Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Yo-Yo Dolls

When I was growing up, just a little girl, my maternal grandmother (she of the rolling pin and sugar cookies) made dolls for my sister and I out of fabric scraps. I don't recall what she used for the heads, and the dolls are long gone. I've described them to people over the years and gotten a "Oh, yeah, I had those," reaction, but none of us had a name for them. Until now.

I was in a kiddie store and saw them. The label called them Yo-Yo Dolls. You can learn how to make them. The heads were bunny rabbits, not at all like the ones I had and it seems they're all old tradition now updated for modern times. In surfing the web, I see some that are thick, but my grandmother made them with the sewn fabric circles fairly flat. I seem to recall her putting bells where the hands and feet would go. And of course, no one doll was the same because they were made with whatever fabric scraps were at hand, a nix mix in no particular order. Every so often, I've seen them in stores or online, but it's nice to know they have a name.

They're said to be a South American tradition, so I'm not sure where my grandmother, who moved to New York from Ukraine when she was in her late teens, learned how to make them.
"Inspired by a South American tradition, these soft, posable animals are made of recycled fabric sewn into segmented "petals." They're like the stuffed animal equivalent of a communal quilt. A perfect baby shower or birthday gift, these cuddly characters will soon become childhood favorites."
Did anyone else have these dolls?


  1. I never had one growing up, wish I did--those are darn cute!

    Sugar cookies and yo-yo dolls, you're grandma sounds lovely indeed!

  2. She was more feisty than lovely, but she was a fun grandma, for sure.


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