“Yo-Yo Mama” Louise
This obsession all started very innocently while reading the Quilter’s Home magazine at Barnes and Noble on
My mom’s favorite color is blue and she loves birds. She often sits on her sofa and stitches or knits, while looking out her window at the birds. She has several bird houses on her front porch where birds are building their nests. I only used one yo-yo for her, and a scar where her other breast would have been. I used blue and silver beads for her hair – she just turned 81 on May 21st and has only a hint of silver in her hair. She is always knitting, and when we had cats, they would always get tangled up in her yarn. The base fabric is traditionally pieced patchwork squares, as my mom was a very traditional housewife and mother. I used the cultured white pearl beads on her skirt to remind people to get their mammograms regularly.
“Little Man” Isaac
Our sweet little darling Isaac passed away last November – he was only 13. He was a special boy, who came into the world prematurely and with some medical problems. I combed the local craft and bead stores to find just the right embellishments for him. He loved to collect shiny metal things – I think he was part magpie. His eyes are closed as if sleeping. He was autistic, he played the trumpet, loved the Mets, basketball, the American flag and punch-buggies (WV Bugs). We used to count punch-buggies on all our trips to see how many we could find – the most we ever had was 21 in one day! Our area has the farm team for the NY Mets – we often went to the games – he had a Mets hat that he wore constantly – I even made him a bathrobe with Mets fleece for him, which he slept in regularly. He played a silver trumpet that he was so proud of, he practiced it every day. He wanted to be just like Louis Armstrong. Isaac loved the American flag – every time we made a cake – he wanted it decorated like the flag. For is birthday every year we made cupcakes using paper liners with flags and tooth picks with flags on them. (I now have a drawer full of them, since I got them when ever I could find them.) His last name was Keyes – hence the little keys. My husband is of Irish descent, so there is a little shamrock bead to honor that. The name Isaac means “He Who Laughs” – he was always smiling and full of laughter – he brought a little sunshine to everyone’s day. The trilobite bead reminds me of our hunts for fossils. We had three cats that he loved dearly – Cesium, Nitrogen and Plutonium (a tribute to my chemical engineering background). The
“Little Dude” Walter and Mini-Me Yo-Yo Mama
When my other son saw what I was up to, he wanted one too. He loves red and black, and plays the tuba and cello. He wanted it to have a zipper and have it wrap around one arm. I think I captured his ideas. I pieced strips of musical fabric together on a foundation for the body of the mojo. I beaded a base clef to represent the scale used for the instruments he plays. I was intrigued by the little mojo figure in the magazine and thought it would make a nice pin. At my son’s request (and persistence) I made an exact replica of my Yo-Yo Mama, a Mini-Me pin.
“Big Guy” Kris
And finally, my husband – the last of the mojos. I had purchased a quarter-yard of some keyboard fabric a while ago, since it reminded me of Kris. I had no idea what I would use it for, but I had to have a bit of it for my stash. Well, it was perfect for his mojo doll. He is an electrical engineer and quite the computer geek (meant with only fondness). He plays the saxophone, along with several other instruments. His hair is a bit thin up top – not that many people can see it – he is 6’6”! He loves star gazing and has even built his own telescope! One of our favorite constellations is the Big Dipper, part of the Ursa Major or Great Bear. After our son Isaac died, his classmates and teachers at the
Well, you probably guessed there are a few musicians in the family and we are familiar with the cello music of Yo-Yo Ma. Walter started with the cello in elementary school, and I have been known as Yo-Yo Mama long before I started making fabric yo-yos. Since I am the only girl in the household – I always refer to my boys and husband as ‘my men’. Isaac was known as my Handsome Little Man, Walter is known as Little Dude now just Dude), and Kris, due to his size is my Big Guy. My mom has always been called Gram-mama.
Well that is our Mojo story. I hope you like them, the dolls will be placed in a prominent fashion in my sewing room to remind me of all the wonderful memories I have and will continue to have of my family. And, I will wear my Mini-Me with pride on my quilt guild name tag.