I'm sure you're dying to -- not.
Well, here's the situation: I printed the final clue for Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville mystery quilt last night before I went to bed and I am conflicted (oh, when does this NOT happen, ha, ha!). Since it was already 1 a.m. and I wasn't going to start sewing at that time of night but was curious how my quilt would look, I laid out a 3 x 3 arrangement on the floor and took a picture:
It's the little green string squares, which are perfectly adorable by themselves but sit there in the quilt like they fell from the sky. Was it the color? I tried darker green, dark or light blue, brown, orange, red, whatever. Nope. The closest thing that worked was shirting squares in the same fabrics as in the blocks:
I liked that; two color quilts are traditional and this was an honest example. I missed the motion of the string blocks, but figured that I could piece shirting string blocks if I really wanted them. But the larger question was, what was wrong in the original design?
I opened up EQ this morning and mocked up the blocks, and then started playing. And it immediately jumped out at me. I didn't like the green string blocks in place because they didn't relate to a single thing in the rest of the quilt. Green wasn't used anywhere else, not in the Ohio Star blocks, not in the borders. I had kept waiting through the mystery instructions for the third color to appear again and was puzzled when it didn't. Now I know my subconscious quilt designer was saying that you have to repeat a color or an element in the quilt to tie it into the design. The green just sits there, as if to say "Where am I?"
If the green had been used for the centers of the predominantly gold Ohio Stars, with red in the center of the predominantly shirting Stars, it gives the green string blocks a reason to BE, a tie between the elements of the quilt. Here's an EQ mock-up:
See? The eye pops back and forth between the green strings and the green star centers and ties the whole thing together. I even added green binding to bring the color out to the edge of the quilt. This isn't just a problem because I used green. When I saw her quilt on the blog, the blue squares seemed to stick out at me but I hadn't analyzed why. Now I know.
There are a couple of solutions. One, I can unpick all those gold star blocks and add green centers - ugh! Or I can take the green out and make a two color quilt, which is quite cute:
I could even bring the red out into the inner border, but it might be better with shirtings.
Oh, what to do?
Addendum: I decided to change the centers in the gold stars to green squares. I'm doing it now. Boy, that's a lot of seam picking!
(Note to Bonnie fans: OK, you can hate me if you want. It's my opinion. You can love your quilt, but right now I'm not quite loving mine. I adore the string flying geese and the star blocks, it's just those small string blocks that are giving me fits.)