So, I started working on this design:
I didn't draft the whole circle because it was easier to simply rotate the pattern. I drew the segments on my background fabric to help with alignment.
So...I started with this amazing fabric you see in the largest orange points. I knew I wanted it to be my them. I then picked out a bunch of other fabrics to go with it. I also chose a pale yellow batik as a background because all the applique fabrics needed to go well with it.
I love all the colors together except the pinky point sticking out of the purple tulip-shaped piece. It blends too much with the orange next to it and their is not enough contrast between them. So, I started trying other fabrics:
I was so sure that burgundy was going to work. I don't like the dark black lines in this fabric.
So I tried a different burgundy. I still don't like it.
Green? Nope. Awful.
Lavender? Love it, but it's too pale.
I felt like it was never going to work, but I tried this orange and turquoise print I'd rejected for the area that is now dark blue and it worked wonders. All of the sudden the quilt sparkles! Finally! It really is worth making a test block to see if it works.
The other important thing I learned doing this block? The fabrics need to contrast, but they also need to blend at the same time. If all the pieces were different tone-on-tones the block just wouldn't have the same sparkle!