

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3 thoughts on “Fancy Fabric Embellishments: Stuffed Yo-yos for Pinning or Wearing

  1. If you really can’t bear to use them as beautiful pin cushions., I suggest using them as a luggage attachment to distinguish your bag from all the rest!

  2. Have done a dragon fly round wall hanging(pattern from Phillips fiber art), used a glittery mesh fabric sewn over the wing fabric.
    Recently started doing a block of the month, victorian crazy quilt blocks, adding ribbons, beads, lace.

  3. I love these. My Grandmother had a large yoyo spread and if you went to sleep on it, you would have a very wrinkled face. I loved it. My fav way to embellish is with embroidery and tiny beads.