Here are some tools:
Try something small. Mug rugs are about 6" by 9" so you only have to sew together a few pieces. Three of the yellow petal shapes would be enough and you would know if you wanted to make an applique quilt or give the tool to your applique loving friend. Oh no, thinking has made me want to try these out on mug rugs! I could do the tall triangles in solids, tumblers with the Dresden plate, two 6" 60 degree triangles and they could be turned through with no binding, oh no..........
I took the Hunter's Star ruler (Studio 180 by Deb Tucker) and the pattern for the tablerunner to our last retreat. I made 3 runners at the same time because I couldn't make up my mind about which fabric was best. It took a bit to figure it out but with clear instructions and great illustrations by the time I did each step for the third one I knew what I was doing. We will be offering classes for this runner during 2013. If you have a ruler and need a friendly environment to try it out, watch the website or this blog for details.
Give yourself the time to play with the tools you have and receive. Make something small so, like it or not, you have a start on next year's holiday gifts.