The biggest advantage of doing a course is possibly the excuse it gives me to play around more than I usually would:
Not only are we trying out things for our project ("sampling" in course-speak), but also more literally playing around with the blocks that we're making to find settings that can be made with the block repeats. And it is surprising how many different settings can be found!!! Of course, first you come across the most obvious ones, and the ones that are commonly used or the ones that are stuck in your head. But then you find settings that are not often used and some of those are actually very pleasing.
An example is the different settings you can come up with for a set of 16 half square triangle blocks:
|One of the most obvious settings...
And some others...
Try it yourself: Sew some (or a lot) half square triangle blocks and lay them out in as many settings as you can come up with. You may be surprised how many options are out there, and you may find yourself making your next quilt according to your own original setting!!
Have some fun and play around!!