What I have learned about quilting in the past few years;
1. Daisy chaining small pieces for quilt blocks saves a lot of thread: and, creates a new toy/game for the puppy if it slides off the back of the desk.
2. A fingernail is a great tool. Placed in that elusive groove it makes it easy to guide fabric for 1/4" seams; unfortunately, it does tend to break. Replacements take forever.
3. Die cutting pieces is a wonderful time saver: and, the unattended mat makes a great chew toy.
4. Instruction manuals give great information once you learn the language.
5. Directions are only suggestions; follow only when they apply - sort of like speed limits.
6. When a "mess up" isn't seen until the guilt top is done - just say you're following ancient traditions. A flaw must be present to avoid upsetting the gods.