Holiday Yo-Yo Ornament (free tutorial)

yo yo ornament by Lori Miller Designs

Create fun holiday yo-yo ornaments for a homemade gift for a teacher, music instructor or bus driver.  A nice sewing craft for older children to learn some basic sewing skills, even how to sew a button.  You can make it even faster with some hot glue at the finish.  Plan an afternoon to put these together for holiday gifts or your own homemade decorations.

Materials needed:

  • 1 giant yo-yo (6 inch circle)
  • 1 large yo-yo (4 1/2 inch circle)
  • 1 button
  • 12 inches of ribbon
  • Thread
  • Needed
  • (hot glue optional)

P1050138 001

  1. First make your yo-yos.  Take the 6 inch circle of holiday fabric.P1050139 001
  2. Carefully fold over the raw edge (wrong sides together) about 1/4″ and baste all around.  You can use pretty large basting stitches – yo-yos are pretty forgiving.P1050140 001P1050142 001
  3. Once you have basted the whole circle, pull the thread to gather the yo-yo tight.P1050143 001
  4. Tie a sturdy knot and bury the end of the thread in one of the folds of the yo-yo.
  5. Make the 4 1/2″ smaller yo-yo in the same way.P1050146 001
  6. Assemble the ornament together.  Loop the ribbon to form a hanger and tack it in place with thread at the center of the giant yo-yo.P1050147 001
  7. Layer the large yo-yo on top of the giant yo-yo and tack or sew it to the center of the giant yo-yo.P1050148 002
  8. Finish the ornament by sewing a button to the center of the large yo-yo.

Tip:  You could have ready made yo-yo’s and just hot glue the ribbon, yo-yos and button together to make them up in a jiffy.  

CAUTION:  Hot glue is HOT!  Protect your fingers and have an adult help and supervise children.



Mod Apple Hotpad (free tutorial)

mod apple hotpad lori miller designs

I am happy to share my Mod Apple Hotpad post that I presented as a guest blogger for the American Quilting Society’s (AQS) OnPoint Newsletter.  I have been an AQS Member for many years. They sponsor wonderful quiltshows and classes.  If you have not checked them out, start with their free newsletter which features free patterns, tips and other quilty information.  You can sign up HERE. And check out their Blog too!  Now, on to my post!

I spent a week at my cottage in northern Michigan and I was able to visit the local farmers market.  I was thrilled to find my favorite early apple, Ginger Gold. They are a cross between an early apple and a yellow delicious: tender skin and tangy flavor. They were the only thing I could eat when I was pregnant many years ago with my son and I still love them. They are the inspiration for this fancy little apple hot pad. This one is a Pink Lady apple, but you could easily make a tasty Red Jonathan, yummy Yellow Delicious or Green Granny Smith. Make your favorite apple to celebrate the arrival of fall.


  • 1 – 3 ¼” x 40” strip for apple center
  • 1 – 1 ½” x 40” strip for outer apple skin
  • 1 – 1 ¼” x 40” strip for inner apple skin
  • 1 – 3” x 6” rectangle for leaf
  • 1 – 12” x 12” square for back of apple hotpad
  • 1 – 12” x 12” square of Insul-Bright insulated batting (Note: This batting by The Warm Company reflects energy, hot or cold, back to itself. You can find it with the utility fabrics.)
  • 60 degree ruler or my triangle template



  1. Print out my FREE Mod Apple Hotpad Templates.
  2. Using the hexagon template, cut out the back of the hotpad.
  3. Using the same hexagon template, but out the insul-bright batting.
    apple hotpad 2


  1. Stitch the strips together, one at a time, ironing seams open. Make sure the narrow strip for the inner apple skin is in the center.
    apple hotpad 3
  2. Using a 60 degree ruler, cut six equilateral triangles. If you have a 60 degree ruler, this goes pretty fast. I had an old Starmaker ® 6 ruler from a Kaye Wood class that I had attended. Several companies make them, but if you don’t have one, just use my template, a regular rotary cutter and straight rotary cutting ruler.
    apple hotpad 4
  3. Position the ruler to start cutting with the outside apple skin on the bottom.
    apple hotpad 5
  4. Cut out a triangle.
    apple hotpad 6
  5. Flip the ruler and cut another triangle from the top, Lay these aside and save them for another project or make them into another hotpad.
    apple hotpad 7
  6. Cut six triangles total. There should be enough fabric to cut six apple triangles and six other triangles.  Stitch your triangles together. Be sure to line up the seams on each side so they match.
    apple hotpad 8
  7. Piece them in groups of three and press seams open.
    apple hotpad 9
  8. Stitch the two halves of the apple together, aligning the seams and iron flat
    apple hotpad 10
  9. Fold the leaf fabric right sides together and mark the leaf.
    apple hotpad 11
  10. Layer a small piece of batting underneath and stitch around the leaf leaving a place to turn. Snip curves and turn right side out. Whip stitch the opening closed.
    apple hotpad 12
  11. Quilt the leaf.
    apple hotpad 13
  12. Make a quilt sandwich. Lay the backing right side up, the pieced apple right side down and the Insul-bright batting on the top. Pin and stitch all around, leaving an opening to turn.  Turn the apple right side out and whipstitch the opening closed.
    apple hotpad 14
  13. Quilt the apple. I just used straight line quilting with my walking foot.
    apple hotpad 15
  14. Here is a close up of my quilting from the back.  I made the center of the apple with a couple of seeds.
    apple hotpad 16
  15. Tack on the leaf.  I just stitched a small triangle at the base.

That is it, a bright, cheery apple to decorate your table and a practical hot pad to boot. What is your favorite apple?