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Skill to Improve

Skill to Improve

Skill improvement is something I’m always working on for my quilting. It’s the reason I still take beginner classes. I always want to know more.


Creating beautiful feathers will likely be on my “Skill Improvement” list for the rest of my life. Not because I can’t master Feathers, but because I think you can always get just a little bit better. The best way to get better at feathers, or any quilting technique is to MAKE QUILTS.

“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” ~ Coach Vince Lombardi


I know just what he means. Let me explain. I was in the high school band. There was a song we worked on that had a particularly tricky drum part. We had a very talented drummer yet at one spot he made a mistake. He would practice and practice and still he made the mistake. Over time, he practiced IN the mistake. He couldn’t NOT make the mistake. It wasn’t perfect practice.

Because I know More

No, I don’t. Growing up, my dad never said, “because I said so.” Instead he would say, “because I know more.” I’m not sure that strategy would work for every kid, but for me it was the right thing to say. It always stopped me cold and made me think, “what is it that he knows about this?” and then I’d have to try and figure it out.

Take Classes

I never assume I know more about quilting. I believe there are instructors out there who know things I don’t. And, I suppose, I know things they don’t. Nonetheless, I take classes. I get to meet new people, learn new skills and have fun.

Learning a new way to do something can break the practiced mistake cycle. I think my classmate could have benefitted from another teacher showing him a different way to approach that sequence in the song. By shifting how he practiced the song, he could have unlearned the mistake.

When I started quilting, I acquired a few bad habits, particularly my approach to feathers. By taking classes and being willing to learn from others, I have been able to learn better ways to quilt feathers.

And so, I practice feathers…and take classes.

What technique do you want to work on?

Note: This post is part of the 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge hosted by Cheryl Sleboda of Muppin.com.