In my experience I’ve found the plug form of a Skinner blend to be the most universally useful technique I’ve learned. From it you can make petal canes, the also common Skinner blend bullseye and any variety of other items. It’s a good way to store large blocks of blends for further use.
I’ve also noticed that getting from that pretty Skinner blend sheet on your PM to a plug is occasionally confusing. So I’ve written down the steps i use. A Google search for Skinner blend plug or Skinner blend will also net you some other takes on the technique. This starts from a Skinner blend sheet and assumes you have a pasta machine.
Take your just finished Skinner blend and fold it in half as if you were going to run it through the pasta machine one more time.
Run the strip through the pasta machine either light or dark side FIRST, on the thicker setting (1 on the Atlas, 7 on the Amaco type). Notch the PM down thinner and run it through again. Do this until it’s a 3 or a 5 (brand dependant). This makes a long thin strip that will make a smooth plug (or bullseye if you want).
Take the very long strip and begin folding it fan fold. There shouldn’t be that much space between folds, 1 or 1.5 inches is probably good. Keep folding, pricking and slicing out the air pockets that tend to develop at the fold lines as you go. The end result should be a rectangular solid that grades evenly from dark to light, aka your Skinner blend plug!