The Cloths of Heaven 18: quilty math

I have to rethink the yoyo border.

I made 30 yoyos to see how fast I could get. They take a minimum of 5 minutes each, even using the Clover yoyo maker and working flat out, and I’m quite fast. Cut your circle, insert the fabric into the yoyo template, stitch all round, draw up the thread, distribute the pleats nicely, stitch through and knot off. Done.

Yoyo testingI laid out enough to cover a 10 inch section of the border. It takes 18 x 1½ inch yoyos, laid out as I’d originally planned.

I have a total length of 328 inches of border to cover. That’s 32.8 x 10 inch sections x 18 yoyos. A total of 590 yoyos. Eeek!

At a rate of 5 minutes per yoyo, that’s 2,950 minutes, 49 hours. If I did nothing else for 5 hours a day (unlikely…!) it would take me 10+ days.

New border optionsSo, yes, I’m rethinking. I still want to use yoyos, I love the textural aspect they bring to the surface design. But instead of covering the surface densely with them, I shall quilt the border instead and use the yoyos to enhance the quilted surface. I’m looking at triangular or trellis quilting patterns with yoyos at intersections or in the spaces. The yoyos will be in the colours used in the side panels, so I’m looking at a plain dark background colour, coloured stitching and coloured yoyos.

Dot & dash layoutOf the designs on the above page of my notebook, I’m liking the ‘dot and dash’ version at the bottom, where zigzags of yoyos weave through zigzags of stitching. This design would only take 6 yoyos per 10 inches, which amounts to only 197 yoyos or about 16 hours. Two hours a night for 8 days. That’s quite doable!

So, another rethink resolved. It’s a weight off my mind. I had been avoiding the calculations, knowing it was going to be a lot of yoyos. I just didn’t think it would be so many. I may well end up embellishing the border a bit more, time permitting, but this is a good solution.

And now, it’s time to get back to the sewing machine. Side panels to stitch together!


22 thoughts on “The Cloths of Heaven 18: quilty math

  1. knitnkwilt says:

    49 hours–I’d rethink too. Seems you are onto a good alternative; you might end up liking it better.

    • katechiconi says:

      It won’t give the border the weight and lushness I wanted, but I do think it’ll look good and if you didn’t know the original plan it’d be a handsome effect!

      • knitnkwilt says:

        That is what is really important–viewers aren’t inside your head and don’t know what is missing. I used to remind my daughters of that so I could maintain credibility when I praised something they disliked.

  2. Grannymar says:

    You are getting there today. Pity I am not closer to help with making the puffs.

    • katechiconi says:

      The weather gives me the perfect excuse to burrow down in my sewing room and crack on with it. It’d be lovely to have someone in the ‘visitor chair’, stitching away gently and gossiping!

      • Grannymar says:

        After a break of many years. I have found a ‘visitor chair’ with a local knitting/crochet group and love the way we learn from each other… the craft as well as the person behind the stories shared… the laughter is so good for all our hearts and well being. We all come away refreshed, relaxed and hopefully with a little more work done!

        Happy New Year to all needle people, May the Yarn (fabric, threads, skeins of yarn and ideas) go with us!

      • katechiconi says:

        It sounds enviable. I did not find any kindred spirits in my local quilt group, so have reverted to solitary stitchery – except, of course, for the company of my blogging friends!

  3. I think ultimately it will look better than the original plan. The logistics alone would put me off!

    Stitching in company is great. Why not invite your friends to join you?

  4. tialys says:

    This is where a sewing bee would be invaluable. I have a visitor’s chair at my friend’s house once a week where we make things as a project together or get on with our own thing and we drink tea and she bakes a cake. I have a visitor’s chair in my workroom but no visitor would ever be able to find it as it’s always covered in a quilt – usually an unfinished one – or other WIPs.
    You had far too many yoyos to contemplate in my opinion – ‘silly talk’ as my Mum would say – and I agree with Viv that, in the end, your new plan will look better anyway.

  5. claire93 says:

    that’s still a lot of yoyos ^^

  6. anne54 says:

    I think a sewing bee would be an excellent idea. What a pity we can’t send yo-yos down the computer cable! (My predictive text really doesn’t like the word yo-yos!) But another 160 is quite doable, just remember to give your hands a rest.

    • katechiconi says:

      Now, all I really need is a 3D printer that can print fabric filaments, and I could churn them out double-quick! Sadly, some crafts still need the human touch. If I can get 10 a night done, I’ll be quite happy.

  7. Debbierose says:

    I’ve only made yoyos by hand. What do you think of the clover template?

    • katechiconi says:

      I like it a lot, it saves a fair bit of fiddling about folding over the floppy bias edge and stitching evenly to get even pleats, and you get very consistent results. Not expensive, either.

  8. I usually stick with avoiding the calculations and pushing on as the numbers frighten me. Perhaps yours is the more sensible approach. 🙂

  9. Kirsten says:

    Ah, now I see what you mean by ‘yo-yos’ I know them as Suffolk Puffs!

    • katechiconi says:

      They are known here and in the States as yoyos. I suppose it’s because of their resemblance to the outside of said toy, but also here because they look like Arnott’s Yo Yo biscuits (Google it and see if you don’t agree!).

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