I think one of the best ways to become a better quilter is to join a “Block of the Month” club. I’ve done this for that last few years at our local quilt shop. Each month we make a different block, using a different technique. At the end of 12 months, you add some sashing and you (theoretically) have a sample quilt top.
I say “theoretically” because my first few samplers would have been very difficult to piece together. All of the 12.5″ blocks were different sizes, especially if they contained half-square triangles or anything else on the bias. My 1/4″ seams ranged between 1/8″ and 1/2″ — and my cutting wasn’t exactly accurate either. No matter. I learned. More than anything else, these sampler block of the month programs taught me how to quilt.
Here’s where the bravery comes in. It can be tough to sign up for these classes when you know you’re not an award-winning quilter. But everybody has to start somewhere! Quilters love to teach and they love to see new quilters learn and grow. This is one of those cases when it’s worth putting on your big girl panties and taking a risk. I’m unusual in that I don’t plan to make my blocks into a quilt. I look upon this as a learning experience, much as I look upon writing rough drafts of an article for publication.
I like taking block of the month classes at my local quilt shop because it’s a great way to meet quilting friends. It’s also a great source of help if you’re stuck. However, if that is not a possibility for you, there are many great block of the month programs on the internet. Craftsy‘s block of the month is well done and it is also free.