This quilt was almost a disaster. I arranged the upholstery pieces over and over again, taking out pieces and putting pieces in and trying to make it into something that I liked. I mean... I love the fabrics, but when I put them all together, I would look at it and think "Mess. Mess, mess, mess."
I tried taking out the brighter colors:
I tried putting in more colors:
I even took everything to the Modern Quilt Guild meeting in the Bay Area and asked for advice. The lovely ladies there suggested that I sash the blocks in a darkish color, maybe matching the blue solid. I ended up finding a lovely dark green to use, but... it just didn't solve the problem. It was still just a big mass of activity to my eyes.
I spent the afternoon last Saturday rearranging pieces again, repeatedly calling my s.o. in from the other room to find out "Do you like it? Do you like it more or less than the previous version?" He was very patient with me (although not particularly helpful... after the third arrangement with different pieces removed each time, it turned out that his judgments were based on how evenly spaced the pieces were, not on the colors that were present).
Finally came the moment when my brain snapped into action - the problem wasn't which pieces I added or removed. The problem was that I just assumed that because I hadn't picked out and cut the fabrics myself, because they were random patterns, random sizes, and random shapes, I had no choice but do to a ~random~ layout. I just assumed that I couldn't impose a speck of order. I did one more adjusted layout and it was finished. Perfect. Bye-bye fabric vomit splatter, hello beautiful quilt. I sewed up most of the top that afternoon and added in the sashing last night: