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In the Quilting World

Yo-Yo Star Flowers

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Yo-Yo Star Flowers is a great project with lots of options and possibilities, or it's perfect if you choose to make it just as it is.

If you'd like to work along with me on this project, download the pattern PDF under the Free Quilting Pattern tab at the top.

Yo-Yo Star Flowers, our free download for this update, was my inspiration for my project in this update. It has a simple yet appealing shape with a plain background and little piecing. It's the perfect project for practicing applique techniques of all types whether you choose to follow the pattern or go off in another direction. I, for one, decided to change the applique.

The first thing I did was sort through my stash to find fabrics for this project. I try to use only what I have on hand for these projects, and because of this, sometimes the fabrics I have in my stash dictate the direction I choose to go when exploring my options.    

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My selection of fabrics for the Yo-Yo Star Flowers project all came from my stash. These are definitely not traditional choices.

I love bright colors and I love batiks, so my stash is loaded with them. The bright oranges and yellows in my selected fabrics for my candle mat will work great as a bright and cheerful summer accent. Once my fabric selection was complete, I read over all the original instructions and decided to work with rulers instead of the given templates. To do this I had to make a few adjustments to both the cutting and the measurements since I didn't have a 45-degree ruler. Instead of eight 45-degree sides, my candle mat will have six 60-degree sides. I had a 60-degree ruler, and since I try to use what I have available in my sewing room a little adjustment was in order.

The original Yo-Yo Star Flowers pattern finished at 16 inches using templates. My candle mat will finish at 24 inches. I'm also going to strip-piece it to save time and to make the cutting easier. 

Next, I figured out my new cutting list. If you choose to follow along and try my version, you can easily change out the fabrics to suit your taste and your available stash. 

The cutting list for the redesign using a ruler instead of the templates:

2 (8 1/2 inches by fabric width) strips light aqua
2 (4 inches by fabric width) strips floral batik
3 (2 1/4 inches by fabric width) strips coordinating batik for binding


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At left, strips cut (including binding); at right, stitching the light aqua and floral strips together.

After I had sewn two strip sets, composed of one each light aqua and floral batik strip, and had pressed them, I used the 60-degree ruler to cut out three 12-inch triangles from each strip set. It was a tight fit, but with careful placement I was able to do it.   

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Cutting out the six 60-degree triangle pieces to make the candle mat.

After all the pieces for the base were cut out, I started piecing the triangles together into two halves. By first stitching three triangles together to make each half, I could then stitch the halves together using a straight seam down the middle to complete the piecing of the top.

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The candle mat pieced together and ready for the applique.

After carefully checking out the appliques on the Yo-Yo Star flowers original pattern, I decided once again to make some changes. I felt my fabrics would be better suited to a more whimsical look, so I decided on fusible appliques using bright batiks. To make it quick and easy I dug through my AccuQuilt dies for the shapes I wanted to use. Again, this was something I had in my sewing room, and I love it when I can find projects to use the dies and machine. After all, isn't that the whole purpose of us quilters buying this equipment? Finding ways to use it and making the finished project better is the goal. Adding fusible web to the fabrics before I cut them made this an easy process.

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The machine and dies I selected to make my whimsical applique.

Once all the pieces were cut out I fused the die-cut motifs to my pieced candle mat top. I decided on three flowers with two green leaves by each flower spaced evenly apart. Because I often machine-applique after I sandwich my top, batting and backing to save time, the safety pins I use to hold the sandwich together sometimes need to be moved.

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One of the three flower motifs with leaves I placed on the candle mat top.

Once all the fusing was complete and the pinning secure I stitched all the appliques in place and then free-motion-quilted the rest of the quilt top.   

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The quilt top quilted and ready to trim and bind.

I trimmed, added the binding and hand-stitched it into place. I love the bright cheerful colors of this redesign, and I love the whimsical, very easy flowers. I can use this as a candle mat or a small table topper. Actually, I think I'll use it on my deck table for a bit a summer fun when entertaining. I can see a color theme about to happen on my deck. Lemonade, fruit salad and some fresh flowers.

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My finished redesign of the Yo-Yo Star Flower Candle Mat.
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