Saturday Studio Challenge! The Flamingo House

Saturday Studio Challenge! The Flamingo House

I’ve wanted to try a studio challenge for a long while now. This is the first free Saturday I’ve had in months! Here’s how I think it will work:

  • Turn off the computer and enter the studio.
  • Start working!
  • Update every 2 hours with a quick check-in
  • Keep at it for at least 8 hours.

In fairness – I have no idea how this is going to actually work. Will the 2 hour check in interrupt my flow? Will the needs of the housemates take away too much attention? Will I just get bored and want to play Warcraft? Since I don’t know – I’m not doing it live this time, but I promise not to change a single word after it is written (unless I spell original “origional” again). If it goes well, next time I’ll do it live and maybe even recruit one of you to join!

Getting Started: 10:30 AM

FlamingoHouse (2)

I picked up a pattern from Marcia Layton at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo because it screams me and bestest friend Jess. Tacky to the max with flamingos, yo yos, and rick rack. One day – I’m going to make one for Jess and I to hang up in our retirement beach house, but for now it seems like a good practice opportunity. If it turns out – I will donate it to my quilting bee who is collecting house wall hangings for Habitat for Humanity. You may remember the first house attempt, mushroom house – Nice experiment, but I can do better for sure!

YO YO Mania: 12:30 PM


In the last two hours, I cut a super ton of yoyos with my fancy new circle cutter. I don’t love hand sewing when I’m in the studio. It is much better suited for traveling and keeping my hands busy during movies or TV. I did want to have one or two of the different sizes made up to try as the wall hanging came together soΒ  I decided to sew as many as I could before I hit the 12:30 update deadline. Time for a little snack and then it is back to work!

The Background: 2:30 PM

I finally was able to cut out some large pieces and see this thing start to come together. I fought with myself a bit because this is *NOT* how I would build this quilt. Then I remembered – the reason I do projects like this following someone’s instructions is to learn new ways of doing things. Sometimes, as difficult as it can be for my hard headed self to admit, their way is better! (ok, you got me, MOST TIMES)

This project calls for using fusible fleece to applique the parts together. Until yesterday – I didn’t even know what fusible fleece was! So far it is pretty cool. Works the same as fusible web, but is plushy. The sky and the sand go together and all the other pieces are appliqued on with a blanket stitch. It leaves a raw edge under the blanket stitch, but I think I can live with that. We’ll see how it all comes together.

Applique Fever: 4:30 PM


Phew! I’m so tired of blanket stitch I could cry! My machine only has one right and one left blanket stitch and both are quite short. I find it a bit tedious to work with, but made it though. All of the water and sand has been attached as well as the house, door and windows. You can probably see, the windows are a touch wonky. I dont know if it is a machine or user problem, but I struggled a lot with two layers of batting and two layers of fabric. I know a walking foot would certainly help, but mine only works with straight stitch.

I started adding a few of the embellishments then deiced to take an hour off for dinner. A girl’s gotta eat right??

Rainbows and Trees: 7:30PM

flamingohouse (1)

Alright alright! It’s starting to look like something! I didnt have any of the ribbons recommenced. I made do with what I had for the door and made the awning all by myself. I’m quite pleased with my problem solving here – I had nothing that would just plop in there and manged to pleat *just enough* of the light blue ocean I had left. I didn’t have any striped fabric, but I did have some ribbon left from the Hungry Caterpillar gift bag (thanks Jess!) to improvise. It is only 1/2 and she suggested a full inch. An inch is probably better, but I think it is ok at this size.

The tree was quite a pain. It sits far in the corner and has lots of turns. I didnt think I would ever get it on there, but finally managed it. Marcia has rick rack to mark the frowns on hers, since I didn’t have any, I just used thread. More problem solving!

Now the fun part is left – putting on all the little picture making things like the flamingos and crabs and such. I’ll work on the yoyo’s in my down time this week and see how it goes. I knew I didnt stand a chance of getting all the hand work done today, but I did kind of expect to make it through all of the machine applique. I’m famous for overestimating, I shouldn’t be surprised!

