Learning to quilt is a big investment in time and fabric, every time I try a new design it is a disaster to start with and it takes a lot of practice to get it right and nice. This is why, I decided early this year to join some of the free quilt along challenges that Angela Walters from Quilting is my Therapy has run over the years. She sells panels that can be bought to practice on, and has online videos that can be watched to figure out what to quilt where in the panel. Has helpful hints and suggestions and it is generally a fun activity to do when you are learning.
The first one I did was "How do I quilt it". This was done with rulers and free motion quilting... my quilting wasn't really great but I just kept going and by the end of the challenge (the green section) it had become a bit better.
After that one, I bought the Flora and Foliage panel and followed this challenge. This was really out of my comfort zone and had a lot of very dense quilting. I spent 6 months quilting, did rather small sections at a time and had a blast seeing my skills go from zero to hero. I love the end results (unlike the previous one):
The advantage of buying a panel and quilting it, is that even if you don't get it perfect, it does not matter, you did not invest months in the piecing of that quilt, it came as is. This makes the learning process all the more enjoyable. I have two more challenges from Angela awaiting me. Cannot wait!