the International Quilt Frestival winners circle?
Practice, practice, practice.
But how do you practice for an award winning quilt?
There are two basic ways to practice.
One is to make individual samples of the techniques you want to practice. Some people put these into portfolios documenting the things learned by doing the samples. You can end up with a bunch of bits as reference materials, all of which can end up on the floor of the closet waiting for inspiration to strike. I ended up with a lot samples from various people as items for the KAQG Fish Pond. Did the techniques shown in the samples ever end up in quilts? I hope they did but I'll never know.
The other way to pratice is to make up quilts that you can actually use while experimenting with different techniques. You can end up with a bunch of ugly, poorly contstructed quilts or a bunch of wonderful technique quilts. The former make great doggy and/or people napping quilts while the latter are perfect for judging at local quilt shows.
So far, I have tended to practice while making whole quilts that end up as napping quilts. I just can't see spending time on something I can't use when completed. Even if the technique is sloppy I can usually salvage a utility quilt out of it. I do have a problem finishing up a whole quilt when I find, half way through, that I hate the technique. In that case I feel no sorrow in tossing what I have already done into the scrap pile or trying to salvage a smaller quilt out of it.
Every time I sit down to sew I try to make it a practice session. Are matching points my conern or will I finally get a wrinkle free binding applied? What ever I want to practice, I am always learning something.
If some day I feel that I have practiced enough to make a prize winning quilt for the International Quilt Festival that would be fabulous.
Even if that day never comes, I will continue to practice knowing that I can never have too many quilts to nap under AND if I can nap under them with another warm body that I love.. be it puppies or people, then all the practice makes it worthwhile.
I hope that rest of your week includes some practice.