Monday, July 30, 2012

Deliberate Practice

The advice often offered to quilters regarding free motion work is : Practice, practice, practice. Although good advise it will not necessarily help to improve your skills. What is essential is deliberate practise. It is necessary to evaluate your results and constantly and deliberately try to improve it. To learn more about the difference deliberate practice can make, read this guest blog post at Expert Enough by Lukas Kyska of The Aspiring Guitarist.

When I wanted to become a great canoeist 35 years ago I did not realize that it was not good enough to paddle up and down the lake for an hour every day. The day of the great event I was still last. I have never pushed myself to exhaustion. I was tired every night but all that practice did not give me an competitive edge.

The snowflakes were enhanced with a bit of sparkling paint. Still in complete.
At the International Quilt Convention this week end in Johannesburg (South Africa) I took a class with Susan Brubaker Knapp. We rarely have the opportunity to take classes from International teachers so I made use of this chance to learn from a master. The snowflake design we made in the class force one to carry out intricate small movements. It provided good practice in micro-stippling.

 I decided to use a small zig-zag stitch working this on the diagonal. It was quite tricky to find the right diagonal line but I was very happy with the way it contribute to the lacy effect we wanted to achieve.
Deliberate practice make the difference
To improve results one need to evaluate the results you achieve. Then you need to make a decision on the changes that is necessary to improve the results. In your practice session your aim must be to achieve those improved results. Constant re evaluation and adjustments is necessary to make your practice session worth while in improving your skills.

Susan is an excellent teacher and as always in any class I learned quite a few skills and got some really worth while tips. We had a marvelous and inspiring time at the quilt convention.

Please share your tips on deliberate practice.


  1. Je hebt helemaal gelijk. Als alleen maar oefent en geen doel voor ogen hebt, kun je beter iets anders gaan doen. Mooi free-motion bladeren heb je gequilt!! Kan zien dat het een hele leerzame workshop is geweest.

  2. That is a awesome piece of work. You will finish it, yes?


  3. Hi there, what a stunning piece of work!
    Thanks for being a part of Blogtoberfest, hosted by Cathy aka {tinniegirl} last year. Thought you might be interested to know that we're running it again in 2012. You can find all the info at:
    And we're kicking off this Monday! Would love to see you there.
    Kat xxx

  4. Baie dankie vir 'n awesome klas verlede Saterdag en Sondag. Ek het nog net gespog met my 'kunswerk' wat ek produseer het in jou klas, maar het nog nie die moed gehad om die laaste 2 blokkies te quilt nie. More oggend is die dag dat ek 'n stuk materiaal vat en daai free motion deliberately gaan oefen. Dankie vir al die aanmoediging.



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