Tag Archive for 'yoyos'

Framed Yoyo Pieces

I have finally been adding some framed yoyo pieces to my shop. It took me this long because the act of photographing, editing and listing is a daunting task, but I have had about 17 framed pieces to add for quite a while. I’ve added 12 and still have 5 more to go. If you are interested, feel free to take a look at what’s available.

Framed yoyo pieces were some of the first pieces I created and that sold well in my etsy shop since back in 2006! I’ve been making yoyos since I was in high school, creating them with scraps my mom had handed me down from her own quilting. Now I use a variety of new and vintage fabrics. I’ve also recently created a small handful using secondhand/vintage sheets AND frames. They’ve been featured on Etsy front page, on Decor8 and many other blogs.

yoyos and a BIG PROJECT

And more yoyos, a purple set this time

Earlier this year I was approached by a clothing company out of Los Angeles to make my framed yoyo pieces (made from their own fabric) for store displays in their 9 retail locations around the country. It was really exciting and kind of terrifying at the same time. It is something I would definitely love to do, but I also work a full time job and I was worried about being able to complete it on schedule. They purchased 2 pieces as samples and sent me fabric. The fabric was absolutely the most soft and comfortable fabric ever, but it was jersey (think t-shirt material) as opposed to my normal quilting fabric which is stiff and firm. The yoyos came out beautifully, but took a little bit more time than usual. The sample pieces I constructed were used for walk-through concepts for a seasonal store display. When the “higher-ups” saw my pieces with their own fabric they LOVED them.
Working on my framed yoyo quilt pieces #quilt #yoyos #robayre #etsy
They actually loved them so much that they wanted to make the yoyos an even more important part of the whole look, not just in the small frames. Unfortunately, what they had in mind was entire yoyo quilts as a wall covering. This is unfortunate because I had already been worried about being able to finish the smaller framed pieces. As much as I crunched the numbers and had friends and family offer to help, there was no way I’d be able to get that many yoyos done within a month. I had to turn down the offer and walk away. Although I didn’t get to complete the project I was still very excited that I got to be part of the project at all. I was really honored that they contacted me, purchased from me and we got to work together on the project for a while together. I’ve had a couple other offers in the past from larger companies (snowboarding company wanting to use my artwork on their snowboards, and another company interested in buying 600 of my grass journals) but neither of them had gone as far as this project. After all of these experiences, I’m confident that someday I will have an offer for a big project that will fit perfectly for me.

The pictures above are not the fabric supplied by the company, but for a yoyo sets like the one pictured here.

Finished Project round-up

 I’ve been meaning to share some finished projects for a long time now.

handmade and available in my etsy shop

It’s no secret. I’m a yoyo fiend. Back in August I got the idea to make some zipper pouches covered in yoyos and I have finally finished and added three to my Etsy shop. I love how they came out. My favorite is the one above. It was by some weird luck that I found a zipper that matched the fabric perfectly and now I want to make more with solid colors. I think it displays the texture of the yoyos so much better. Something like that would be perfect for a wedding.

finished zipper pouch

My sister gave me the idea to add wrist straps. This makes them a perfect size for a clutch or wristlet to use all alone, rather than to keep inside your purse. The straps are attached to the zipper pull and are easily removed.

yoyo zipper pouch by robayre

I quilted all the yoyos by hand, then sewed the purse itself by machine. I anchored the yoyos to the pouch, so they are on there sturdily.

And then last month I showed a progress shot of some jewelry pieces I was working on and forgot to show the finished product. Here are the rings. The one of the left is made from a retired library book’s pages. The one on the right is made from a vintage world map print.

Book Lovers Ring  vintage map ring

I loved the one on the left so much I wanted to keep it for myself.  It occurred to me to just make one for myself, so I did that this week. It’s funny how excited I was to have one for myself. I wear handmade all the time, but it’s almost always from other artist’s work.

custom order

I love it when customers come to me with GREAT ideas for new products. Like earlier this year Claire wanted some of my notepads, but on a larger paper and then asked if I had envelopes. Ta-Da! Why not turn my bunting designs into stationery? Then for the above commissioned piece – a customer asked if I could make one of my treasure boxes but with “you are my favorite” on top. Brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that before? I’m sure I will be making some more of these.

Lastly, a friend recently got a puppy. He’s a maltipoo. He was so tiny (under 2 pounds) and when they took him outside he’d just start shaking from the cold. So tiny, in fact, that they couldn’t even find any pet coats or sweaters that would fit him, so I made this little coat from some fabric I had on my shelves. It’s a red and white print of skulls and cross bones :)
11.19.10 Benny coat 11.19.10 Benny in coat

I made it at home, just guesstimating his size and I was amazed that it fit him like a charm. It just has a strap underneath and they loved that because then when they take him out to to the bathroom he doesn’t accidentally “go” on it, like he would if it was a full bodied sweater. It wasn’t until after I made it that I realized they could probably also make some really stylish sweaters for inside just from old patterned socks. A hole in the toe, a couple slits for his legs and he’d be super cozy.

Day Twenty – Second yoyo pouch

I’m almost complete with this second yoyo pouch. I’m pretty excited because I’m getting much better and adding extra touches that really finish them off. I’m going to wait until I have three entirely complete before listing any in my shop.

Off to work on another. I’m addicted.

Day Nine – Yoyo Zipper Clutch

I’m so excited about day nine’s thing, I just had to share it before it is completely finished.