I’m home all day Thursday (July 4). I may try another challenge with something I can actually finish in day! The rules I set out for myself worked ok other than I didn’t really include time to do things like eat. I may just repeat the update times, 10:30, 12:30, 2:30, 4:30, 7:30. Anyone else home for the holiday and want to play along? It would be fun to check in on someone while I’m at it. πŸ™‚

Link Ins:
Sew Darn Crafty @Sew Many Ways
Anything GoesΒ @Stitch by Stitch


  1. What a great way to improve ones skills! So much technique and artistry in one little quilt! Great job!!!

    • Thanks Esther! I love trying new things!

  2. What a cool idea! And your project looks great. I love a productive day. Gonna catch up with u after the fourth, out of town, but hope you can finish it up!

    • oooohhhh vacation! Awesome, enjoy it! I don’t expect it be done with this one by the forth. Handwork is pretty much all that is left now which is too slow and boring for a studio day blog post. πŸ™‚ I do have what I think it going to be pretty great and completely do-able in a day for Thursday. Come by and check it out when you get back!

  3. A very cute piece!! Hope you post the final project!!

    • Thanks Daphne! I will be posting it. I worked on it some tonight and have a bit more to do before the yoyo’s go on. There’s a lot of handwork, I expect that to slow down the bus quite a bit. πŸ™‚

  4. Good for you. I don’t think I could have stopped to blog in the middle of a project. But it might help me to remember to take photos more frequently.

    • It really wasn’t that bad. I timed it by the number of scrubs episodes I watched on Netflix. When I hit the two hours I just took a picture where ever it was at and put a few words down. Took a total of about 15 minutes for reporting. In some ways, I think it helped to walk away, chat with other people in the house, and grab a snack or drink. πŸ™‚

    • Oh man! I remember you mentioned that and I forgot all about checking into it! I’ll check in with you to see how it went. πŸ™‚

  5. I so want a day of sewing – hopefully this week being a short week. The house is looking great, and I can’t wait to see the yoyo’s and what you decide to do with those. Looks like a productive weekend.

    • Yes! DO EIT! I bet some really amazing stuff would come out of your sewing room. πŸ™‚

  6. This is a great idea for a post—so fun and I feel like I am right there with you working on it!

    Adore the project:)

    • Thanks Sara! I did enjoy it, pretty great day really. Hope to have a few more.

  7. This is looking great and I love the idea of working all day and checking in. I feel like that would be amazing if only I could evict my whole family for a day but I don’t know if I could actually manage to keep working through πŸ™‚

    • hahaha! I hear you! I dont often have a day that I can with all the distractions around here either. It just happened to work out so I figured why not? After Thursday t will probably be sometime in September before I can do it again!

  8. I really enjoyed this post and think that Studio Challenge is a great idea! Unfortunately, with the project I am working on… My update would be rather boring. Pieced, pressed and sewed another 12 rows. Did it again…. Ha, ha!


    • Oh I don’t know – I bet that would be pretty interesting indeed! Sometimes I dont think we give ourselves enough credit for the time and patience required to do some of this work. I’m still not sure how I will hand it Thursday. The nature of blogs isn’t really visit and update and I dont use twitter etc at the moment. I may just do it just the same. I have a good project in the hopper – cant wait to get going on it!

  9. that’s really cute! I understand what you mean about following someone else’s directions. Most times when I get patterns, I end up modifying and doing what I want to do anyway, ha!

    πŸ™‚ Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

    • heh, I usually do too if I’ve done it their way before. This one was certainly a collection of techniques I’ve never used so I figured I would do it her way. Until tonight – there’s no way I”m blanket stitching on all those teee tiny pieces. I have no idea how they did it with machine, I dont see any option but handwork (or zig zag with clear filament) πŸ™‚


What say you?