Featured Guest: Marcia Layton

Our guest blogger this month is Marcia Layton, author and pattern designer with a decided penchant for using yo-yos on her quilts. She’s authored two books, both published by Martingale & Company — Handprint Quilts (2003), and Calendar Kids (2007).

One of the challenges I set for myself once I started the series of yo-yo houses was to make the borders different on each of the quilts. “Patriot’s Corner” has jumbo circle yo-yos sewn into the outside edge of the quilt with smaller yo-yos sewn on top. It was a fun way to get the look of the red, white and blue bunting that makes me think of the 4th of July.

I wasn’t always obsessed with yo-yos. I started my quilting career back in the late 1990s by making little quilts with children’s handprints. I was a preschool teacher at the time and had plenty of little handprints to play with. I started experimenting and dreaming about all the different things I could make from the shape of a hand and incorporating them into quilts to auction off for the school. I can honestly say I became totally obsessed with handprints!

About five years ago I started working in a quilt shop where I was surrounded by beautiful fabric every day and introduced to all sorts of new quilting tools. One tool that piqued my interest was the Clover Quick Yo-Yo Makers, especially the heart-shaped one. I thought the little hearts would be cute on clothing so I made a few. They were fun to make, so I made a few more.

Then I started to play with the circle-shaped yo-yo makers and quickly became addicted to yo-yo making.  Soon I had a sizeable collection of yo-yos with no real purpose in mind. They were fun to sort and look at but I really didn’t know what I was going to do with them. Then I had an idea. I had made some yo-yos that were really bright and all the colors of the rainbow … they looked like candy. I decided then that I would make a little gingerbread house scene and cover it with yo-yo candies. “Lollipop Lane” was my first yo-yo quilt and became my first pattern. The yo-yo circle shapes just seem to add a whole new dimension to the look of traditional appliqué and I was totally enamored of them.

My seventh and newest quilt design is a fall scene called Harvest Road and I have finally included the little heart shaped yo-yo which started my whole yo-yo journey. Who knows where it will end!

I love to use the yo-yo makers and often demonstrate how to use them when I travel to lecture or to vend at quilt shows. So many people have yo-yo stories to tell. For some, making yo-yos the traditional way was their first experience with sewing, fondly remembered. For others it was a chore they don’t care to repeat. I like to think the new yo-yo makers and my little quilts will create some pleasant memories for a new generation of quilters just as they have for me!

To see more of Marcia’s patterns, visit her web site.

2 thoughts on “Featured Guest: Marcia Layton

  1. I’ve seen these quilts in person, and they are absolutely amazing! I’m not even a quilter, but the original way that Marcia has incorporated yo yo’s into these charming designs is creative beyond imagination!

Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s