I’ve actually been working on this yoyo zipper clutch in bits and pieces, here and there, over the last several weeks. Most of the work went into piecing the yoyos, as you can probably see. The zipper pouch is complete, I just need to anchor the yoyos to the pouch itself.


When working on yoyo’s I love picking fabrics that have super tiny patterns, and I found this excellent retro reproduction fabric at a local quilt shop. I love that I was able to find a zipper in just the exact color I wanted, which replicated the color in the fabric. I wanted more of a pale orange, sherbet color, for the background, in the pouch itself, but I just can’t find a good selection and variety of solid fabrics locally. It’s either patterned or the 10 standard colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, brown, gray and white) and that’s it. Forget about finding anything as fancy as chartreuse or teal, as if they were some extraordinary, hard to come by, colors. I could probably find the colors I want online, but when I buy, I usually only buy half a yard here and half a yard there. It’s not really worth it to buy online if I’ll have to pay for shipping, And there’s always the fear that the color on the screen is not the same color as what arrives in the mail.

I’m thrilled at the way this pouch looks and I’ve already cut out fabric and started working on my second pouch. I’ll post better pictures once it’s completely finished. With any luck, I’ll be posting some of these to my etsy store soon.

Day Nineteen – Framed YoYo Quilt Set in Pink Gingham

Today I was inspired by an Etsy front page that had all pale, soft pinks, whites and naturals. You can see the collection here. I immediately went up to my studio and grabbed this pale pink gingham and made one of my framed yoyo sets. I’ve been making yoyos (a quilt, vests, jewelry) for 17 years and making and selling these framed sets for 5 years. It was perfect because I actually had two other sets finished, but I just had not taken pictures of them yet, so finishing this set got me into action and now all three have been added to my Etsy shop here.

white on white framed yo-yo set

I’ve finally finished this yo-yo set that I’ve been working on for an eternity. If you recall, I got the idea after finding two of these charming, pre-loved white frames at the secondhand shop. Naturally, I thought of making one set from entirely white fabric.

It’s a lot larger than the normal framed yo-yo sets, and is now available in my shop. 9×9=81 whole yo-yos, hand-sewn by yours truly.

I love, love, love home decor that uses mostly white, with the sparse and purposeful splash of bright colors. When I made this piece I guess I was inspired by that kind of a home.

Etsy Item of the Day

I’m very proud to say that today one of my Framed Yo-Yo Sets is featured as the Etsy Item of the Day. Check it out!

In celebration and thanks, I’d also love to offer an extra little free gift in each order for any purchases made in my etsy shop today. Thanks Jackie!

Etsy Item Of The Day

Weekend wrap up

How was your weekend? It was beautiful Friday, but rained Saturday and Sunday. Spring is in FULL swing, the grass is green and the magnolia trees are exploding.

On Friday I went to some thrift stores and picked up a couple secondhand white square frames that I was excited to use for my framed Yo-Yo sets. Above is the project I started and had mentioned on Saturday. A completely white set. It’s not even half way finished, and will be much larger than the regular sets because these frames are bigger than the ikea ones I normally use. I think it will look really great white on white. Now I’m kind of debating on using tea to slightly dye some of them so the are all off-white to different degrees. The frames are slightly distressed with the wood showing through in worn places.

Today I had a wonderful surprise when checking out my blog subscriptions. My friend Tiffany wrote the warmest post about me in thanks for a postcard I sent to her.  Last winter when I had my show I had posted one of my mailart pieces that said “I have everything I need”. She commented that it really spoke to her, as it was something her daughter said frequently, so I sent it to her. Tiffany, I’m so glad you, and Q loved the postcard. It always gives me great satisfaction to send one of my mail art pieces and for it to make it’s way to it’s destination and be appreciated. I could ask for nothing more :) Thank you Tiffany for being a friend, internet hugs ((Tiffany)). Did you notice that there was a stamp for each of you?

I would like to give another shout out to etsy seller monpetitfantome. You might recall a couple weeks ago I favorited his shop and was sent a kind message that I was his 1000th store favorite and he wanted to send me a free item as a thank you. I chose a framed rabbit silhouette, similar to the one above, as a tribute to my pet rabbit that passed away last fall. Last week I checked my P.O. box and it had arrived and it is beautiful. Please check out his shop to see if any other beauties stand out to you.

Lastly, I signed up for a mini zine matchbox swap through swap-bot. It’s been quite a while since I’ve participated in a swap-bot swap and this one really enticed me. A while back I blogged about my interest in zines. I look forward to this swap and because of its small size it will be a fun and less overwhelming introduction into zine making. I would love to encourage everyone else to join in this swap, the more the merrier. The parameters for this swap are that each member will make and send 3 zines and the zine will be small enough to fit into a 32 ct. matchbook box. Please join me :)

black and white stripes

black and white framed yoyo set, originally uploaded by robayre.

I just posted a new framed yoyo set in my etsy shop. The fabric came from my sister who spotted some black and white striped fabric for me. Did you know even width striped black and white fabric is difficult to find? Well, it is, trust me as a black and white striped fan. It is hard enough to find it in quilting fabrics, and even harder to find it in apparel knit fabric. Actually, for apparel knit, I’ve never found it. You look in the pattern books and see items of clothing that you can make in black and white stripes, but good luck finding the fabric. After searching for it in fabric stores for years I finally asked an employee about it and was informed that “they just don’t make it.” I’m sure we’ve all seen tons of clothing made from black and white striped fabric in the stores, so it has to be made somewhere.